- You should properly secure your business to avoid theft of property and data. Some small business security systems also minimize the potential damage of fires and water leaks.
- Security cameras can cost hundreds of dollars, and comprehensive security systems can cost thousands. Together, they can alert you to potential intruders and provide evidence of a breach attempt.
- Keyless locks run a few hundred dollars and help you limit access to your facilities. Lighting systems cost under $100 per fixture and can create well-lit environments that deter break-ins.
- This article is for small business owners looking to secure their locations.
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 setup. 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. This article details the security tools that every small business should consider installing.
Editor’s note: Need an access control system for your business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.
Why you need to properly secure your business
Properly securing your business prevents unauthorized access, reducing the chances of costly physical or data theft. The latter could lead to lawsuits from customers whose information has been accessed without their consent. That’s important: Even though your business didn’t steal the data, you’re still liable for the theft. With small business security equipment, you can feel more at ease about this concern.
Some small business security equipment can also detect potentially physically damaging events, such as water intrusion and fires, and alert you. This way, you can take care of these situations before they cause serious damage.
Key takeaway: Small business security systems protect your business from property and data theft, and can alert you to fires and water intrusion.
4 key types of small business security equipment
To properly secure your business, you’ll need four main types of equipment: security cameras, security systems, keyless lock systems and lighting systems.
There’s a multitude of security camera options out there (see our best picks for surveillance cameras), so how do you choose 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:
- Are you looking for the best way 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? (For the best combination of employee monitoring and workplace security, see our review of Teramind.)
- Do you need outdoor or hallway surveillance?
- Will you use the cameras 24/7 or only when the business is closed?
- Will you need a 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 hidden camera that can be monitored in real time on an employee’s computer or as big as a pan-tilt-zoom camera that can automatically detect moving objects and then record in high definition.
Cost of security cameras
If staying within a small budget is important for your business, then personal security cameras that cost a few hundred dollars should do the trick. Business security cameras, on the other hand, may run into the upper hundreds per camera and require several cameras for full functionality.
Top security cameras
These are some great options for business security cameras:
- The Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera features motion detection, integrated spotlights and instant security threat notifications.
- The Swann 12-Camera Security System comprises 12 cameras and 16 recording channels for detailed video footage from up to 100 feet away.
- The Google Nest Cam is designed for indoor use, records in 1080p and provides up to 20 feet of night vision.
You could handle a small security camera setup 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 entryways or include windows and interior doors. The bottom line with security systems is that they can be designed to fit your needs and your budget. Intrusion detectors, door alarms and motion sensors can be used as part of a well-rounded security system or as standalone pieces of security equipment.
Cost of security systems
Installing a business security system typically involves a one-time expense in the low thousands of dollars. If you add professional monitoring into the mix, you could be looking at just under $100 per month in fees as well.
Top security systems
These are some companies that provide renowned business security systems:
- SimpliSafe has competitive rates for monitoring and devices such as panic buttons, entry sensors, motion sensors, and key fobs.
- ADT can send you mobile alerts if someone activates or deactivates your security system.
- Frontpoint can automatically notify law enforcement if someone destroys your security system’s control panel.
Keyless lock systems
More small businesses are relying on keyless lock systems to secure their office suites. 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 dimly lit areas.
- Biometric: Biometric keypads are also known as fingerprint keyless locks because the touchpad reads a fingerprint to allow entry. These are perfect for office spaces that require a high level of security and restrictions on who can enter. You can also use biometric time and attendance systems as part of your business security system.
There are also options that act as multifactor authentication, where a keypad is used in combination with a biometric or a badge scan.
Cost of keyless lock systems
On average, professional keyless lock installation costs $300.
Top keyless lock systems
These are some highly trusted access control companies that offer keyless locks:
- Kisi offers access options via smartphone, card, keyfob and more.
- Brivo uses smart locks to replace typical keyed locks.
- Openpath offers hands-free keyless locks.
Did you know? Many keyless lock manufacturers offer comprehensive business access control systems as well. You can use these systems to control who can and can’t access the most sensitive parts of your business facilities.
Good lighting systems are a must for office security, as a well-lit area often deters crime. However, leaving the lights on all the time can be expensive and wasteful. Instead, motion-activated lights that turn on automatically during preset 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 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.
Cost of lighting systems
Each fixture within your lighting system will likely cost $20 to $80.
Top options for lighting systems
These motion-sensing floodlights could be great fits for your business:
- The Leonlite LED Security Light provides 180 degrees of motion detection from up to 70 feet away.
- The Maxsa Solar Motion-Activated Dual-Head Light is easy to install because, as a solar-powered light, it doesn’t require any electrical wiring.
- The Baxia Technology Solar Lights Outdoor provides exceptionally bright lighting of 2,000 lumens, which is about the amount needed to fill a living room.
Max Freedman contributed to the writing and research in this article.