Theft is a major concern for businesses with United States retailers losing up to $60 billion annually in 2015. However, additional security concerns exist with unsecured networks: the cost of cyber crime is expected to total more than $6 trillion by 2021.

You may think your security system is enough to protect your business, but bundling key loss prevention tactics with your protected, secured network can result in better security of both physical and digital business assets.

Let’s take a look at some important loss prevention tools, followed by best practices to bundle them within your network.

Loss Prevention Devices

Burglaries are a concern among any business owner, but especially where retail inventory is concerned. A monitored alarm, which is triggered by a door opening or glass breaking, can deter thieves and protect your inventory. Integrate your alarm with a monitoring center that immediately investigates all alarm notifications and responds accordingly.

Have eyes on your inventory at all times with video surveillance cameras. Look back at recordings to spot theft and pinpoint exactly where and when loss occurred, and let advanced video analytics identify unusual activity both in and around your business. Utilize your security system’s enhanced technology to see live feeds of your surveillance cameras from a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Check in any time, from anywhere, to spot suspicious activity.

A recent survey found that employee theft accounted for more than 35 percent of inventory loss in just one year. Enacting rotating jobs and creating a corporate culture of honesty and integrity may help, but surveillance is the best way to stop employee theft. Use an access control system to allow only authorized employees into stock rooms and other inventory holding areas. Also, install a fully integrated point-of-sale (POS) monitoring system to receive alerts when voided transactions and other suspicious activities occur at a cash register.

Network Safety Tips

The loss prevention tools listed above are important for physical security, but do not address the need to keep your network running smoothly and safe from hacking. Much of this equipment operates online. If your business isn't safeguarded properly, it could be exposed to vulnerabilities beyond store theft. Data loss and hacking are major concerns, but can be combatted with the following tips:

  • Ensure your network has enough bandwidth for your security needs. Otherwise, you could compromise critical business systems also running on your network (e.g. POS systems, inventory systems, phones).
  • Make sure that your network’s firewalls, security appliances (such as Intrusion Detection Systems) and antivirus software are up to date, creating the strongest possible line of defense against cybercriminals.
  • Use strong network encryption to protect your network’s digital data, such as surveillance video feeds.
  • Monitor and manage your network and loss prevention devices, to ensure they receive security patches and that service issues are identified quickly.
  • Conduct a security audit periodically to make sure your loss prevention devices and network security are both up to date and properly equipped to keep data safe from cyber threats.

Bundling loss prevention tools with a secure network is key to protecting your assets.