There is a lot of talk about the importance for small businesses to have a good cybersecurity system, but that's only one part of your organization's security set up. You need to have a good physical security system as well to protect your office, your people and your valuable assets, which include your data and intellectual property. The right physical security can also improve your cybersecurity.
Good physical security begins with the right equipment. Here's a rundown of security tools that every small business should consider installing.
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There are a multitude of security camera options out there, so how do you decide the best camera for your business? It begins with understanding the goal of your surveillance system. Here are some good questions to get you started:
- Do you want to be able to monitor employee behavior or prevent theft by employees or customers? Or would you like to simply keep track of foot traffic into your office space?
- Do you need outdoor or hallway surveillance?
- Will the cameras be used 24/7 or only when the business is closed?
- Will you need camera with infrared capabilities to capture images in the dark?
- How long do you plan to store the video footage and what kind of storage system will you need?
Thanks to advances in technology and internet connectivity, there is a security camera available to fit virtually any budget or installation skill level. You can go as small as a discreet hidden camera that can be monitored in real time on an employee's computer or as big as a pan-tilt-zoom style camera that can auto-detect moving objects and then record in high definition.
You could handle a small security camera set up alone, but you may want to investigate installing a more sophisticated security system through a third-party company. Security systems will include multiple camera installations, as well as options like door alarms, motion sensors and intrusion detectors. Most security systems work with Wi-Fi, which will require you to have a high-speed, high-quality internet connection. Because you are working with an outside company, someone else will handle installation. You can also arrange for the company to monitor your system.
Depending on which company you decide to partner with, you can choose what your security systems will monitor. Intrusion detectors can be passive (alerting someone about the intrusion and logging the information) or active (sending an alert, but also changing the environment to stop the attack, such as setting off a siren). Alarm monitors can cover just entry ways or include windows and interior doors. The bottom line with security systems is they can be designed to fit your needs and your budget. Intrusion detectors, door alarms and motion sensors can be used as part of well-rounded security system or as standalone pieces of security equipment.
Keyless Lock Systems
More small businesses are relying on keyless lock systems to secure their office suite. There are three types of keyless systems: mechanical, electronic and biometric.
Mechanical –Just push the combination on the keypad and you are good to go. This type of keyless system is weatherproof and industrial strength, making it a popular option for outside doors.
Electronic – This is a keypad that requires some sort of electrical current, either wired into the building's electrical system or via an integrated battery. This type of keypad is often illuminated, which makes it ideal for areas that see a lot of nighttime activity. It's also ideal for keypads in a dimly lit area.
Biometric – Biometric keypads are also known as fingerprint keyless locks because the touchpad reads a fingerprint to allow entry. These are perfect for office space that requires a high level of security and restrictions on who can enter.
There are also options that act as multi-factor authentication, where a keypad is used in combination with a biometric or a badge scan.
Good lighting systems is a must for office security, as a well-lit area often deters potential criminal behaviors. However, leaving the lights on all the time can be expensive and wasteful. Instead, motion-activated lights that turn on automatically during pre-set hours will provide lighting only when needed and for a certain amount of time after the motion has stopped. They can also be set up with security cameras and be work both indoors and outdoors.
Having the security equipment installed is only one piece of your overall protection needs. Security experts also advise conducting regular audits to ensure that your security set up is working and to see where you have any weaknesses.