With yearly enterprise security spending poised to hit $96 billion worldwide in 2018, many business leaders are looking to better allocate their resources when it comes to electronic security systems like surveillance, access control, intrusion protection, and infrastructure management. With so many elements to integrate, security management for large enterprises can become unwieldy without—or even with—a full-time dedicated team on staff.
Aside from standard access control and surveillance systems, your company likely needs tiered security support to ensure that restricted areas are well managed, records are secured, and personnel are protected. Working with a business security service provider is the best path to managing your enterprise’s unique security needs.
Complicating Factors for Enterprise Security Management
All enterprises face industry-specific risks and challenges. Colleges have to contend with massive foot traffic volume, while medical providers must secure sensitive records, and government institutions may face a higher risk of political threats requiring heavy perimeter protection. Your enterprise faces risks based on its specific structure and purpose which complicate the process of developing an integrated security system. Some key variables that influence your security system include:
- Flexible corporate culture: Many enterprises are moving away from the standard 9-to-5 cubicle culture of traditional offices, by creating a more open environment for employees. With this more relaxed atmosphere comes additional complications for security. Flexible employee work schedules require providing building access in off hours. Open physical layouts, where offices eliminate cubicles and closed doors, complicate the setup of intrusion protection systems. As corporate culture grows more casual, security systems must become more sophisticated.
- Multiple locations: Rarely are today’s major enterprises contained in one building or on a single site. Most businesses run out of a network of offices, and security needs change from site to site. A company headquarters with backups of all customer data needs more security than a satellite sales office with minimal customer information. The expensive lab equipment in the science building at a school needs more unmanned security systems than the English department’s lecture hall. Security system needs change by location and use of a given area. Setting priorities by location is often necessary and can be challenging if multiple locations use disparate systems.
- Cybersecurity prioritization: A quick search for business security solutions shows that there is an extremely heavy focus on cybersecurity (not without reason), without much said on the physical security of digital assets. However, the first step to cybersecurity management lies in physical security. Properly securing the buildings that hold data servers, as well as preventing physical access to devices on the company’s network are critical parts of securing data through physical security.
- Threat versus cost considerations: While the newest devices in biometric and smart electronic security management may be impressive and intriguing, they also may be unnecessary for many enterprises. Measuring the threat potential against the cost of preventing the threat can often be difficult without specialized knowledge of security. In addition, security systems must span an extensive area in most larger enterprises, meaning that highly technical systems will significantly increase the cost of implementation and management. Creating a high-volume system requires measuring that system against its cost effectiveness as a whole.
Administering electronic security with all these factors considered requires a certain amount of security-specific expertise. Your enterprise will need to maintain massive networks of security devices, data, software, and credentials, all of which will demand full-time dedication. As an alternative, your enterprise could choose to work with a business security service provider to shift some of that responsibility from your overburdened staff’s shoulders to a team of highly trained technicians.
Traits of a First-Rate Business Security Service Provider
Simply hiring on an as-needed or on-call basis means you’re not dealing with someone who understands the full ins and outs of your system. By contrast, choosing a business security provider who treats your relationship as a partnership offers benefits beyond what a by-project or on-call security specialist can provide.
- Consultative approach: When a security provider takes a consultative approach to managing your electronic infrastructure, they’re looking at the big picture of your system. The provider you choose should be capable of seeing individual aspects of your security system, and all the components fit together as a whole, and how that system supports your enterprise.
- Well-rounded expertise: While all security providers will have some specific areas of expertise, what you should seek out is an integrator with knowledge of many different systems, manufacturers, and software related to electronic security management. This also includes industry-specific expertise—the provider you work with should understand the unique security needs of your particular industry. An auto dealership would want to work with a company who understands their need for heightened outside surveillance and perimeter protection, while schools want someone with strong access control experience.
- 24/7 availability: Electronic security issues are not issues that can wait until business hours. Systems can develop a lot of vulnerabilities—some of which will take a higher priority than others—and they don’t do it on a schedule. A business security service provider must offer 24/7 service and support to provide the guidance you need, when you need it.
By seeking out a provider who is focused on your electronic security at a big-picture level, your company will be better able to protect its assets while gaining the support needed to manage a sophisticated electronic security infrastructure. Choose a business security service provider who is prepared not just to sell to your enterprise, but who takes time to understand your goals, educate your management team, and create innovative solutions that make your job easier. That provider will approach your relationship as an ongoing partnership—whether you’re seeking out a system upgrade or simply calling for service on a single camera.