New era for office security

NEW technology advancements are taking office security into a new era of convenience and affordability and with business owners spending a fortune in office set-ups, security remains a priority.

“The good news is that security solutions have come a long way in the last few years and we are seeing the emergence of apps and new CCTV systems that are making security more affordable, especially for small business owners. Live CCTV footage can now be viewed by business owners via their smartphones at any time,” said Ivan Govender, district manager (KwaZulu-Natal) for Fidelity ADT.

He mentioned that CCTV technology has become far more affordable with advanced systems now available for the price that an entry-level system was five years ago.

“Traditionally CCTV was seen as a big business security measure. This has changed dramatically over the last few years and we are seeing more small business and residential clients using CCTV cameras, remote surveillance, and other perimeter security systems such as infrared sensors,” he said.

Apps are also moving towards replacing the traditional way security was managed.

Generally alarms systems were installed in offices, the access code shared with one or two individuals and should the alarm be triggered, the security company would dispatch a reaction team to the premises. Most of these call-outs tend to be false alarms though.

“With new apps, business owners and designated employees can view the status of the office security system, arm and disarm the alarm, switch and dim the lights, detect movement, control the blinds, heating, air conditioning and more by using their smartphone,” said Govender.

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He said people can remotely monitor their property through their phone which should cut down the number of unnecessary call outs.

“These apps essentially turn the office into a smart office. They can even go so far as to connect with IOT devices such as pool-pumps, security lights and even the coffee machine,” explained Govender. This app is sold in modules so can be adapted to a customer’s specific needs and budget.

“While these tech advancements are certainly making waves in the industry, it needs to be said that employees still need to be security conscious and remain vigilant about their own personal safety.”

Perimeter security including access control, walls, gates, electric fencing, beams and the likes remains the first line of defence and needs to be in a good working condition and checked regularly. He also stressed the importance of some form of controlled access.

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“Ideally two people should be tasked with locking up the business and ensuring the premises is secure at the end of the day. It is also not advisable to withdraw large amounts of cash from the bank or keep large amounts of cash on the premises. Ensure you have a regular collection of your cash. Regularly brief your staff on security and ensure that everyone is making a conscious effort to keep their workplace safe. Equipping staff with panic buttons and access cards is another element that needs to be addressed and monitored closely.”

He warns business owners not to become complacent about employees, especially those who may be leaving the business.

“Ensure that employees return keys, access codes and remotes to the property if they resign. It is also a good idea to change alarm and access codes from time to time,” he said.

 

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