Regardless of your location and industry, you probably need a business security system. How that system is designed, installed and used day to day, however, will vary greatly from one business to another.
These systems should protect you not only from outside threats like intruders, but also from fire, theft, and help you track attendance. Without some proper planning and the help of a professional security company, your company's alarm system could make you think you're secure, when in reality there are a number of vulnerabilities.
Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your commercial alarm system and ensure your employees and facility are properly secured.
1 – Employee training
Help team members learn your business security system
Let's start from an assumption that your security system has been expertly designed and installed and that it will be perfectly effective. Is your business secure? Actually, the answer is no. Even the best security system is limited by those who use it.
Simple mistakes like leaving a security door open or failing to set the alarm can cause any system to fail. And, a lack of education can result in an employee being unable to use the system to its full capacity.
So, be sure to educate all employees on proper security protocol and make sure everyone knows how to use all features of the system. It may seem like some employees don't need to know about specific features because of limits of their usual working hours or job responsibilities, but that introduces the possibility that they'll be unable to use the system in certain situations.
2 – Proper surveillance
A business security system is your eyes and ears
Most commercial security systems should include surveillance cameras. Too often, however, these are either limited to capturing what's happening inside the business, or limited to capturing what's happening outside. In reality, your surveillance system should be recording what's happening both inside and outside to be fully effective.
And it's important to capture more than just what's right outside your front door. The perimeter of your property is where many threats will begin, and capturing these threats from a distance will allow you to act before they're inside your facility.
Cameras inside your business serve to record employees in case of an incident, and, if your business allows customers inside, also helps protect your inventory from the public.
3 – Overlapping security
An effective security system for your business is actually comprised of multiple systems. We've discussed the importance of a surveillance system, but there's also a need for an access control system, intrusion monitoring system, fire protection system and others.
Additionally, it's helpful, and sometimes vital, to have remote access and management capabilities. The Federal Trade Commission recommends a secure connection:
Use a router with WPA2 or WPA3 encryption when connecting from their homes. Encryption protects information sent over a network so that outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the only encryption standards that will protect information sent over a wireless network.
Only use public Wi-Fi when also using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt traffic between their computers and the internet. Public Wi-Fi does not provide a secure internet connection on its own. Your employees can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider, or you may want to hire a vendor to create an enterprise VPN for all employees to use.
—FTC (full article below)
All of these systems work together to completely cover each area and aspect of your business. This is where professional design and installation of your system is necessary. A professional will be able to walk through your facility, speak to you about your business and design a system with overlapping security that will suit your needs.
This way, you have all the features needed for effective security, but no extraneous options that aren't necessary. Eze Castle Integration recommends Business continuity planning (BCP). Gaps commonly identified during a risk assessment include: (1) No business continuity or recovery plan in place, (2) BCP hasn’t been updated within a year, or (3) Plan does not take a risk-based approach or deal with specific risk scenarios unique to the firm, or (4) A plan exists on paper, but employees have not been educated or trained on it.
4 – Security assessment
If you're trying to improve your home's security, it's a good idea to try to break into your own house. This will reveal areas of vulnerability that require additional security measures.
For a business, a professional security assessment is often required to identify vulnerabilities. Since your business is more complex, and offers more variables than a typical home, a professional's expertise is usually necessary. This assessment will dictate your business's security needs and provide insight into which features your security system requires.
Consider a walk-through with one of your staff! Start outside the structure and look for any vulnerabilities. Take notes. Step inside and ask yourself if you see anything that a criminal would notice as an opportunity. Continue this process very calmly, taking notes at each step, until you have exited the back of the business.
These tips will help you assess the current security status of your business, and help to ensure your next security system is comprehensive.
External resources about business security systems
For help designing and installing commercial security tools and systems, give Holder's Security a call at (918) 663-8660 or stop by and see us. We've been offering security services to Tulsa-area business since 1959 and will put our expertise to work for you.
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