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The Importance of CCTV Security Systems in Business.

cctv1Security is fundamentally important across all walks of life to ensure the overall safety and possessions of all individuals are comprehensively protected. Commercial and residential properties are constructed to provide homeowners and companies with adequate protection against adverse weather conditions. Both buildings are also fit for purpose and provide the flexibility in which to create a stately household and professional business environment. This can be achieved via the integration of interior design features such as furniture and décor, in addition to any portable appliances and machinery to carry out daily tasks.

Throughout commercial properties such as office buildings and retail outlets, all companies require careful consideration of integrated security solutions. Although security guards provide an element of protection on the ground floor, their eyes are ears are not extensive enough to provide an over watch of the entire premises. This is where cameras within CCTV security systems play a crucial role within the daily running of a business.

Establishing an overview via placements of cameras within key areas within an office environment or retail store is an integral part of CCTV security systems. Although such systems are installed to protect against potential theft or criminal activity, they can play an important role within the productivity levels of employees. While certain individuals may feel their statutory rights are being undermined within a ‘Big Brother’ environment, it is done so to ensure the activities and conduct of all employees is maintained on a daily basis.

Cameras can be either situated within the middle of a room or in the corners. Although their placements affects the images and security angle each camera can pick up, the sheer presence of cameras can act as a deterrent to any criminal. Knowing their actions is likely to be detected by one from a multitude of cameras which can clearly depict their face and appearance can decrease the rate of theft and crime.

The presence of CCTV as integrated security solutions can also be important for the work ethic and efficiency of employees. As their safety and wellbeing can be placed under threat by an individual who carries out violence or a criminal act, it is vital to integrate adequate protection. In doing so, it can play a fundamental role in catching any perpetrators who steal or damage valuable products or machinery, and put employees at risk.

It is crucial to take security seriously in this day and age. It is not just businesses and commercial properties that need good security but it is our homes too. With crime increasing and burglaries very common place, it is very important to consider the available security options and choose one that is the best fit for you.

One of the most popular and cost effective ways of providing security in the home and place of work is with cctv cameras and equipment. CCTV cameras can act as a very successful deterrent to thieves and burglars, certainly making them think twice at the very least. The technology behind security equipment these days is incredibly advanced, and it is even possible to hook the cameras up to an ordinary television or computer to watch the footage.

The following are some of the concerns both home and business have and Top 10 Reasons of Why Install CCTV.

  1. Prevent CrimeIf you’re worried about crime, cameras can not only catch criminals in the act, but the very presence of CCTV systems can make a would-be criminal think twice about any wrong-doing. Think about it, if you planned rob or vandalize a store or office, would you want to do it if you knew you were being recorded?
  2. Prevent Employee TheftIf you suspects one of your employees of wrong-doing but don’t know where to begin to try to get to the bottom of things, a camera can be a very helpful tool. This is especially true if you own an establishment where cash is exchanged. Cameras posted near cash registers or other places where employees are often stationed, not only can show you if an employee is stealing, but may even deter an employee from committing a crime if they know you’re watching.
  3. Be a useful piece of evidenceIf a crime is committed in or around your business and the person accused of committing the crime was caught on camera, you’ve got an extra piece of evidence for a court case. Jurors and judges can watch footage or view photos from your security cameras and establish that the person on trial did indeed commit the crime. Not only will you be preventing the same person from causing you more trouble in the future, you’ll be helping out your entire community.
  4. Help law enforcement solve crimeWhen someone commits a crime and is caught on camera, police and other law enforcement officials can use the footage to release video or photos to the public via various media outlets. Having a picture of the suspect can make a world of difference when it comes to making an arrest and getting dangerous criminal off the street.
  5. Keep an eye on children and elderly folksWith a CCTV system at home, you can monitor the safety of your children and elderly folks while you are away. Besides, you can keep an eye on your maid and make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
  6. Keep an eye on thingsIf you can’t be at the office all the time but like to know what’s going on, a security camera can help do just that. You can keep an eye on things from your home computer with a few quick clicks of your mouse and make sure your business is running smoothly and nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
  7. Protecting your staffCCTV can protect your staff physically against violence from customers. At the same time, it can also protect them against false accusations – perhaps coming from colleagues or even from client and customers.
  8. Encourage good behaviourHaving a CCTV camera inside offices may help in creating discipline among the employees. For bosses, who want their presence felt so that efficiency at work is optimized, a camera hovering the employees will give the same effect.
  9. Monitoring high-risk areaCameras may be placed in high-risk areas inside a factory. Such areas may include those in which fires can possibly break out. A camera in place there will lessen potential damages because emergency measures can be made immediately. Cameras may also be placed in areas where accidents can happen. This is important so that life-saving measures can be employed promptly.
  10. Increase customer’s confidenceBanks and shops equipped with CCTV cameras give the customers a sense of security and safety. The customers feel secure and this enhances the customers’ confidence.

Environmentals

479817It’s not uncommon for small businesses to begin operation by stacking server hardware and network appliances on a desk or shelf. Though such a deployment is inexpensive, the pile of equipment invariably expands into an unmanageable mess with the growth of the company. Exposed equipment is also completely open to physical tampering and is a ticking time bomb for accidents such as coffee spills, dust or even workers tripping over wires.

However, rack-mount equipment is designed specifically to properly house this type of hardware. While these tend to be pricier than their non-rack mount equivalents, it’s arguable that being easier to manage far exceeds the cost premium. In addition, shelves and drawers designed for mounting onto the server rack are widely available; these let racks work with non-rack mount appliances as necessary.

Setting up a server rack is more than just twisting a few screws to secure the equipment into place. Proper cable management can’t be overstated, as just about every piece of equipment in the rack is linked with Ethernet cables. Intra-cabinet wiring aside, it makes sense to terminate cable runs for Ethernet LAN points for desktop computers, IP cameras and other network appliances at the rack.

Finally, don’t skimp on labeling and documenting your setup, even for relatively simple deployments. What may be obvious to the employer setting it up could be missed by a new IT staffer or a vendor contracted to work on certain aspects of the system. Time savings aside, proper labeling reduces the likelihood of catastrophic mistakes such as a mission-critical system getting unplugged or restarted without adequate warning.

The simplest way to properly label your infrastructure? Purchase a label printer from a hardware shop. Servers and network appliances should be labeled with unique descriptive names and their IP addresses. Ditto for other equipment such as keyboard, video and mouse switches, NAS appliances, routers, data backup devices and redundant hardware.

Detailed notes describing important procedures relating to your on-premises hardware should be printed out and attached to the server cabinet with tape or refrigerator magnets. These notes should contain important operating instructions relating to networking, data backup or shutting down (or starting up) the equipment in the event of a power outage.

Cabling

data-cabling1Structured Cabling… is defined as building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements (structured).

A properly designed and installed structured cabling system provides a cabling infrastructure that delivers predictable performance as well as has the flexibility to accommodate moves, adds and changes; maximizes system availability, provides redundancy; and future proofs the usability of the cabling system.

With an unorganized messy cabling infrastructure, mistakes are commonly made. Incorrect ports are unplugged. Even worse is the messy cabling that gets in the way. Trying to remove a single cable from a large tangled mess can cause stress on the other cables. This stress can lead to network and channel errors in the hardware that are very difficult to trace.

Airflow: If a point to point method is used, the front and potentially the sides of the switch are congested with cabling bulk. This impedes the airflow that the switch needs to operate. This also translates to underfloor cooling; cabling congestion in this space hinders the airflow of the CRAC unit and can cause cooling issues.

The Problem of Tailgating in Secured Buildings

One of the biggest weaknesses of automated access control systems is the fact that most systems cannot actually control how many people enter the building when an access card is presented. Most systems allow you to control which card works at which door, but once an employee opens the door, any number of people can follow behind the employee and enter into the building. Similarly, when an employee exits the building, it is very easy for a person to grab the door and enter the building as the employee is leaving.

This practice is known as “tailgating” or “piggybacking”. Tailgating can be done overtly, where the intruder makes his presence known to the employee. In many cases, the overt “tailgater” may even call out to the employee to hold the door open for him or her. In these cases, good etiquette usually wins out over good security practices, and the intruder is willingly let into the building by the employee.

Tailgating can also be done covertly, where the intruder waits near the outside of the door and quickly enters once the employee leaves the area. This technique is used most commonly during weekends and at nights, where the actions of the more overt tailgater would be suspicious.

Solutions To The “Tailgating” Problem

First, recognize that the tailgating problem is probably the biggest weakness in your security system. This is particularly true at doors that handle a high volume of employee and visitor traffic. Many security managers spent a lot of time worrying about unauthorized duplication of access cards and computer “hackers” getting into their security system over the network. It is far more likely that someone who wants access to your facility will simply “tailgate” into the building rather than using one of these more exotic methods to breach your security.

The practice of overt tailgating can be reduced somewhat through employee security awareness training. If employees are frequently reminded of the tailgating problem, they are less likely to let a person that they do not know into the building deliberately.

It is difficult to overcome the problem of covert tailgating through employee security awareness alone. While it would be possible to ask employees to wait at the door until it locks after they pass, it is probably not likely that this procedure would be followed except under the most extreme circumstances.

The problem of covert tailgating can usually only be reliably solved through the use of special “anti-tailgating” devices.

“Anti-Tailgating” Devices

To minimize the problem of tailgating, the security industry has created a number of “anti-tailgating” devices. These devices include mechanical and optical turnstiles, security revolving doors, security portals, and doorway anti-tailgating devices.

The essential function of each of these devices is that they permit only one person to enter or leave the building at a time. They either do this by providing a physical barrier that only allows one person to pass, or electronically by providing sensors that detect when a person attempts to tailgate in, or when more than one person tries to enter using the same card.

The following is a brief summary of each of the common types of anti-tailgating devices:

HALF-HEIGHT MECHANICAL TURNSTILE

  • Approximate cost: |£2,000 to £3,500 per opening.
  • PROS: Lowest cost anti-tailgating device, readily accepted by most users, relatively unobtrusive, well-proven and reliable.
  • CONS: Can easily be climbed over or under, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, easily defeated by knowledgeable intruder.
  • Comments: Good choice for visitor lobbies or employee entrances that are constantly attended by a security officer and where cost is a consideration.

FULL-HEIGHT MECHANICAL TURNSTILE

  • Approximate cost: £3,500 to £5,000 per opening.
  • PROS: Provides good security at a moderate cost. Well-proven and reliable.
  • CONS: Obtrusive in appearance, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, lacks sophisticated anti-piggybacking detection features.
  • Comments: Good choice for commercial and industrial facilities where security and cost considerations are more important than appearance.

OPTICAL TURNSTILE

  • Approximate cost: £11,000 to £15,000 per opening.
  • PROS: Aesthetically-pleasing appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, has sophisticated anti-piggybacking detection systems, provides good visual and audible cues to users.
  • CONS: Expensive, provides little or no physical barrier, must be used at an entrance manned by security guard, relatively high “false alarm” rate.
  • Comments: Good choice for use in manned building lobbies where aesthetics prevent the use of a half-height manual turnstile.

SECURITY REVOLVING DOOR

  • Approximate cost: £22,000 to £38,000 per opening.
  • PROS: Provides best protection against tailgating and piggybacking, fast, handles high volumes of traffic, unobtrusive in appearance, provides energy savings when used at exterior entrances.
  • CONS: Very expensive, requires separate door or gate for emergency exit and for handicapped users, door cannot be used for loading/unloading of large objects, relatively high maintenance costs.
  • Comments: Good choice for use at unattended building entrances where appearance is important.

SECURITY PORTAL

  • Approximate cost: £22,000 to £38,000 per opening.
  • PROS: Provides good protection against tailgating and piggybacking, unobtrusive in appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, allows load/unloading of large objects.
  • CONS: Very expensive, relatively slow, cannot support large volumes of traffic, high maintenance costs.
  • Comments: Good choice for use at unattended building entrances with relatively low traffic volumes and for entrances into high security internal areas, such as computer rooms.

DOORWAY ANTI-TAILGATING DEVICE

  • Approximate cost: £3,000 to £5,000 per opening.
  • PROS: Easy add-on to existing doors; provides good protection against tailgating and piggybacking, unobtrusive in appearance, accommodates handicapped users, does not require separate emergency exit, allows loading/unloading of large objects, relatively inexpensive.
  • CONS: Must be used at an entrance manned by security guard, does not provide good visual and audible cues to users.
  • Comments: Good choice for use at doorways with relatively low traffic volumes and where conditions do not permit the use of another type of device.

Other Anti-Tailgating Systems

There are several new anti-tailgating detection systems on the market. These include closed-circuit television camera systems equipped with video analytics software, and machine vision sensors that use infrared imaging technology. Both of these systems “look” at the entrance point and use computer software to detect tailgaters. Once a tailgater is detected, an audible alarm is activated to alert the security guard.

While this new technology looks promising in the long run, it is our opinion that these systems are still too new and unproven for use in most applications.

Have additional questions about the prevention of tailgating?  Please contact us.