Greater awareness about business security solutions is needed after a report revealed there’s a lack of knowledge and confidence around choosing the right one.

The 2012 Southern Cross security index, carried out by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), shows nearly two thirds (65.9 per cent) of SMEs shun professional advice before purchasing a security solution, putting themselves at risk of theft.

The Index also found that a further 8.9 per cent of respondents indicated they simply guessed when it came to deciding on the best security options for their business.
“The results of the 2012 Security Confidence Index clearly show that Australian SMEs have alack of understanding of security needs for their business.  The statistics also highlight that SMEs lack the confidence to determine the most suitable security solution for their business,” Patrick Bourke, Southern Cross Protection manging director, said.

More than three quarters of respondents (77.1 per cent) said their business sees an annual turnover of less than $5 million, and a large majority indicated spending up to $5,000 annually in business security to protect against theft of assets and intellectual property, as well as damage to physical property and vandalism.
Despite indicating investment in security solutions, more than half of the survey respondents said they do not measure a return on such investment (55.9 per cent) and are therefore missing out on realising potential cost reductions for their business.
“I encourage SMEs to measure return on investment for security spend or conduct a cost benefit analysis, as it could mean easing costs elsewhere such as a reduced insurance premium,” Bourke said.
On a more positive note, the index found that 80.4 per cent of SMEs invested in basic measures, such as locks, to deny unauthorised access to their premises. Similarly, almost three quarters (71.0 per cent) said they had invested in an alarm to deter potential intruders.
“The results of the Index highlight that small business owners are at risk of security breaches as many are simply just guessing when deciding on the most appropriate security solution for their business,” Bourke said.
“Action needs to be taken by the security industry in order to help SMEs develop greater awareness and better understanding of the measures they can take to ensure better protection for their business, employees, and business partners.”