When it Comes to Security Systems, You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
System failure means more than mere downtime – learn some common causes
Your security system is there to care for you, but the biggest mistake you can make is not returning that care. The failure of a security system can seem like a sudden thing, but some basic awareness will help you stay one step ahead of the warning signs. Here are 10 core issues that can leave your security system critically vulnerable:
1. Improper maintenance
A lack of system maintenance is a major culprit, and it’s a highly-stratified term. During a security system’s lifecycle, maintenance should run concurrently with operations and evolve as your system does. Adhering to a regular schedule makes all the difference between preventative and corrective maintenance.
Maintenance takes some of the forms listed below and should consist of short term inspections (daily/weekly) and long-term analysis (bi-monthly/quarterly) of all system components.
2. Environmental obstructions
Dust, hair, and other fine particles are the bane of sensitive security equipment. Once they enter the internal components of a system, overheating can occur. Make sure all fans, keyboards, and monitors involved in your security operation are kept free of this build-up. Consider air purifiers and ionizers, and, where possible, seal doors and windows in vulnerable rooms to guard against particulates.
The environment can present larger issues. The improper placement of security elements like cameras can allow structural elements to create blind spots. This leaves you open to unauthorized access in the areas you should be watching. If the environment changes, be sure to look at how it may impact your security.
3. Lack of system updates
The software components of your security system offer regular updates for a reason. Either there’s a vulnerability in the existing code, a key feature has been added, or cyberattacks are necessitating new measures. Many programs offer updates automatically, while others provide you with notice. All software and security programs must be kept current to minimize your risks.
Likewise, any hardware involved in your security shouldn’t fall too far behind the times. Older machines are more likely to fail. Adequate bandwidth and network requirements must also be met to optimize your security’s performance, especially if any part of it is wireless or you are storing a large amount of data.
4. Allowing user error
It’s great when a company is security conscious, but self-managing that part of your operation is also a risk. The many demands of a business can see a security system neglected or given inadequate attention. You can mitigate or remove user error by letting a dedicated security team provide the skills and time required to protect you.
5. Database wipes
Hard drives can be compromised in many ways, not least of which is outside interference. With a database gone, your business can struggle to recover. Combine tight exterior and interior security measures with regular, multiple backups of all your data. Keep your information on secured removable drives or commit to Cloud storage.
6. Insufficient resource allocation
Securing your system isn’t the time to think cheaply. You must allocate the necessary financial resources to protect your operation. Failure to do so will save you money in the short term but leave you open to tremendous expense later. Damage or theft on your premises is expensive enough; the possibility of physical harm coming to employees or visitors is far costlier.
7. Buying cameras … then leaving it at that
Cameras are great as a deterrent, but their installation is a false comfort if they aren’t regularly monitored. Criminals are not easily discouraged, so surveillance equipment alone is not enough. After the installation the feeds must be continuously watched.
Remember: An unobserved security camera will do nothing to prevent a breach. It will simply record the incident. This kind of passivity can be solved by using qualified security personnel who provide real-time situational analysis. Remote monitoring is a powerful and cost-effective way to maximize your surveillance set up.
8. Failure to integrate staff with your security
Instituting new security measures? Make sure every member of your team is in the loop. Security is truly a universal responsibility, and the less you educate staff in proper behavior and procedure, the more problems you will have.
Post security checklists or issue them as hard copies to every member of staff. An email or text is too easily deleted, and your security system could soon follow. This example may serve as a model.
9. Leaving doors open
Simple, right? You’d be surprised at how often this basic measure is ignored. Your safety is built on access control. No one with insufficient clearance should be able to gain entry to any area of your operation. A manual or automatic door closer is about as basic as system security gets, but equally vital in key rooms and building entry points. Door closers prevent your staff from leaving sensitive rooms wide open to unauthorized access.
10. Not treating the “system” holistically
A security system is more than the sum of its parts. It’s an amalgamation of everything from the locks on the doors to a network of cameras and the physical infrastructure of building you’re in. Accessibility legislation like ADA compliance must be adhered to, as should all applicable fire and safety codes.
When you develop this wider perspective, you’ll be on your way to protecting the most vital parts of your system: The people and the property.
At POM Technologies, we provide complete system and premises security including software solutions, remote monitoring, and visitor management solutions. Our comprehensive system integration and service contract can be tailored to fit your needs. To find out more, contact us today.
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