Small businesses should not neglect security investments
Cutting costs on security investments puts small businesses at the risk of criminal activity
During tough economic times, many small businesses can be found guilty of neglecting investment in their on-going security protection.  Naturally, this can prove to be problematic as the impact of break-ins and criminal activity greatly affect the accounts and day-to-day running of the business. Luke Martyn, SMB specialist at ADT Fire and Security provides practical, cost-effective advice for smaller businesses to guarantee a safer working environment for employees as well as safeguarding the premises against crime and vandalism.

Businesses are often prompted to consider their security requirements based on the minimum standards required by their insurer rather than reviewing the problems and threats faced.  These days, with technology and usage improvements, security systems can add value to the day-to-day running of a small business and offer cost effective solutions to ongoing problems of crime and vandalism. 

The SMB sector is now beginning to rise to technological advances and examine what the security industry can provide to protect premises.  The cost of security solutions themselves are a lot more competitive now due to increased availability and a wide market of competing security organisations.  This means that installing a security system becomes a lot more accessible to the average small enterprise and increasing protection by moving away from the ‘bells only' approach to integrated solutions is much more realistic.

Security systems offer cost effective solutions to ongoing problems of crime and vandalism

Featured below is an outline of these potential security systems:

Intruder detection

Intruder detection has developed considerably from mere burglar alarm.  The many products available for the varying types of small businesses are extremely impressive.  As examples, intruder sensors will detect unauthorised individuals for retail outlets, hold-up buttons send direct messages to the police protecting employees during robberies and magnetic sensors safeguard prescription drugs.  Intruder detection systems can be monitored for emergency services response and even linked to  CCTV for additional protection.

CCTV  surveillance

CCTV has various advantages for smaller businesses, safeguarding both external and internal threats against the business. Video surveillance has other benefits in addition to deterring criminal activities. It can also discourage workplace violence and false accident claims.

Electronic access control

Electronic access control is increasingly being recognised by small businesses as a cost-effective security choice.  The adequate level of access control can be determined by security organisations, for each individual business.  Depending on the building's size, structure and number of personnel, the levels of access control used varies from single-door access control with photo ID badging systems to sophisticated visitor management platforms that use smart-card technology.

Small businesses which are re-evaluating the security systems they have in place should consider the following points before making decisions:

Integrated systems add flexibility to businesses
Integrated security systems help facilitate out-of-hours working for businesses
  • Identify the security problems faced by the business
    All businesses require specific security solutions and it is important to maintain a balance between limited security and being guilty of overkill depending on those objectives and needs
  • Consider the quality of the security provider
    Being able to guarantee that the security equipment is installed and maintained without error is crucial; otherwise more problems will be created than solved. The National Security Inspectorate and British Security Industry Association accreditations can help select reputable providers.
  • Explore the required level of monitoring and rapid response required
    Monitoring and rapid response increases not only protection but also peace of mind.  If police can be alerted in any case, there will be a reduced risk of loss or damage.
  • Keep security working
    Testing the security equipment will reassure staff and ensure it works when it is most needed, thus protecting the investment placed in the solution.

Whichever solution is chosen, it must ensure that the collective parts of the business are protected 24 hours a day from criminal activity.  Installed systems deter vandals and burglars and have the ability to alert keyholders or the police about any trouble.   Integrating multiple security systems can help add flexibility to businesses by facilitating out-of-hours working and deliveries or managing a multi-site organisation.

The recession has strained many businesses and has resulted in drastic cuts in spending.  However, security should not be an area suffering from cuts. SMBs can work with reputable providers to decipher the most ideal solution which delivers the correct protection to the business for its premises and employees so a safer, more comfortable working environment is established.

ADT Fire and Security Luke Martyn
SMB specialist

ADT Fire and Security
Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Intersec 2021 cancelled, Messe Frankfurt announces that Dubai trade fair will now take place in January 2022
Intersec 2021 cancelled, Messe Frankfurt announces that Dubai trade fair will now take place in January 2022

Intersec, the world’s renowned security, safety, and fire protection trade fair, has been rescheduled to take place in January 2022, organiser of the trade event, Messe Frankfurt Middle East confirmed on September 24, 2020. The 23rd edition of the three-day event was originally set to run from January 24-26, 2021, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, in Dubai, UAE. However, the event has now been moved to 2022, after extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders. Intersec Dubai 2022 “We’ve spoken to many of our exhibitors, industry trade associations, supporters, and partners over the last couple of weeks and have heard first-hand the many challenges they’re facing putting pressure on their ability to participate at Intersec in January 2021,” said Alexandria Robinson, Intersec’s Show Director at Messe Frankfurt. He adds, “Moving Intersec to its customary January dates in 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre will allow time for recovery.” Webinar series in 2021 Ms. Robinson said Intersec will be very active throughout 2021, via its ongoing webinar series Ms. Robinson said Intersec will be very active throughout 2021, via its ongoing webinar series, while the team is now working towards creating a virtual event early next year, so as to engage industry leaders, regulators, government agencies and opinion formers. “We might be restricted physically, but we know there is a definitive need for critical conversations and discussions to address the challenges the industry has faced,” said Robinson. Digital forum to share ideas and solutions He adds, “By hosting these talks via a digital forum, it enables us to keep connected to the industry and nurture our existing relationships, whilst sharing solutions and common goals. We’ll share further details and plans about the digital event in the coming weeks.” Intersec’s popular free-to-attend webinar series, of which there’ve been 11 so far in the last four months, have kept thousands of attendees abreast of the latest industry trends and opportunities. Ensuring safety in COVID-19 pandemic period “We know we have a vital role to play in connecting and supporting the industry, and the Intersec webinars stimulate meaningful conversations, collaborations and success stories,” stated Robinson, adding “We will continue to run these and support our stakeholders in every way possible until we meet again personally, and safely, at Intersec 2022.” She further said, “One thing is absolutely certain, our community is resilient and will bounce back. It has been involved in many frontline situations throughout the course of this year and it will continue to play a critical role in the months ahead. Throughout 2021 and come January 2022, we’ll have much to share and learn from each other.” Intersec 2020 Intersec in 2020 featured 1,100 exhibitors from 56 countries, while attracting 33,872 visitors from 135 countries. The global industry event is supported by Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), Dubai Police Academy and Dubai Municipality.

What is the role of higher education to create next-gen security leaders?
What is the role of higher education to create next-gen security leaders?

Traditionally, security industry professionals have often come from backgrounds in law enforcement or the military. However, the industry is changing, and today’s security professionals can benefit from a variety of backgrounds and educational disciplines. The industry’s emphasis on technology solutions suggests a need for more students of computer science, engineering and other technology fields. The closer integration of security with related disciplines within the enterprise suggests a need to prepare through a broad array of educational pursuits. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of higher education to create the next generation of physical security leaders?

Transport security: utilising the cloud to manage passenger flow and improve health & safety
Transport security: utilising the cloud to manage passenger flow and improve health & safety

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety of passengers and staff aboard public transport has been an ongoing concern. The scenes of underground trains, still packed with commuters as infection rates soared, will have raised alarm bells with bus and train managers, transport officials and government representatives alike. Now, as infection rates hold steady and people slowly return to the workplace, a rise in commuter levels, coupled with a need for strong infection control protocols, is putting a strain on an already overburdened transport system. Managing passenger flow through bus terminals and train stations, while ensuring adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing policies, can be a difficult task. On buses and trains, staff have the unenviable task of challenging any individual who flouts the rules, while attempting to maintain safe operation for the benefit of all passengers. This is where advances in digital surveillance technologies can play an important role in enhancing security, improving operations and supporting the customer facing teams in their day to day roles.  The power of the cloud Keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemicCloud or hosted technology has played an important part in keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemic. When it comes to physical security such as video surveillance and access control, today’s cloud-enabled systems are far removed from the outdated CCTV and manual access control technologies employed in the past. Cloud connectivity brings with it many benefits, from a security, operational and also business intelligence point of view, thanks to the powerful data that these solutions produce which can be used to inform decision making. The advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. Managing occupancy across bus and rail Monitoring the movement of staff and passengers is an essential part of being able to maintain a safe operation. Through the utilisation of surveillance cameras at entrances and exit points, as well as at key areas within transport terminals and on the transport mode itself, occupancy thresholds can be determined to ensure passenger numbers do not exceed safe limits. Network surveillance cameras, accessed via mobile device, can enable transport officials to check passenger flow in real-time, while live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached, enable swift drafting of security or operations personnel to address the situation. Live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached Through internet of things (IoT) connectivity, additional devices can be easily added to complement the surveillance solution and unlock further benefits. Network audio speakers can be triggered to play pre-recorded messages to alert or inform passengers. Similarly, frictionless access control, enabling customers and staff to move ‘hands-free’ through gateways and ticket checkpoints to avoid viral spread, is made possible by having an access reader which is activated, for example, via QR codes on a mobile phone. And when access readers are integrated with surveillance cameras, this will act as a second layer of authentication to grant or refuse access based on valid staff credentials. Improving security in challenging times Such technologies, interconnected and able to share data, can be used to more effectively report in real time on activity that threatens to have an adverse effect on passengers, staff and the transport environment. Significant parts of the rail network are relatively unmonitored, and inevitably these areas are more vulnerable to vandalism. Similarly, on bus services, abuse of passengers and staff, and acts of criminal behaviour remain a concern. By alerting security staff to a developing situation before it occurs, an incident can be dealt with quickly, minimising disruption to transport services. Cloud based technology can be relied on Cloud based technology can be relied on to not only help improve current services, around passenger occupancy in the current pandemic, but also to help transport officials plan for the security challenges of the future. Simple customisation and easy scalability, plus software upgrades and firmware updates to ensure the system is always up to date and operational, form essential components of a future proof solution which is capable of bringing peace of mind to the transport industry. Additionally, predicted future benefits include the potential for customers to check transport occupancy levels via a mobile app. This would inform them of particularly busy times of passenger transit, allowing more choice over when and where to travel based on real-time data, and ultimately helping to even out passenger numbers to balance journeys and greatly improve efficiency and flow. In a busy world where the demands on our rail and bus networks are now impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and indeed the possibility for further related challenges in the future, such cloud-connected technologies represent a worthwhile investment.