It’s a fact that businesses face a major threat of being burgled every year. And many companies will experience some type of property crime at some point in the life of the business. A break-in is a serious threat, one that can quickly damage your business, reputation, operations, profit and even employee trust. Employees need to feel safe when working on your business premises.

Is there a way to keep both businesses and employees safe? Yes, through the use of a security risk assessment. This is an amazing tool that can help you learn about security risks to your businesses, as well as alert you to those risks you may not even be aware of.

What is a Security Risk Assessment?

The definition called up on Google says, “Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organisation’s ability to conduct business. These assessments help identity these inherent business risks and provide measures, processes, and controls to reduce the impact of these risks to business operations.”

OK, that’s a mouthful! In other words, a risk assessment is a way to identify and clarify the security issues that could happen to your business and/or employees. Along with that, the risk assessment also calculates the possibility of these risks taking place.

So, the information obtained from a security risk assessment provides you and your business with information on what to do to avoid these potential risks. Each threat is outlined, and the probability is calculated for each one. This also allows you to prioritise those threats that have a higher probability of happening.

Who Conducts a Risk Assessment?

This can be done within the company; however, it’s usually best to hire a professional risk assessment consultant who specialises in your industry. They will have the most experience and knowledge on compliance and other security issues your company faces.

A risk assessment consultant ensures your company is in compliance with all regulations and best practices, as well as knowing the specific types of risks your employees face.

Here, look for a specialist in your industry, who offers a bespoke service for your company’s unique needs. They should be able to provide practical advice as well as assess the potential risks your businesses could be facing.

What’s Included in a Business Risk Assessment?

Here are the steps involved in a risk assessment:

1). Gather all assets: do an inventory of all company assets, including office equipment, machinery, your network and systems, company data, and more.

2). Assess vulnerabilities: this is usually done by a specialised company that comes in an looks for vulnerabilities and for anything that can be exploited. Once this process if finished, they will create a report that outlines each vulnerability and the potential threats to each one.

3). Match threats to vulnerabilities: each asset that’s vulnerable must be matched with the potential threat. This information is used to create a risk scenario. One example is your company’s network. A hacker could gain entry to your network to steal valuable data. The vulnerable asset is the data, and the threat in this example is the hacker.

4). Forecast probability: here, the company will then look at each potential threat and calculate the probability it’s likely to happen. Not only that, but they may also include information on how many times a year it could happen, and then develop information on the impact the exploitation could have on your company.

5). Outline a mitigation program: now, all the information is compiled into a matrix, which is referred to as a risk register. The risk register comes up with a treatment program, which includes details on how to mitigate, avoid, transfer or accept the risks. All threats and vulnerabilities are ranked by severity, budget, expertise needed, which then gives you an idea on what to prioritise.

In addition, the risk assessment will review the crime rates in your area, as well as the most common types of crime in the area and industry. The analysis will also include review of access points and the current level of security on those areas, and who has access and how this access is tracked.

The review will also include an inventory of all valuables stored on site. In addition, the analysis will also look for weaknesses, which will then be assessed. Recommendations will also be made for how these issues can be mitigated.

What are the Benefits of Performing a Risk Assessment?

While some companies believe risk assessments are too expensive and take up too much valuable time, consider the value of keeping employees and company assets safe. Risk assessments come with a variety of benefits including:

Protect against data breaches: data breaches can be extremely costly, damaging, and disruptive. With the information from a risk assessment, you’ll be able to take steps before there’s a problem, rather than after. The company’s data will be much safer after a risk assessment.

Prioritise security: a risk assessment also provides you with the information on which company assets, people, and more are most at risk. Without a risk assessment, you really don’t have a precise idea of the threats the company faces, or which threats have the highest probability of happening. You can only guess as to what may be coming down the line. With a risk assessment, there’s no guessing involved—you’ll know exactly which threat is the highest and worst, and then can start to take steps ensure everything is secure.

Guide security investment: again, without a risk assessment, you really don’t have a good idea on where to invest the security budget. In fact, you may make a wrong decision, which could lead to a major security issue for your company. If you have a risk assessment, you’ll have solid information on the potential risks, and where the security budget should be invested. Your company has a better chance of staying safe after a risk assessment, than it does without one.

Now you have the information on what a risk assessment is, and why it’s important to have a risk assessment done. Your company and employees will be much safer in the long run. Consider this an investment in protecting all aspects of your business from potential costly and damaging risks.