Small office security

What makes small offices vulnerable to security threats? Read about why you should establish a security system for small offices and how to do it.

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Features that make or break small company security systems

Office security is one of the most fundamental concerns for businesses, regardless of their size or industry. Any threat to office assets or employees can result in heavy losses to the businesses. This typically comes in the form of capital expenditure, healthcare, and social security. Even though small office security may seem simple, it requires a great deal of planning.

While larger offices can afford costly, sophisticated, and more integrated security systems, small office security systems should be robust and affordable while offering your business integrations with the software it already uses (like Asana, Google Directory, SSO, etc.).

Small businesses are often more attractive to thieves and burglars, since perpetrators usually only expect serious surveillance and access control systems at larger corporate facilities.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) typically employ between 1 to 50 people at a time, but only a small portion are full-time employees, with an average of only about 12. An SMB is often a life-long family investment for owners, and you can imagine that access control violations might hurt not only their small office security but also inflict wider property damage.

A small office security system or small business access control should be designed to efficiently protect office assets from outsiders, as well as employees. Another part of the small office security system is that it should also effectively protect office employees and digital data.

There are different types of office security systems, such as third-party security contractors, an office-employee collaborative system, or a dedicated security personnel at the door—depending on the cost and the level of the office assets.

If you decide to set up your business at home, you need to think about how you'll manage the varied aspects of security, convenience, and cost. There is an even finer line to follow in order to pick a home office security system than needed for commercial buildings. After all, you don’t want to turn your small business into a digital fortress and make employers and visitors feel uncomfortable. Luckily, there are countless options to maximize privacy and maintain the human touch for your business, without jeopardizing your company’s security.

While it's true that outside intruders can pose the greatest risk for your small office security, you still have to think of your employees or about people who need occasional authorization. Even if you have a small office, neglecting your internal access control system is not advised, especially if you own high-maintenance equipment or classified documents, or simply need to meet certain security standards because of the nature of your business.

Scalable access control systems for small company security

To provide access to authorized people, while also keeping anyone unauthorized out of a small office, you don’t need large networked systems for multiple buildings. For guests, you don’t even need to issue a card pass or a key fob. Locking and unlocking the doors can be done remotely from a single software point of control run by a single person.

This is a big time saver. Instead of having your colleague run up and down the building to unlock the door for everyone, you can manage these actions remotely, freeing up time for more important tasks. Cloud-based access control solutions can allow you to integrate the software with your current visitor management software.

In this way, apart from the regular benefits of electronic access control systems, you also get a cost-effective office security solution that will work on just one door and can scale up indefinitely.

small office security
Stand-Alone Door Pin Pad

Office security for small businesses can be configured and rolled out fast. So, instead of worrying about replacing hardware, you can choose the right amount of door readers for your current needs without worrying about the expansion until it's time. For example, you can add a video camera that sends immediate notifications when a user has unlocked the door and you can integrate alarm systems and doorbells with cloud-based access control. The best thing in video access control for small office security is that you don't need to think of extensive storage since the camera activates only when actual unlock events occur.

Despite the scalability, you do need to set aside a little bit of time planning in advance, particularly if you know that your business will grow. Choosing a system that allows you to future-proof your security is important here, as it will save you time and money down the line. Scalable solutions like Kisi offer you the option to grow while maintaining high levels of security and centralizing access management as more people need to access your facilities.

Small office security system components

The best small office security system should include the following components of access control systems.

  • A combination of surveillance, access control, security lights, and manual access interruptions are four major components of an effective small office security system.
  • High-quality physical access equipment like intelligent locks, controllers, keypads, etc.
  • It’s important to find the best small office security camera system and install it to cover all important access points.
  • An additional layer of a standalone locking system is optimal for sensitive assets like servers and other critical equipment.
  • Paper files or sensitive documents should be locked in filing cabinets.
  • Maintaining proper monitoring of the movement of employees and outsiders.
  • Keeping a record and time log of visitors and employees.
  • Powered by the latest technologies like remote access through cloud and mobile devices.

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Important questions to ask about small office security infrastructure

Think of the purpose and the size of your business. Will you grant access only to employees or to some of the customers, too? Start from the possibilities of the physical materials in use at your small company - a wooden or a glass door will require different infrastructure than one made of steel. Is there anyone else who has a say in your small company's security, such as a fire inspector? Do you run intermittent security checks on an independent contract?

After you consider these basics, make sure to go into a bit more detail for:

1. How will you manage entry and exit?

For example, a stand-alone lock powered by internal replaceable batteries may be a perfect solution for a single door. Within minutes, you have a ready-made office security solution. While the installation is generally quick, this solution comes with some drawbacks. It is difficult to make stand-alone locks work in a large access control network. Keypads are another budget-friendly alternative, but impose greater risk because of workers’ affinity for code sharing.

2. How will you secure the door?

It is likely that your small office won’t need a complex door-securing mechanism, such as a push-button or push-bar exit or a motion or time-activated exit. An electric deadbolt is a convenient door lock for interiors which don’t require an electromagnetic mechanism. They work for cabinets, too - something worth remembering for storing secure documentation.

3. How will you monitor the system?

An essential question you need to consider before you decide on the access control system for your small company's security is to check the compatibility of the operating system. Even if you’re not prepared to implement right off the bat, it’s important to think of future changes and upgrades you might need as you upgrade your facilities or scale. As business needs change, so will your requirements for office security. Another factor not to forget is how the chosen solution would be power-supplied, and how it will fit the overall layout of your business premises.

It’s clear that security for small premises doesn’t always equal simplicity. Especially when you need to decide on alternatives for audit trail tracking, time-based control, and power supply work within a small-company limited budget, some extra care is needed. Getting more bespoke advice about your premises’ security is always recommended, and our security experts are always happy to give you more information and talk through some potential solutions. Set up a call here.

Other considerations for the best small office security system

Other than the questions above, you should also consider the following points:

  • The access system should be system integration compatible to integrate all components like door security, camera surveillance, alarm system, and elevators.
  • It should be flexible enough to expand it in the future easily.
  • The system should be compliant with the local building and safety codes.
  • The capacity of the system should be large enough to store transaction data for at least 90 days.
  • The upfront cost of the entire system.
  • System maintenance and customer support cost.

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