The Top Threats to the Security of Your Franchise (and How to Protect It)

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How to protect your franchise

When you’re busy running your own business, the process of implementing franchise security measures can fall to the bottom of your ‘to do’ list. There are many reasons why it’s easy to delay the task - it can be time-consuming, technically challenging and expensive - but protecting the security of your franchise business is incredibly important. 

No matter the type of franchise you run or the location of your premises, you’ll need to know how to keep your business safe. Many factors could have a damaging impact on your operations, but preparing by introducing franchise security measures should help you mitigate against disaster. 

The first step in the process should be taking out insurance. There are many different types of policies; some will be mandatory for your unit, some will be optional. If you fail to invest in the right insurance, it may take longer for you to get back on track after crises, and you could even be fined or prosecuted. 

The three top threats to the security of your franchise - and how to mitigate against them

1. Physical attacks, such as burglaries 

Break-ins have financial and emotional impacts, and seeing the fruits of your labour damaged or stolen is difficult to come to terms with. Having the right insurance cover will help you get your business up and running again as quickly as possible. But there are also steps you can take to prevent an attack in the first place.

How to keep your business safe: 

  • Install high-quality locks - Make sure you use sturdy locks on your doors. Often, you need evidence of forced entry to win commercial property claims, so high-quality locks are a small investment worth making. 

  • Introduce an alarm system - Alarms alert the local community that a break-in is taking place and often stop burglars in their tracks. Many can also notify you and the police, so you’ll be able to react as soon as possible, rather than discover the attempted burglary the next morning.

  • Use outdoor lighting - The majority of break-ins happen under the cover of darkness, but burglars no longer have an advantage at businesses with outdoor lighting. 

  • Consider other security measures - Depending on the type of business you run or the location of your premises, you could consider introducing additional measures. You could use metal window screens, toughened glass or security guards to boost the security of your franchise business.

2. Cyber attacks 

In the past couple of decades, cyber attacks have become a worrying prospect for individuals and businesses alike. Far from being a mere inconvenience, online crimes compromise the security of your franchise business and can get you into hot water, particularly if you lose personal information.

Successful franchises understand their responsibility to safeguard their business from hackers. 

How to keep your business safe: 

  • Understand the risks - Preparing for a cyber attack begins by reviewing the internal and external weaknesses in your business which could leave your systems open to hackers. So, learn about the phishing and malware problems you may encounter and any other potential threats.

  • Encrypt data - If your business processes or stores personal data, you must take measures to encrypt this information. There are many tools available on the market to make the process as simple as possible. 

  • Secure your hardware - Not all cyber attacks are a result of a computer virus. More often, laptops and computers are stolen by hackers, who can access all the information stored on the device. Make sure you educate your employees on the importance of keeping their hardware safe and explore applications allowing you to find devices or erase their data if lost.

  • Build cybersecurity into your culture - Introduce cybersecurity training for all employees and make sure everyone in your business understands the importance of looking out for potential threats. 

We’ve written a number of guides on maintaining the security of your franchise business online. See our feature on how to keep customer information safe or, if you’re a franchisor, check out our article on wider security measures.

3. Data breaches 

The thought of trying to get to grips with complex legislation can be daunting for many entrepreneurs. But as data protection applies to almost all businesses, including franchises, it's vital you understand your obligations.

How to keep your business safe: 

  • Understand the laws - If your franchise handles customer information of any kind, such as names, addresses and photographs, you must know the laws relating to data protection. If you don’t take them seriously, there may be serious consequences, including fines of up to £500,000 and prison sentences. The Data Protection Act 1998 details business owners’ obligations and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces the Act.

  • Keep information safe - Most businesses collect personal information in one way or another, and to comply with legal requirements, you must make sure it’s kept as safe and secure as possible.

  • Stay on top of changes - Over the years, your franchise may adapt its operations and introduce new ways of working, which could affect your data protection obligations. Make sure you regularly review the requirements and make sure you’re complying with the relevant regulations.

Find more guidance on running your own business

Point Franchise is a fantastic resource for prospective and established entrepreneurs hoping to see success in the franchising world. You’ll find news articles, business guides and a wide selection of high-quality investment opportunities all in one place. Just use the menu to access the information you need. 

If you’re passionate about cybersecurity in particular, you might be interested in joining the industry supporting individuals and companies to protect their online activity. Why not take a look at our IT franchise opportunities? You might just find your ideal investment opening.

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