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Bel Air, Maryland tends to be a relatively safe place to live, work, and support a family. That being said, there have been some recent incidents that are causing business owners to consider stepping up their physical security by implementing security cameras. There are a lot of confusing options when choosing the right security cameras for your business, so we are going to demystify the process.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge trend in consumer-based security systems that require very little knowledge and expertise to set up. Generally, this is great. We’ve seen the same thing happen with other complex technologies over the years—home users have more reliable data backup solutions and more secure wireless internet solutions because they’ve adopted and simplified standards that businesses have used.
That being said, you wouldn’t want to rely on a product designed for residential home protection to protect your business assets, just like you wouldn’t rely on a consumer external hard drive to back up all of your business data. This can complicate any research you do into your options
In 2019, the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) banned the products of several companies from being used in government facilities, and in 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to stop the sale of all future products. Some of these bans have only recently come into effect, so it’s possible to bump into resellers trying to get rid of their inventory.
The ban covers a range of cameras (and other products) that are manufactured by specific Chinese companies. These companies are:
The problem is that some of these companies have a huge number of brands, and it might not be clear if a product is manufactured by one of them. For example, here is a list of the brands that Hangzhou Hikvision owns and manufactures under:
To make this even more complicated, a couple of these brands have products not made by the five banned Chinese manufacturers that do comply with the FCC regulations.
It’s best to have a security expert, especially someone who understands the technology behind modern security systems, to review your facilities and help you make informed decisions.
This would include walking through your facilities, identifying points that need surveillance, planning the installation, planning the storage of video footage, and incorporating it into the rest of your network securely.
Security cameras come in a very wide range of styles with varying use cases depending on what they need to capture. Does the camera need to be on at all times? Does it need to capture low-light footage? What exact range does it need? Is it indoors or outdoors? Indiscrete or low-profile?
There are even specific types of cameras for very specific tasks. If you need to monitor a cash register or point of sale system, there are cameras that tie in with some systems to monitor the money being put in and taken out of the drawer. If you are establishing an access control system, some can play well with specific camera systems to help you log employee access when a user unlocks a door.
Depending on your building and the type of infrastructure you already have, the installation process can vary wildly as well. It’s good to have a professional who understands the requirements so they can help you make the right decisions the first time, so you understand exactly what you need to do going into this.
Modern physical security systems cover something called access control. It essentially allows you to limit access to different areas within your facilities through the use of digital locks. Employees and visitors can be given key cards, PIN numbers, or you can even use biometrics, and then control what access that particular user has.
Most modern hotels use something similar these days. The keycards have a programmable chip inside them, but the real “work” is done centrally, by access control software. It determines what doors a particular key (or user) can gain access to, and you can even set up schedules so a user can only access certain areas during certain times of the day. If a key or PIN is lost or stolen, you can easily block it from having any access at all and issue a new key or PIN.
Combining access control with security cameras gives business owners and management complete control over access, with the peace of mind knowing that their assets are completely protected.
Making mistakes when it comes to implementing a security system can lead to time-consuming, expensive work. While home security systems are designed to be plug-and-play, and don’t require much technical expertise to install, they also don’t do the job that a professional system will handle. It’s not worth making that mistake just to save a few dollars, only to find that the system didn’t do its job properly when you needed it most.
That’s why Maryland businesses trust Dresner Group. While we’ve been known as the area’s #1 IT services provider, physical security and networked cameras has been one of our core services, and we’ve made investments in professionals and partnerships to deliver the best solutions for businesses.
We’d be happy to set up a discussion to talk about your needs, and plan a walk-through of your facilities so you can make informed decisions about your security cameras. Give us a call at (410) 531-6727.
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