More often than not, companies don’t consider their office security until it’s too late and an incident has occurred. It can be easy to believe that your space is less at risk in a commercial building, but with more anonymity and expensive electronic equipment, offices can be just as vulnerable to a security breach. To protect your company, it's important to have a proactive security strategy.
According to research by the FBI, burglaries of non-residential locations, like stores and offices, occur about 550,000 times a year. On average, each nets the perpetrator $2,179 in cash and the value of items stolen. But security incidents like break ins and theft not only lead to a loss of your business assets, but also interrupt your workflow and rattle your employees.
To create a safe environment for your company, your office security plan should include protection for your employees, office, and property, and consider access control, alarms and sensors, and surveillance systems.
Access control gives you the power and peace of mind of controlling who is able to enter your workspace and at what time. Since every business relies on some kind of access control, there are many options available beyond the traditional lock and key, including key cards or fobs, a keypad with a code, or a mobile app such as Kisi.
When implementing access control, also consider internal theft. According to the North American Hardware Retail Association, employee theft accounted for 44% of shrinkage (business loss due to crime or error) among U.S. retailers. Knowing who accesses your workspace and when is invaluable to your business’s profitability.
Alarms and Sensors
If your business has high value assets such as computers and technology, handles sensitive information, or is in the retail and warehouse sector, it’s critical that you have alarm and sensor systems to protect your assets.
Alarms will trigger an alert when unauthorized access to your space occurs, but a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services reported that 96% of electronic alarms were false. Therefore it’s important to integrate your alarm system with a camera so you know when you are faced with a real threat.
In the event of a security incident, cameras and video footage play a key role in determining the cause and course of action. However, they also have been found to be a strong deterrent to burglars in the first place. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte interviewed convicted burglars and found that 60% of the burglars considered the presence of video equipment when picking site for a break-in, and 40% of them said presence of video equipment would be reason enough to find another target.
Cameras are becoming increasingly inexpensive and compact, which makes them less obtrusive in your work environment. While there are many consumer-grade systems that you can set up yourself, if you have a larger space or want to integrate your surveillance and access control systems, working with a professional security company will enable you to identify and install the best system for your space.
To learn more about how to keep your office secure and create a security plan that fits your space and company needs, download our Office Security Simplified guide.