Running a business is a venture that always entails some amount of risk. Business owners must be aware of the possible security issues that their business can encounter daily.
Business security is a broad concept covering almost every business aspect. It can protect physical property, equipment, inventory, people, and even productivity.
An entrepreneur or franchise owner may find that security concerns depend on several factors. Most businesses would like to prevent possible intruders from entering their premises. Perhaps your business uses certain equipment that relies on precise temperature controls. Or maybe your business requires controlling crowds at specific hours of the day.
Those interested in taking security concerns seriously should invest in a smart business security platform. These platforms typically provide the business owner with real-time data on what is essential for the business. Employee attendance, video surveillance, and live temperature readings are examples of what a smart business security platform can provide to management.
Business owners should invest in a single-solution business security platform to have a holistic view of their business. A modern security system can help make your business more secure and efficient.
Common business security equipment includes cameras, keyless locks, and lighting systems. Keyless lock systems are preferred over the traditional lock and key because keys can be easily lost and copied. A keyless door entry system allows the business owner to provide unique credentials to each employee, enabling our smart security platform to track who is currently on the premises.
Outside of keeping the business safe, a business security platform can help monitor other aspects of your business. For example, a smart security platform can integrate with lighting and temperature systems to reduce costs. Data gathered through surveillance can help determine peak business hours or help keep track of when employees log in and out.
Here are some frequently asked questions that people new to business security often ask. This guide should help you determine the best ways to secure your business.
1. What is the difference between traditional and single-platform solutions?
Before we explore what a smart business security platform can do, you might be wondering how these single-platform solutions differ from the typical security solutions you may know.
In the past, business security solutions were often single-function products that operated independently from one another. For example, a business can have a collection of safety alarms, security sensors, and CCTV cameras made by different manufacturers and are often difficult to maintain.
A single-platform solution works by having every aspect of business security controlled by a single integrated platform. These types of solutions are often more expensive but worth the investment. Vendors of single-platform solutions typically provide consultations and expert installation to ensure that the right business security products are used for your business.
Compared to traditional solutions, single-platform solutions are typically cloud-based, allowing business owners to track their data from their phones or on the web through a secure application. Cloud-based technology ensures that your data is always protected and out of harm's way.
2. What can a business security system help you with?
Since you've seen how a single-platform solution works compared to traditional systems, you might ask what parts of your business benefit from installing such a solution.
The most common reason people invest in a security system is to prevent intruders or burglars from accessing their property. However, business security systems offer much more than that.
Business security can also help you manage your employees and the locations they can access. For example, you can set up access control features to ensure that only people of a certain team can access vital rooms. Smart business security platforms should be aware of which employees are currently on-site.
Management can even create rules to run the alarm system efficiently. The platform should be able to detect when the last employee arrives. When this happens, the platform should auto-arm its alarm system.
These platforms can also be used to keep track of energy use. Smart energy management can help save businesses from wasting electricity when not needed. For example, a smart thermostat can integrate with a business's security platform, which helps prevent employees from forgetting to adjust the thermostat after shifts. These security systems can also be integrated into smart lighting systems if the business has such a system.
Business security platforms can also allow business owners to keep track of multiple locations. Since the platform is cloud-based, management can access a real-time feed of all locations included in their business.
Security platforms may also integrate with other devices such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to send alerts in emergencies.
Lastly, business security can help generate reports and provide insights. For example, video footage can determine the peak hours of foot traffic for a particular location. If any incident occurs on-site, management can search through archived footage to inspect the event.
3. How can security help grow my business?
We've mentioned that smart business security systems can help you manage multiple locations in a single interface. This feature can certainly benefit companies hoping to scale up their business further.
One of the most common issues with growing businesses is that they often become difficult to handle when different locations use different security solutions. Investing in a single-platform solution for multiple sites will help management monitor activities in all current and future sites.
Security platforms can help you manage a growing operation by providing you with a unified dashboard that can access data from any location. Business owners can view surveillance footage from any branch and adjust security controls to all sites simultaneously. Management can easily set up employee access controls on both a location-wide and company-wide scale, enabling even local managers to have the necessary access to the security system.
4. What is intrusion detection?
From what we've discussed so far, it's clear that a major benefit of installing a smart business security platform is assurance that important assets are safe and in the right hands. These assets could be physical documents, sensitive data, an inventory, and even employees. Security systems are responsible for identifying malicious actors such as intruders before they cause harm to the business.
Intrusion detection is often regarded as the foundation for smart business security. Technology that helps with intrusion detection includes security cameras, motion and sound sensors, and other communication control equipment.
These technologies are set up on location. Intrusion detection technology is integrated with the security platform's access control features to allow authorized employees access. For additional security, business owners can also add video and audio verification to prevent false alarms.
5. What are the benefits of smart business security video monitoring?
Beyond intrusion detection, security platforms can provide more in-depth analytics from surveillance footage to help business owners better manage their locations.
High-end smart video monitoring can provide much more detailed information besides a simple raw recording. Video analytics can detect the movement of people or vehicles on your business property and alert you instantly.
Video from a smart business security platform is regularly uploaded to off-site cloud storage, ensuring you can access footage from any location. The platform should also monitor each camera's condition and ability to record. Management can be alerted anytime a particular camera goes offline or if footage fails to upload due to a technical error.
Smart video monitoring solutions can help you manage customers' flow more effectively through algorithms. Some solutions offer a heat-mapping feature that keeps track of what areas people spend the most time on at a property. If your business has a need for customers to be in lines at a register or elsewhere, smart video monitoring can even help you measure the average customer wait time to alert management if the wait time exceeds a certain limit.
High-end solutions can also help management find the actual footage they need by simply searching a list of entryways or employees. For example, a manager can search for footage where a certain employee entered a storage room.
6. What is a central monitoring station?
Alerts coming from your security system are not just sent to management. Every professional-level business security system has a service that sends critical alerts to a central monitoring station.
A central monitoring station or alarm monitoring station is a company that provides services to monitor alarm systems. These services are critical in a fire or other life-threatening event. Each station is a 24-hour center staffed with operators trained to respond to any event. These alarm systems are usually set up in various locations such as offices, schools, and hospitals.
The central monitoring station that will be contacted in an emergency depends on the authorized service providers the business has chosen to install and service their security system. Some providers provide central monitoring support, while others rely on local service providers.
7. Should I perform a DIY or professional installation?
Given the important alerts to the central monitoring station, deciding who to choose as an authorized service provider is a major decision for the business owner.
When setting up a smart business security system, it’s best to work with an authorized service provider to handle a professional installation of your system.
Contacting an authorized service provider can avoid wasting valuable time learning about the system. For more complex security setups, it will be difficult for anyone on your team to handle installation and maintenance forever. Consulting a service provider also guarantees you will get the best value out of your purchase since these providers understand the tool and can help adjust the system to your business requirements.
It may be tempting to purchase security systems from a big-box retailer. However, doing so will only cost you time in the long run to maintain. These cheaper setups may even become a security risk since you get what you pay for when it comes to these types of technologies.
There are generally three costs to consider when purchasing a smart security system: installation, hardware, and alarm monitoring. Of these three, hardware should cost the most, with a price tag of thousands of dollars depending on how many locations you set up. Regarding monitoring costs, some vendors can offer a price as low as $10 a month.
8. What types of laws and regulations should a business security platform comply with?
After establishing the benefits of choosing an authorized service provider, you may now focus on which security platform is the best choice.
Every business security platform must comply with relevant privacy laws. These laws include the EU's GDPR, California's Consumer Privacy Act, and Canada's PIPEDA. Since service providers will be handling sensitive data storage, such as video footage, it is important to find a trustworthy provider that will not sell data to third parties.
You may be surprised to find out how much data collected by security systems are subject to privacy laws and regulations. For example, data from CCTVs are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in the EU. Under GDPR, the company should be able to control who has access to the security footage. This control typically involves keeping the footage in a secure location. Some vendors store surveillance camera output as an encrypted file for further protection.
Security footage must have a retention period. Most organizations choose to retain security footage for at least 90 days.
Business owners must choose security platforms that offer a certain level of certification, proving that company data is secure. In the United States, businesses can get certified for SOC 2 Compliance, ensuring that their services handle customer data effectively. Not only does the platform have to comply, but all hardware installed on-site must reach a certain standard to comply with the relevant regulations fully.
Management should seek service providers that can protect customer data. Since potential customer data will be stored in the cloud, these service providers must prove their trustworthiness. Look for service providers trusted previously by other larger firms and corporations.
A single-solution business security platform is the best way to secure your business. An integrated business security platform can help your business operate effectively and safely. Because of automation and cloud computing, these systems can run the entire day without any input from your team.
Businesses open to hundreds of customers a day are always at risk of a potential incident. Smart video monitoring can help alert management or the authorities in crowding, fires, or other life-threatening incidents.
Having a single interface to view every site is necessary if you run a business that spans several locations. Automated lighting, water, and thermostat systems can integrate with your security system to save energy when no one is on the premises. Temperature control is vital for businesses with inventory that relies on specific temperatures, such as frozen goods.
The best business security solutions should offer top-of-the-line protection and an intuitive interface that management can use to monitor all types of data feeds.