Seven questions to ask about your security system

Qube Magazine

1. Do you have a written security policy?
There are three key elements to your policy:
i) An assessment of the risks and vulnerabilities
ii) Identification of the minimum standards of security required or deemed acceptable by the organisation
iii) The measures you will be putting place to mitigate those risks.

2. Does everyone know how to use the systems?
With a flexible labour force, and job roles changing more frequently, it is important to introduce processes that make sure key people within your organisation know how to operate these critical systems.
In the unlikely event of an security incident, those at the scene will need to be confident they can operate the systems and work with the appropriate authorities to ensure a swift response.

3. Do you have a maintenance contract?
If insurance companies are insisting on a security system, they always ask for it to be maintained by an accredited company, so you need to know that your supplier can provide ongoing maintenance and support.
Part of the contract will ensure there is a professional company which takes responsibility for the system and its operational status.

4. Is it compliant?
Organisations need to consider three levels of compliance:
• Regulatory – eg the Financial Conduct Authority, which may require server rooms containing confidential client data to be access controlled
• GDPR – the new General Data Protection Regulations which are coming into force in May, particularly relevant for CCTV
• Insurance – eg BS EN 50131 which defines four grades of intruder alarm system

5. What reports are useful?
Are the reports the system generates meaningful and helping you do your job better? What you need is reports which alert you to unusual activity without bombarding you with irrelevant data.
For example, does your report tell you who has been into your offices over the weekend and what they have done (they may be working – or they may be stealing confidential client records)?

6. How can you use this to improve the business?
Property is one of the most expensive costs. One way to understand how well an office is used is by looking at data from the security systems. This can show usage patterns, trends and can help you to optimise space.

7. Have you got all the latest updates?
In the old days, you would install your system and that was that. Today’s systems are more connected and online, which increases the risk of them breached by hackers.
This means you need to update your systems regularly so that any vulnerabilities are regularly addressed.

By Jason Choy, Welcome Gate.