5 Bad Habits That People in the Commercial Security Systems Industry Need to Quit

Five may be a conservative number of undesirable habits common to commercial-grade security providers. At least let’s begin with the worst culprits.

1. Failure to protect users from themselves

Technology outruns all but the fastest of us. The ad marketers for electronic equipment know that all too well. With their unfamiliar language, innumerable abbreviations, and questionable numbers, they can wow us into buying most anything.

Unscrupulous security system providers can play on consumer ignorance with ease. Not just by overwhelming customers with the latest technology but by failing to make mention of what a full commercial-grade security system entails--they do a disservice.

Recommending too few cameras in order to make a sale is not going to secure a customer’s sprawling parking lot. Were they warned about blind spots in their coverage? Did they hear about Access Control to guard entry into their facilities? Was there any mention of protective landscaping? What human sales element went into the decision-making process for the customer?

Security industry providers motivated only by profit do not have customers’ best interests at heart.

2. Hyping “License Plate Cameras” without product education or focus on customer needs

Of the many vague and misused terms in the commercial-grade security industry, “license plate cameras” may top the list. Consumers often confuse the term with the ability of a camera to look at a license plate and thereby access database information regarding the vehicle owner and more.

When that term is used on a security provider’s e-commerce site clarification is imperative. Most license plate cameras focus on technological innovation to improve license plate capture (getting a good enough photo to accurately see a license plate). That is a surprisingly difficult task.

License plate capture is not to be confused with automatic OCR (optical character recognition). OCR converts computer images into machine-encoded text. This becomes a form of data entry. One feature is for key data mining. Accessing a license plate database yields number-plate recognition.

Cameras alone cannot perform this function sufficiently at this time.

There are good providers of this ability. For example, Genetec or Luxriot make fantastic products with high accuracy rates. Again, to be completely clear the camera isn't doing this. The expensive VMS software is doing the work with the help of rather intense on-site or cloud-based server(s).

SCW takes great effort to avoid the misleading term license plate cameras. The usable terms are "License Plate Capture Camera" and "Licence Plate Recognition Camera," depending on what you want, but even these terms are defined differently by each manufacturer.

We carry some cameras that are better than others at license plate capture. We don't carry any cameras that do license plate recognition because the results aren't yet good enough.

Here's some detailed information about the camera features and environmental conditions essential for successful license plate capture.

3. Emphasizing reactive security solutions rather than proactive

Too often sales strategies focus on catching the intruder/criminal after the act,or at best, during the act. The assumption is that of crime being inevitable and that consumers accept the fact. The only consolation is being able to record it with video surveillance cameras and hopefully the footage either leads to capture or later identifies the perpetrator. Meanwhile, you, the security camera customer are serioiusly inconvenienced in dealing with the aftermath.

What if you don’t have to be the passive victim of crime? If a proactive secuirty strategy were available to you, what would be your blue-sky outcome?

Rather than sit back and wait for incidents to occur, you can now have a system that constantly analyzes people and vehicles in anticipation of threats. Alerts are sent to you in real-time, within a split-second of suspicious behavior. You can act rather than react.

First responders and any other personnel you pre-select are instantly notified via phone call, text, or email alert. The time savings is unmatched. Property loss and loss of life are reduced, the outcomes altered.

This incredible system is called Survail and it leapfrogs all that gaps in the products that other provider offer. It’s an Ai-powered video analytics platform that’s affordable and scalable, providing immediate impact. Maybe best of all, Survail’s software component works seamlessly with your existing security system, instantly upgrading most every camera on the market.

Words fail. Contact here to see a demo: (Insert link to Survail demo).

4. Overly focusing on the hardware/technology

A commercial-grade security system should adhere to the name--system. More than its individual components, an effective system must have all its parts working in conjunction.

When the sales focus is hardware specific its easy to get lost in the latest and greatest features available. Assembling a security system solely based on the equipment with the most attributes does not necessarily lead to the most efficient system. Nor does it lead to the best system for your individual applications.

The ideal commercial-grade security system for you is not likely the most expensive one.

Effectiveness is more than expenditure. That’s where the design services of a professional surveillance system technician are priceless.

SCW security system designers will take your floorplan and establish a camera layout to maximize coverage with the type and number of cameras best suited to your facility and grounds.

5. Insufficient effort to protect customers’ privacy

Hardly a week passes without the news cycle featuring stories of computer hackers, security breeches, and other cyber crime. It’s rampant. All leading to the topic of personal data privacy at the forefront of the consumer mind.

At the core of the problem is personal data having become an electronic cash crop. Every retailer wants it, names and personal info by the thousands. Potential customers whose spending and shopping habits can be traced, email accounts listed, addresses, and their phone numbers--the means of extracting that data grow more sophisticated.

One of the most recent major breeches occurred in March of this year involving a security company of all things. California-based Verkada had its entire customer data base of 24,000 clients made public by a small group of infiltrators. They had complete access to 150,000 private, active surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools.

“The FTC could, in theory, level fines on a firm like Verkada were it to find that its cybersecurity practices were “unfair” or its advertisements of secure products were “deceptive,”’ said Jeffrey Vagle, an assistant professor at Georgia State University College of Law, who focuses on privacy.

Verkada’s implementation of a “super admin account” meant that every clients’ information was in the same location, no separation or privacy, one from the other. That gives new meaning to the old maxim’s warning of “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.”

“The breach, experts say, peeled back the curtain on a world of private surveillance that is invasive and ripe for further exploitation by malicious actors.”