Irish businesses are losing an average of more than €55,000 to crime every year with poor security leaving firms particularly exposed to criminals.
Almost a quarter of firms have been robbed by their own staff over the past three years in what is one of the most common types of crime affecting businesses.
Despite theft by a member of staff affecting 23.5% of the businesses surveyed by security firm Netwatch Group in its biannual threat index report, Irish companies are failing to take the necessary precautions to prevent internal crime.
A fifth of firms do not oversee employee behaviour in any way while 25% don’t monitor their premises.
Building on research carried out earlier this year by the Irish Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Association (ISME) which painted a similar picture of the levels of crime affecting businesses, Netwatch founder and chief executive David Walsh said firms need to do more to protect themselves from criminals.
“We developed this report to keep Irish businesses informed as to what threats they are facing and what best can be done to avoid these threats.
"Coupled with ISME research, we have clear evidence that crime is not only causing businesses in Ireland to be drastically out of pocket, it is also losing them valuable working hours.
“While it may not be surprising that robbery and vandalism are high on the list of crimes affecting Irish companies, theft by staff members is also worryingly high. Businesses need to be aware of where their stock and assets are at all times, and remote monitoring is an important part of this process.
"CCTV and access monitoring are not only important for preventing crime but without them, companies have a slower road to recovery ahead of them should they fall victim to crime,” Mr Walsh said.
A fifth of businesses don’t monitor their premises with CCTV, according to the research.
In addition to firms being hit for an average of €166,500 as a result of criminal activity over the past three years, companies also lose valuable working time.
More than nine in 10 firms affected by crime lost working hours as a result of the incident with 23.5% losing a total of more than 50 hours over the past three years.
Robbery (35%) is the most frequently committed crime affecting businesses followed by theft by a member of staff (24%) and vandalism (23%).
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