Businesses of all types and sizes are facing many threats during this unusual year. From the COVID-19 pandemic to street protests over police brutality and racism, business owners must be mindful of a variety of potential risks.
While most business owners take numerous precautions to ensure their property is protected, burglaries and vandalism can still occur. Of course, the first thing to do, should your business fall victim to such crime, is to call police and report the incident. Authorities recommend not going inside, as the perpetrator may still be on the premises. If you have surveillance cameras, which should always be in working order, be sure and tell investigators.
As you begin to process the situation, be sure to document any stolen or damaged property and take photos. Law enforcement officials and insurance professionals also suggest collecting receipts and invoices that can be used when filing a claim. Your damage may be covered, or at least part of it, if you have commercial property insurance.
Once authorities have completed their investigation, you’ll want to start putting things back in order as soon as you can and get back to business. It may seem obvious, but be sure to change the locks, all combinations and update your security system.
In addition to physical damage and theft, business owners must be aware of cyber-crime, insurers warn. Hacking is a real concern, no matter how small your business may be.
For instance, hackers look for employee records and customers’ credit card information. If you discover you’ve been the target of a cyber-attack, notify your customers quickly, as required by law. Although each state has its own methods and regulations, it’s always required that you notify your clients in writing and explain what data has been compromised. Check with your state to see what other regulations you must follow.
As a business owner, it’s advised that you have a plan in place of how to deal with a cyber security breach. Information such as your lawyer’s contact information, your IT professional’s information and an in-depth view of your computer network will help you be prepared to respond quickly should you be the victim of cyber-crime.
With a reported 43 percent of cyber-attacks targeted at small businesses in 2019, it’s well-advised to have cyber-liability insurance. It may help you recover defense fees and settlement costs. Contact your insurer as soon as possible, if you discover a breach.
Additionally, it’s always smart to have a contingency plan to get you up and running safely and securely as quickly as possible. Having a backup network can be very useful in the event a hacker disrupts your business.
If you have questions about how your business can best prepare for incidences of crime, please reach out to one of our tax advisors. We are always happy to help!