More and more companies are ending up in the news when something gets stolen, especially when the stolen asset involves company and customer data. Additionally, when someone gets hurt on your company’s property, it can result in an expensive liability lawsuit. Yes, even if the person had plans to steal or some other illegal act.
One thing is for sure. You know that your fire and burglar alarm system isn’t doing the job. It’s a reactive system. The security technology won’t know something happens until after it happens. Sometimes you have false positives that waste your time as well as the first responders’ time. They should be going places where there is an actual emergency.
You know you need a commercial security system to protect your digital assets, physical assets, employees, customers, vendors, and visitors. Yet, it seems like every day there’s new security technology promising more power, more options, and a higher camera resolution. They all claim they will protect your business. No wonder people like you searching for a security solution can feel they’re drinking out of a firehose.
On top of worrying about your physical assets, your company may be struggling with how to prevent cybersecurity attacks. Here are three things to look for in a commercial security system that can address both.
1. Integrate Physical Security and Cyber Security
Cyberattacks affect physical security and vice versa. How is this possible? A physical threat can compromise digital security. Here’s how that can happen. An intruder breaks into the business and heads to the office. They find a computer station where they insert an infected USB drive to transfer all the data to the drive. Sometimes, the criminal will erase the data from the company’s system.
Or they might opt to go to the finance department and figure out a way to transfer money into their own bank account. In these cases, the bad actor had unauthorized access to the physical property of the business. This allowed them to conduct a cyberattack. So, it’s possible to do a cyberattack without entering the server room or hacking their way online.
These examples show how physical security and cybersecurity intersect. Tech-savvy criminals have figured out how to take advantage of physical security flaws to do a cyberattack. Companies pay a high price that goes beyond profits. Any kind of attack will greatly affect the company’s reputation. They could also lose customer trust.
The companies that minimize their security issues create a holistic security plan that addresses both. This is the convergence of physical security and cybersecurity. Most companies treat physical security and cybersecurity as separate, even on the organization chart. Convergence in security is more effective. It’s a formal cooperation between two separate security functions.
Before adopting a convergence approach, companies viewed the two security functions as isolated departments with each having its own security plans and teams. However, change is on the horizon as companies discover they’d have fewer weaknesses in security when they take a holistic approach to security management.
This holistic approach simplifies coordination and keeps security goals in alignment. Convergence involves multiple security functions for coordinating activities including compliance, business continuity planning, loss prevention, fraud prevention, and more. Companies who opt for convergence will achieve cost savings.
2. Implement Robust Integrated Security
A commercial security system that is a good candidate for the convergence approach is one with integrated remote video surveillance, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and an access control system. Video surveillance puts eyes on your entire business. Not just inside, but also outside around the property. These three add thick layers of security that make it challenging for intruders to break in.
Let’s say a criminal manages to thwart the security system or get past the security guards to walk into the building. The intruder looks for a workstation and attempts to gain access to data. This is where MFA can lock them out and send an alert to the security response team.
A monitoring operator watching the security cameras installed in strategic locations around the property can report any change in technology and equipment behavior before something happens. An access control system makes it easy to manage access to rooms and buildings. While a sneaky intruder may piggyback into the building, they won’t be able to do that in rooms requiring access.
As mentioned before, most conventional security solutions don’t do anything until after something has already happened. Remote video surveillance and access control are unique in that they both play a role in physical security and cybersecurity.
Remote video surveillance is a proactive security solution that pairs video analytics and human monitoring to catch suspicious activity before damage occurs. Implementing a commercial security system that integrates remote video surveillance and an access control system will help reduce your risks while delivering a quick ROI.
3. Work with an Experienced Security Vendor in Your Industry
Video surveillance sounds too perfect. Yes, there’s a catch. You have to find the right company, monitoring services, and cameras for the job. Like computers, security cameras can be hacked to prevent operators from seeing what the cameras see. That’s why it’s critical to search for the right security partner who knows how to ensure its cameras stay clean.
A security company will have processes in place to help ensure the cameras have encryption and the latest security updates. As you do your due diligence on security providers, ask prospective partners about the security processes and procedures as well as the security of their devices and integration of services on IP networks.
What can a security company do for you? They can customize, implement, and monitor a video surveillance security system for your business. It’s crucial to find and partner with the right company the first time around. You don’t want to get trapped into an expensive contract that you can’t get out of. To help you, use this list of best questions to ask a security company.
Another critical thing to find out is whether the company has experience in working in your industry. The needs for securing a construction site are vastly different from security for an automotive dealership. Request customer contact information and case studies.
In working with qualified companies like Stealth Monitoring, confirm they have their own processes in place to verify and protect the integrity of their systems. As you talk to potential security partners, ask about their security plans and how they ensure their cameras, software, and access systems are clean. Question them about this. If they evade your questions, then move on to the next vendor.
Here are some features you want to put on your list of things you expect in a security system.
1. Video analytics
A plain vanilla video surveillance system simply shows what the cameras see. To catch suspicious problems and activity requires someone to watch the camera. There may be times when you need analysts to search hours and hours of recordings to locate something that happened long after the fact.
A better way to monitor the cameras is by adding video analytics. Operators are human and can miss something even when they work reasonable shifts. Analytics fills in the gap. But analytics can’t do it alone. Video analytics also make it easier to search for the needed footage.
2. Backup system
What happens if a monitoring center has a huge power outage? Remember the entire state of Texas made headlines for its massive power outage during a winter storm in early 2021.
A video surveillance system contains many components. If any part of it breaks, then the company risks losing valuable data and security feeds. Power goes out. Technology breaks. What’s the backup plan to ensure you never lose your data? You want to ensure your security partner has a backup plan in place to protect the data on the servers.
3. System health check
A backup plan is important but so is checking the health of the system. You don’t want to ever have a scenario in which a crime takes place and the cameras were off-line when it happened. Again, technology breaks. Hardware gets old and needs replacing.
Owning a car means filling it up with gas or charging it regularly and yearly inspections. Anyone who tries to skip those inspections will be caught because they won’t have proof of it. There’s a reason why they’re required. The state does not want anyone driving a dangerous vehicle. Inspections ensure the vehicle remains safe on public roads.
A system health check is a proactive tool to confirm the system works properly while maximizing performance and uptime. It takes away the stress of worrying about whether the system works as expected. If it finds problems, the repairs can often be done remotely without stepping on your lot.
When the pandemic hit, many companies wanted to scale their video security systems. With the government requiring businesses to shut down, companies expanded their video surveillance to put more eyes on the property when no one was on it. Many companies switched to remote working for more than a year. As you look for the right commercial security system, verify that the system can be scaled up or down.
The Price of Data
We live in a world where information is as valuable if not more valuable than physical assets. This puts identities and private data at a greater risk than ever before. Unfortunately, physical security affects cybersecurity and vice versa. To learn about protecting your business from digital and physical vulnerabilities, check out the information risk management guide.
Companies have a responsibility for the safety and security of data, assets, employees, and visitors. An effective security system helps keep everyone safe and healthy while protecting your physical and digital assets. Not having a holistic commercial security system security can hurt your bottom line, business reputation, and people’s safety.
To get a customized security solution that fits your requirements and budget, contact us. Feel free to bring the list of interview questions and ask us all the questions you’d like.