Protecting a business is essential but choosing the right security system can be challenging for those in charge of the process. An effective system will monitor the property, deter threats, and lessen the impact of incidents like theft or trespassing. Deciding on what features to install is easier with a complete understanding of the risks facing your business, which can include:
- Robbery and burglary
- Breaking and entering
- Theft by customers or staff
- Unauthorized access to sensitive areas, such as server rooms
A retail store will have different security risks than an office building, yet the need for a security system remains the same. By understanding your needs and the features available, the process of choosing the right security system for your business is simple.
1. Start with a Security Review
A security review or audit will identify the vulnerabilities that exist and the high-value assets you need to protect. Start with a security review of your property and current systems:
- What does the current system monitor and protect?
- What assets and areas need to be monitored and protected?
- Should certain areas be limited to authorized personnel?
- Who has access to the building subsystems, such as ventilation, lighting, elevators, etc.?
- What procedures are in place to handle particular incidents, such as trespassers, theft, or a triggered alarm?
- What weak spots exist within the current system?
Answering these questions will help you have a more informed discussion with the security system technicians tasked with designing and installing the new system.
2. Decide on the Features You Need
A modern security system includes more than just video cameras. It can also include access control, intrusion alarms, and system monitoring.
Some businesses, such as jewelry stores, may need specialized alarms like glass break sensors or motion sensors. Universities need a keycard or passcode system for students and staff. While each business has its own unique security needs, there are some common yet effective features you should consider.
Security cameras are usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing security systems. They’re invaluable for businesses and provide benefits beyond after-hours surveillance, such as:
- Active threat identification
- Theft Prevention
- Providing evidence in the event of a crime or other incident
Some camera systems allow remote access to their video feed. This makes it possible for you to check-in on your property even when away on a business trip or vacation.
The mere presence of an alarm system can be enough to deter intruders. According to a study by UNC Charlotte on the habits and motivations of burglars, over 80% claimed that they determined if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary. The study also found that:
- 60% of burglars would find another target if they notice an alarm present.
- Over half would retreat if they discover an alarm while attempting to break-in. Another 30% would sometimes retreat. Only 13% would definitely continue with their break-in attempt.
An alarm system can be an especially effective deterrent to intruders. By simply displaying that there’s an alarm system present on company property, you can stop break-ins before they happen.
With an effective access control system, make sure that sensitive areas are secure and only authorized staff have access to them. Common examples include:
- Limiting access to the server room to IT staff
- Allowing only staff and students into buildings on college campuses after-hours
- Preventing customers from wandering into employee-only areas
With the right process and protocols in place, employees will be able to get to where they need to be without issues. However, employees need to be trained to support the system.
Tailgating is one of the most common security breaches. It happens when authorized personnel hold the door open for someone behind them, passively accepting that the unauthorized visitor has the same access. This behavior may stem from a sense of politeness, but employees need to be trained on the correct security practices to prevent intruders from entering restricted areas.
While alarms are great for scaring off intruders, there’s no guarantee law enforcement will immediately respond or at all without being called. This can be a more serious issue for businesses in remote areas. System monitoring can provide you an extra layer of security by making sure your alarms won’t go unanswered.
Having a monitored security system means that someone is ready to respond at once if the alarm is triggered. This is possible when the alarm system is connected via phone lines, internet protocol, or a cellular network to a 24/7 central monitoring station. When an operator is alerted to a triggered alarm, they can verify the threat and dispatch local authorities.
3. Who Will Install the System
Some businesses decide to install their own security system. This requires at least a basic understanding of the system, provided features, and how to install it correctly. It is also up to them to maintain and monitor the system.
Working with a professional security service assures the system is being designed and installed by certified experts and that they’re getting the features they need. They’ll also have someone to call for support to maintain or upgrade the system.
With the right security system, you’ll have the confidence and peace of mind that your business, employees, and assets will be protected.