July 31, 2012, 8:53 AM — We talk frequently about cybersecurity, discussing how to protect your business's data by using strong passwords, deploying antimalware utilities, and keeping your computers safe with the latest patches and updates. This time, the focus is on premises security, or protecting your business's physical assets from burglary and vandalism.
The best cybersecurity measures in the world are useless if a thief breaks into your office and makes off with your computers. You won't lose any digital data if you've followed our advice to back up your computers to secure, offsite locations; but if your business is like most operations, it isn't entirely digital. You have paper records, including sensitive personal information about your employees. Your business also depends on physical assets--computers, displays, servers, fax machines, and everything that goes with them--that you will need to replace if someone steals them or destroys them. Can you afford that kind of disruption?
The latest security systems can not only alert you to a break-in, trigger an alarm, and dispatch law enforcement, but can also provide video surveillance, manage the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, control the lighting, automatically power down small-office equipment according to a schedule, and in some cases provide access control.
Think you can't afford a security system? You'll be surprised at how inexpensive these systems can be. I'll discuss three examples: a do-it-yourself system from FrontPoint Security, a custom-installed system from ADT, and an access-control system from RedCloud that's designed for a larger company's IT department to manage.
This inexpensive, do-it-yourself security system offers some flexibility.