I say this all the time and it always bears repeating: You’ve worked too hard to establish your business to lose it to inadequate security. Imagine all your hard work – and livelihood – gone in a flash because your business wasn’t properly secured . The heartache of losing everything you worked for is hard enough, but don’t let any loss be your fault as well. Which security system is best for your business? Let’s discuss it and get your business secured !
Types of Theft
To determine the best security system for your business, you must understand the types of thefts that threaten your company first. There are two basic types of thefts: external and internal . External theft is that from an outside source, internal theft means your employees are stealing from you. Both can destroy your business in a heartbeat, so you must secure your business from each one.
Types of external theft include break-ins and robbery, company data theft , and copyright/trademark theft. Internal theft might be employees stealing merchandise or office supplies, stealing salary by playing on the Internet rather than working, and embezzling company funds . These are just some examples of the dangers facing an unsecured company.
What You Can Do
So, what do you do to protect your company against external and internal security threats? You secure your company with an adequate surveillance system to keep an eye on things at all times. You might be thinking that this is “spying” on your customers and employees, but think again.
By using video surveillance to secure your company, you are not only protecting your company’s property, you are also protecting your customers and employees from potential danger. Imagine your shop being robbed and an employee shot in the process – what a horrible experience that I hope your company never faces. Surveillance protects people, not just property.
Types of Video Surveillance Systems
Your security system will be made up of two components: your security cameras and the receiver in which they feed the taped footage. Which components you need depends on what you are securing. If you own a clothing store, for example, you’ll want to secure your external store space, the inside of your store – especially the cash register area – and your merchandise storage rooms. If your business is located in commercial offices, you’ll want to secure your office space; chances are your external security is already taken care of by the commercial building owner. Let’s talk cameras first:
- Night Vision/Infrared Cameras – Night vision or infrared cameras record images in the dark using infrared technology. Use these cameras to secure your outdoor business space, particularly if it isn’t adequately lit – although it should be as an added layer of protection!
- Dome Cameras – Dome cameras work better indoors, as they allow for 360-degree visibility and don’t blatantly scream “SECURITY CAMERA!” These cameras are housed within an attractive dome, which looks better but still secures your inside space.
- Outdoor/Bullet Cameras – Outdoor or bullet security cameras are encased within a housing tough enough to withstand the elements. You see these cameras on the outside of retail and commercial buildings, securing warehouses, and securing parking lots.
- Network/IP Cameras – Network/IP cameras are the latest craze in security systems, and they do have several advantages. These cameras work well for securing inside space and feed into a network so the user can view security footage from any Internet enabled device.
Once you’ve chosen your security cameras, you need to feed the video footage into a monitoring system. You have two choices: standalone or PC-based DVR recorders. Each has their own distinct advantages, which I’ve discussed in a previous post . However, the basic differences are:
- Standalone DVR System – This DVR recorder uses older technology that has stood the test of time. Standalone DVR systems are cheaper, and you can view your security feeds on a TV. Standalone units are also small and quiet. They are easy to hide. These units are not compromised by Internet security threats because they use an embedded software system that does not require updating. The units function on their own once you plug them in and turn them on.
- PC-based DVR System – A PC-based DVR system is more flexible; you can add and remove components and cameras more easily than a standalone unit. They are user-oriented and require regular software updates and protection patches. They do fall victim to external Internet threats because they receive the security camera network feed electronically. They work well with either digital or analog cameras and are ideal for retail outlets looking to secure their Point-of-Sale transactions. PC-based DVRs are more powerful and can store larger security footage files.
Which One Do I Need?
So, which security system does your business need? I’ll give you an example. Assume you are a wine retailer. You have a standalone brick-and-mortar store, with retail space in the front, and office and storage space in the back. Your outdoor space is merely the perimeter of your shop and a small parking lot. There are mercury lights around the outside of your store, but your parking lot is somewhat dark toward the back of it. A suggested security package might include:
- Outdoor/bullet cameras to secure the outer perimeter of your store building;
- night vision cameras to secure the back portion of your unlit parking lot;
- network/IP cameras to secure your cashier space;
- dome cameras to secure your retail, office, and storage space;
- and a PC-based DVR Receiver to record images and give you access to monitor your store from your home’s PC or other Internet-enabled device.
You want your entire business secured. You want to make sure your outer area is safe, your employees are safe when walking to their cars at night and your interior space is secure, as well. You need your cash register secured, your store secure, and your offices and storerooms secured to ensure your employees aren’t stealing money or bottles of wine for holiday gifts.
You see, business security goes far beyond one camera and a monitor. You need to secure your entire business space. And while you’re at it, you need to secure your computer network , too, to prevent external data mining and customer identity theft. Make certain you don’t lose all the hard work you have placed into building your business. Secure your business properly with a security system to cover all your business’ bases!