As business owners, we’d do anything to protect our company interests. This is our livelihood, and we’re forever on high alert when it comes to protecting from external risks. That’s why most managers spend a great deal of time taking care of things like cybersecurity and cameras. All the better for stopping unknown outside sources taking their fill of your inventory. Sadly, even business owners who get a decent grip on this can still see themselves missing out.

That’s because an astounding 42.7% inventory shrinkage is down to employee theft. On top of that, the majority of data breaches take place from inside. In short; you should be looking at the snakes inside your house as well as outside. By focusing on outside threats, you seal your home with those risk factors already in it. That could leave your company going under before you know.

Of course, that doesn’t mean every employee is looking for dodgy dealings. But, it does mean that you need to take steps to ensure you don’t let any snakes inside your defenses. Luckily, you can do that in the following easy ways.

Do background checks on potential employees

Often, we employ people on the back of little more than references. That way, we save time, and still hopefully end up with a glowing team. The trouble with references is that your employee selects them. They could put down any name, and you would believe it was legitimate. As such, snakes could sneak through this barrier. To make sure that doesn’t happen, take the time to follow up any references with background checks. These ensure that you’re aware of any previous convictions or bad behaviors. Admittedly, checks like these will cost you. You’ll want to leave them until the very end of the application process. Still, they’re more than worth the money if they save you from theft down the line.

Implement vendor management for outsourced companies

Of course, it isn’t only employees we let into our confidences nowadays. The majority of businesses also operate with outsourced companies. These are even harder to vet, as you can’t do checks on someone you aren’t employing. Still, outsourced companies often have access to sensitive information and even finances. As such, you may find that you benefit from outsourcing vendor management for added security. This way, you’ll get help evaluating the risks associated with each outsourced contract. You’ll also be able to manage and review your contracts on a regular basis. This will ensure that no foul play falls under your radar.

Find ways to stress-test in-house security

Even if people are trustworthy when they come to your company, circumstances change. As such, those snakes could evolve once your doors are safely shut behind them. Your best chance at avoiding that is to develop in-house security tests. These could take the form of bag checks or tracking of ‘sensitive information’ which you’ve planted. This way, you can spot any cracks and prevent further damage from derailing your business altogether.

Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker and performance enthusiast.
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