Christmas - goodwill and security headaches - Business Works
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Christmas - goodwill and security headaches

Paul Johnson of NGS Meridian
C hristmas a time for goodwill, parties, presents and security headaches. Amidst unusual opening hours or closed premises and valuables or large amounts of stock sitting on business property, many companies become a target for criminals throughout the festive period. Paul Johnson, specialist auditor and director at NGS Meridian, offers his top tips for keeping your premises safe and sound:


Who exactly has access to your premises over the Christmas period, why and how? If your premises are shut to all or most employees for a certain period, your approved access list and systems should be amended accordingly. Dont forget about contract and temporary staff which keys and passcodes do they hold? If you have access gates to your premises, make sure they are secured.


Ensure that your alarm company is aware of your company holiday dates, and of those who have building access whilst the office is closed. As ever, all alerts and warnings must occur in real-time, and be recorded and investigated as soon as possible within your agreed service levels for alarm triggers.

The holiday buildup is a timely opportunity to test all your alarm systems for functionality and efficiency and to check for blind spots and vulnerabilities.


If unusually large volumes of stock or valuable items are to be stored onsite or if criminals will suspect they are extra security measures are a must. Prominent CCTV and alarms can act as visual deterrents, but they must be operational too. If cash is held for normal business needs, bank it for theshutdown period.

For added protection throughout the festive period, consider 24-hour onsite security personnel.


What are the communication channels in the event of a security problem? Plan andagree set courses of action so that if the worst happens, responses are swift and efficient. Ensure that you have a tried and tested business continuity plan in place, to react when your workforce may be spread across the country. Make sure that your staff are award of what the business continuity plans are it is important to have a plan in place, but if its details are held on a server or in a desk drawer, its useless.


It is always good practice to operate a clear desk policy, if you dont regularly take the opportunity to clear offices and desks of valuable paperwork and documents. Maybe as a new years resolution you can keep it that way!


Theft isnt the only criminal activity you need to protect yourself against vandalism is more likely during periods of business closure. Verify that all systems are fully backed up, with offsite backup storage in place for swiftdisaster recovery.

Accidental damage is a threat too make sure that non-essential equipment is shut down and dont forget to turn your Christmas lights off!

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