Best Security Systems for Small Business
As a small business owner, you are likely used to doing things yourself. While it may be tempting to take a DIY approach to your business security, DIY small business alarm systems you can get at your local electronics store will not always “cut the mustard”. It is your livelihood you are looking to protect after all. Continue reading to learn more about what makes the best security systems for small businesses or get in touch with the Electronic Alarms and Installations commercial security Brisbane experts for advice tailored to your business security requirement.
In the broader context of privacy in a digital world, there are a few things that are worth noting. Not all security cameras employ facial recognition and tracking technologies and in many cases, especially where business security set-ups are concerned, there is probably not much to be worried about in terms of privacy for those who may be filmed. A business is generally more interested in being able to reveal instances of security breaches, misconduct, or protecting their material assets, rather than adding faces to facial recognition databases for use in identity matching schemes. How concerned a business owner looking to install CCTV monitoring equipment at the premises should be? What about customers and clients visiting those premises? And what about residential configurations? If you are concerned about CCTV camera system installation and privacy in a digital world, continue reading to learn more about CCTV privacy and how it may apply in these scenarios.
Choosing the Best Security Systems for Small Business – What to Consider?
Your choices in small business alarm systems will most likely be determined by your premises and security needs. Commercial premises are typically larger, with more entry and exit points, a lot of foot traffic, and often accessible to the general public. If your business employs staff other than yourself, your security needs may include access control considerations to otherwise restricted areas. Most businesses close overnight, with little to no presence during the hours of the day when they are most likely to be vulnerable. It is especially important for you to keep in mind that small business alarm systems should be professionally installed. An Electronic Alarms and Installations commercial security expert will be able to identify key areas at risk and provide adequate coverage where it is needed the most. While it may be tempting to “do it yourself”, can you be absolutely certain that you are not leaving your business at risk? There are several key areas of commercial security you may want to consider.
Certification is one of the most important factors and a key difference between a usually non-certified home alarm security system and a business security alarm. The Australian Security Association Limited facilitates a Security Technician Certification Program, and at Electronic Alarms and Installations, we are a corporate member of ASIAL. You can expect improved security from certified alarm systems and installers compared to those that are not.
Business security requires a significant amount of data storage capacity. A security system at commercial premises will typically operate 24/7, proving continuous, around the clock monitoring and recording. You don’t know how far back you need to go to identify a perpetrator of a security breach at your company before you are unable to go back any further after you’ve already reviewed all your recordings without finding any suspicious activity. The larger your premises and the more cameras you have recorded at a time, the more data storage will your security system need.
As with any business expense, it is impossible to avoid cost considerations when choosing commercial security for your premises. Business alarm systems are more complex because they have to be comprehensive. The cost of your commercial security solution is determined by several factors from the size of your building to the type and number of monitoring devices being installed. While it is possible to DIY your commercial security system, consider whether you have enough experience in installing sensors and cameras with adequate detection coverage before committing to this solution as a cost-saving measure. You never know how much you need a professionally installed alarm system until you have discovered a blind spot after it has already been exploited by an intruder.
Best Security Cameras for Business
Similar to small business alarm systems, determining the best security cameras for business security applications in your company, will depend largely on your security needs and, naturally, your budget. Typically, you may find yourself choosing between the following two, common options when looking for the best security cameras for business.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV or Closed-Circuit TV is an analog security camera option.
- CCTV requires a digital video recorder (DVR) to encode and record security footage
- Cabling is a consideration with CCTV cameras requiring separate power supply and video cabling. If running cables is an issue, you may want to consider a different solution.
- Even the best CCTV camera models typically offer lower image resolution. If it is important to accurately record, high definition video for the security of your business, CCTV may not be the best option for you.
- While the cameras themselves are highly affordable, the necessary accessories bulk out the cost overall.
- CCTV needs to be monitored regularly as it offers no option for remote monitoring.
Internet Protocol Cameras (IP Cameras)
IP Cameras are a digital video recording option.
- Unlike CCTV, the IP camera itself encodes the video before sending it to digital storage.
- IP cameras mitigate cabling issues with two options – a single, combined power and data cable, or battery-powered, wireless recording.
- IP cameras offer superior image resolution compared to even the best CCTV cameras.
- They remain inactive unless triggered by motion and/or audio detection.
- You can monitor your premises remotely using a PC or a smartphone, giving you more flexibility in how you manage your business security.
Back to Base Monitoring
A complete commercial security package, even for a small business, does not end on hardware and equipment alone. Including back-to-base monitoring has several advantages. At Electronic Alarms and Installations, our monitoring centres are staffed 24/7 by real people, and security professionals not automated software so that you don’t have to worry about constantly checking your cameras. With professional monitoring, there are fewer false alarms. Triggered alarms can be verified and visually checked before anyone is notified and sirens are sounded. There are two main options to consider here:
- NBN – with traditional copper telephone lines being phased out in Australia, it is important to know that only the latest security systems are fully compatible with the National Broadband Network.
- Wireless – Where NBN is not a viable monitoring option, a 3G/4G connection may be possible, provided your area has appropriate mobile network coverage available.
The Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland website provides further insights into camera surveillance and privacy as it applies to us here in Brisbane. The OIC, although it only deals with privacy laws as they apply to Queensland Government, has prepared a handy community guide to camera surveillance, video and audio recording. To outline a few points that may apply to you regardless of whether you are installing surveillance cameras in your home or at a business:
- It is an offence to record people without their consent in places where they expect to be private. For example, in the bedroom, bathroom, or changeroom.
- Installing cameras in a way that breaches the Queensland Criminal Code may result in prosecution. It is a good idea to minimise the impact of your cameras on neighbouring properties.
- Your neighbours, (for example families with young children and/or pools), may feel as if their privacy has been invaded if they are recorded by your cameras. They may seek to escalate these issues to the Queensland Police Service, and you should be aware of that.
It is important to keep in mind that CCTV and IP cameras are a tool – they are designed to serve a specific purpose, but like most tools, they can be misused and pose an unnecessary threat to privacy. Although, when installing video surveillance on your premises, you may only be concerned about the few common reasons for adding a security camera setup – whether its workplace monitoring, improving employee productivity, sales tracking, WH&S claims, insurance claims, mitigation of malicious damage to your property, theft deterrence or access control, to name only a few typical applications, it is important to also consider rules and regulations around the type of footage you seek to collect and store. At Electronic Alarms and Installations, we are a corporate member of the Australian Security Industry Association Limited – we guarantee the highest levels of service and skills in workmanship that comply with the Australian standards – all of our is carried out by fully licensed, insured and registered technicians. A professional CCTV or IP camera setup does not have to be a privacy threat or concern.
In the broader context of privacy in a digital world, there are a few things that are worth noting. Not all security cameras employ facial recognition and tracking technologies and in many cases, especially where business security set-ups are concerned, there is probably not much to be worried about in terms of privacy for those who may be filmed. A business is generally more interested in being able to reveal instances of security breaches, misconduct, or protecting their material assets, rather than adding faces to facial recognition databases for use in identity matching schemes. How concerned a business owner looking to install CCTV monitoring equipment at the premises should be? What about customers and clients visiting those premises? And what about residential configurations? If you are concerned about CCTV and privacy in a digital world, continue reading to learn more about CCTV privacy and how it may apply in these scenarios.
There is no simple answer as to what is the best option for your company. If you are looking for the best security systems for small businesses, get in touch with the experts in security systems Brisbane small business owners trust. Get a FREE QUOTE to secure your small business today.