June 18, 2024

A comprehensive guide to surveillance technology for businesses

3 min read

Protecting a company from criminals is a necessity in South Africa, where business owners experience unique security challenges that require robust solutions. Having a comprehensive surveillance system can help deter offenders and safeguard business assets, employees and operations. 

At first, choosing the right surveillance solution can seem overwhelming due to the extensive range of products and tools. Here are some tips and key pieces of advice on what to look out for to find the right set up for your business.

Understanding the business’s needs

When selecting a surveillance solution, a thorough risk assessment is necessary to identify the areas that need to be covered and how much detail is needed. Having this understanding of what the function of the surveillance system will be, determines the hardware and software needed. 

“A risk assessment can include mapping out vulnerable points and blind spots as well as determining how it will integrate with existing security systems such as alarms, fire detection and access control,” says Matthew Hall, product director at Rectron, an ICT solutions distributor. “It’s also important to consider what details the cameras need to capture and from what distance. Cameras with higher resolution and optical zoom will capture quality footage, but this also increases the cost.”

Recording time and storage are also relevant considerations when choosing a surveillance solution. The number of days of recording time needed will determine the storage that’s required and whether or not it should be kept on-site or stored in the cloud. 

In addition to the hardware and storage capabilities, it’s important to know what information a business may want to pull from its recordings. Modern surveillance technology often includes AI-powered video analytics, which can detect unusual or suspicious behaviour, unauthorised access, and even predict potential threats. AI tools can provide real-time analysis as well as post-analysis, enhancing a business’s security measures. 

Selecting the right cameras

There are a wide variety of cameras available, but there are some important differences to note. Consumer-focused Wi-Fi cameras may seem like a quick and cost-effective solution to installing a surveillance system, but they don’t have all the features most businesses require. 

Another crucial consideration is whether the cameras will be used inside or to monitor an outdoor perimeter. Ensuring a camera is suited for external perimeter use is vital, as not many cameras offer reliable detection at night. Perimeter cameras have powerful features that allow for night detection, with reliable infra-red distance capabilities.

The VIVOTEK SMB Surveillance Solution combines internet protocol (IP) cameras with real-time object detection, network video recorders and a cloud service. This allows the user to display live video, and record and play it back as needed. The cameras come in a wide variety that are suitable both inside and out, with panoramic views or 360-degree fisheye, as well as illuminators for nighttime visibility. It remains a popular choice for business owners when it comes to surveillance.

Installation – do it right the first time

Unfortunately, the surveillance industry is not regulated and can result in challenges when it comes to finding the right installer. Using a reputable supply chain from installer to manufacturer can ensure the installation is done correctly and will avoid headaches in the future. Not only will they ensure the successful installation of a surveillance system but will also provide technical support and maintenance services – a crucial factor to ensuring a setup remains operational and effective over time.

“As businesses in South Africa continue to grapple with security challenges, investing in surveillance systems has become a necessity rather than an option. The right setup can provide several benefits, from deterring criminals to enhancing operational efficiency. By carefully considering factors such as comprehensive coverage, fit-for-purpose cameras, storage and analytics, businesses can make informed decisions about the surveillance technology that best suits their needs. With the right solution in place, businesses can fortify their security measures, mitigate risks, and turn their focus to the day-to-day business operations,” concludes Hall.

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