Prior to the world pandemic, the DIY (Do It Yourself) market for security systems was already flourishing. Many homeowners prefer to shop for their own home security system and try to install it themselves. Many security integrators are looked at as too expensive, difficult to get pricing without a sales rep, long & complicated contracts, and shady business practices just to name a few.
Homeowners and small business owners started to prefer to figure it out on their own if they could, and along came Amazon, Arlo, SimpliSafe, Vivint, Hey Kangaroo, and dozens of others that provide a no-contract alarm/security camera system off the shelf. For only a few hundred bucks you can get a full-fledge system that is self-monitored (meaning there is no monitoring center alerting you), or upgrade to a professionally monitored system for an added monthly cost. Many are even less than a hundred dollars for the entire system.
Where there is demand, a market will emerge. The new demand I am seeing is the need for professional installation of DIY security systems. Many homeowners take the leap of getting a home security system, but either do not have the time, patience, or know-how to get it installed. With a DIY security system, combined with a professional installation, you have the best of both worlds. Modern, easy to use technology that is going to work correctly in your home or small business.
With many small businesses being left closed, temporarily or permanently, there is a need to have eyes on what is going on while the business owner is away. If the business is closed to customer foot traffic and employees, a solid remotely monitored security camera system is in order. Being able to have automated alerts of suspicious activity via video analytics is commonplace in most systems today, even home security systems. Plus, having an integrated video surveillance and alarm system to alert and capture activity in real-time.
Medium to larger-size businesses, of which most already have a professionally installed system, also need to keep their existing system current with the latest technology. Skimping out on a company’s overall security would not be the smartest decision for long term contingency plans, as it often will lead to regret should a situation arise.
A door access control system is often considered a by-product of surveillance as they work in tandem with one another. Facial recognition combined with a secure door access system can keep a business or public building safe without manual intervention. Building automation is not only popular, but also becoming the backbone of successful operation of commercial buildings.
So whether you are a security system company in New York City, or a mom and pop alarm dealer in Nebraska, security companies need to get with the times and offer what the market demands. Trends were already moving towards the need for DIY-type simple systems, and companies not capitalizing on the wave will get buried.
Developing news right now, for the past hours before dusk broke, looters and protesters are seen casing the City of Chicago. Lighting stores on fire, from Neiman Marcus to 711 not one establishment in the city's downtown loop is safe from the looters' wrath.
Police are heard over the air calling for backup while being surrounded by demonstrators. Protesters witnessed hitting police officers and throwing them to the ground. The Chicago Police Department is overwhelmed and cannot contain the chaos. They are passing on calls for the Nike store downtown being robbed as well as the Bank of America getting its windows broken by armed gunmen.
Injured civilians are being called over the radios and police cannot help, they must keep moving to attempt to keep control. "About 90-100 people are approaching me now," as one cop is heard fearing for his life. The dispatchers are trying to keep up with all of the calls in an area that is normally docile during the day and night. The downtown loop section is not known for violence, and is typically quiet after all of the businesses close down after 6pm.
The pressure has mounted with police violence for many years. While a very small minority of police officers are at fault, today's surveillance network of cameras on buildings and on cellphones has increased the exposure of these heinous acts of injustice. Even compared to just a few years ago, more and more security cameras are present on store property and state buildings. With bodycams on police officers being commonplace today, this provides yet another angle of exactly what is going on during a police officer's typical patrol.
With much fragility existing since March in our Covid-19 times, many were already feeling oppressed with face mask mandates and stay-at-home orders. Combine that with the atrocities of police-induced violence, summer warm weather, and nearly half of the population unemployed; ladies and gentlemen there you have a perfect storm.
We trust in our police force for safety and security, and they have felt the pressure lately too. With many police officers feeling uncomfortable with enforcing face mask requirements and "gestapo" type restrictions coming down from the state government, they felt they had less control and uneasiness with enforcing rules that they did not believe in themselves, that technically were not laws.
This civil unrest has unraveled itself from a multitude of contributing factors, and will continue to mount unless the larger important matters are brought to light. Many are looking for answers when there are little given. Many are looking for justice, when none is found. Law and order comes from cooperation, understanding, and a RESPECT for the laws of the land. If the laws of the land only apply to select individuals and not the majority, that's called oppression and people will speak out (and act out) against their oppressor.
Who will bring respect back to our great country? A true leader that can bridge the divide, not push the divide even further. We are united, not divided. Where there is chaos, there is great opportunity for change. With a new great leader, despite your political affiliation, people will begin to listen and move towards resolution. As Americans, we choose our leader, not the other way around. Its time We the People reveal our new leadership to guide us from civil disobedience to peace and prosperity.
Cyber Security for the Security Integrator
Cracking the code
When you hear the term “cyber security” what comes to mind? Most often it conjures up thoughts of very technical software, hackers, and the unknown. IT companies have been offering cyber security solutions for decades to protect businesses from external threats, while electronic security companies have been offering physical security technology to protect businesses from external threats. See what I am getting at here?
Some IT organizations have adopted offering physical security components such as video surveillance, access control, and burglar alarms to meet the needs of their customers. To a lesser extent, security integrators are offering IT services such as cyber security software and implementation. IT security and physical electronic security are slowly becoming the same need from customers and those who refute it or don’t adapt, will go away as the dinosaurs they have become.
If you are going to protect a business, it needs to encompass both physical and digital asset protection. Today, a server going down for a business could mean loss of substantial revenue for days or weeks until a recovery. Its not only about protecting from external threats, its also about protecting from internal threats due to malicious (or ignorant) intent from employees.
Cyber security protection will also become an expectation from companies looking into implementing security solutions. If you aren’t safeguarding your subnetwork or protecting them from outside intrusion, then your competition will take the business from you.
Security integrators will need to provide these software solutions alongside their current offerings in order to meet demand and provide full protection. Gone are the days of the non-technical alarm company that thinks they can just pop up an alarm system and be done. With the new digital age upon us, the technicians AND the salespeople need to both be up to snuff on cyber security and how its implemented. Technical software training and education will need to be apart of every onboarding of new employees, where they will need to get certified.
With automation and machine learning being our future, we can automate cyber security the same way we’ve automated security systems with analytics. Security integrators and automation companies will need to forge relationships with software companies alongside their manufacturer partners to provide a full suite of security solutions for their customers.
If you work for an electronic security organization and they don’t have the current resources for this to happen, at least quickly, then build a relationship with a local IT company who offers these services. What I have found is that IT companies have better, longstanding relationships with their customers due to managed services and being their go-to technology provider. Security integrators need to become that go-to security provider and technology partner.
With everything being IOT and connected via cloud or otherwise, that communication needs to be encrypted end-to-end. The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here, and that technology can both help and hurt us. It needs to work for us in safeguarding whats most important to business owners. Companies can’t afford to miss a beat, and the software provided needs to meet certain standards set forth by various certification organizations. Enterprise commercial customers will begin to expect you to be certified in order to protect their digital assets and be considered a viable vendor.
Of course this does not only apply to businesses, this also applies to residential customers. If you have seen, there has been a drastic increase in the affordability of home-based IOT automation systems such as Nest, ADT, and Amazon Echo. For a few hundred bucks you’ve got yourself a full blown automated system to control your lights, heating/cooling, alarm system, cameras, door locks, garage door, and even your outdoor irrigation! Applying those same cyber security principles to home-based systems will also need to occur due to the vulnerability that home networks traditionally have. Building in packages that encompass both security software and security hardware, be able to explain the benefits, how it works, and then having one company able to install/service/manage will make all the difference in this new digital world.
The future is now, be prepared, or be left behind.
If you need cyber security certification for your employees, please contact us via our partner page.
The Corona Virus / Covid-19 will continue to have an impact
Are you a business owner wondering what the next few weeks or months is going to do to your business?
We are all probably sick and tired of hearing about the CoronaVirus / Covid-19 pandemic that has been declared a national emergency and is shutting down most businesses entirely.
But nevertheless, it is going to have a lasting impact on our economy and most businesses. As you can see from the bar graph above, search volume for most industries has drastically reduced. While Finance, Food, Media, and to a lesser extent, Real Estate have all gone up (stats from March 18th 2020).
With this outbreak, are you and your employees forced to work from home?
It can be a tough transition, and for some it may seem near impossible.
If you have a brick & mortar business location that will be vacant for an unknown period of time, do you have eyes on it while you are gone?
What you don’t want to happen is for a damaging situation to occur and that add to the frustration you are already experiencing.
When the smoke clears, you want to ensure you can hit the ground running and get the money machine moving again.
There are many tools available to you such as automated security cameras (analytics software) to provide remote alerts you when there is unforeseen motion inside your location. Also door access to monitor who’s attempted access to the building when nobody should be there.
Are your alarm system and other crucial life safety systems online and working correctly?The video surveillance system needs to be up and running with a back up power supply in case of a power outage.
If you have an access control system already in place, have you updated the schedule to accommodate the new business hours? You will want to ensure employees don’t have access when they aren’t supposed to be in the building.
Automated alerts are there for you to only be made aware of when something is detected. All this can be monitored 24/7 from the comfort of your own home on a computer or phone.
Automation and security are even more important in today’s world. Don’t be behind the 8 ball, keep your business secure and minimize the potential damage that could occur without a professionally installed security system.
We can provide an absolutely free security assessment without physically going to the property. With fantastic tools like Google Earth and a simple phone conversation we can provide the info you need.
For more info on what we do, please visit chisecuritysystems.com or call 847-750-3448
If you need funding / financing / capital / business loans to get you through the next few months we can help you with that too. We understand it is a very difficult time right now. Please visit https://apply.fundwise.com/chicagobizloans or chicagobizloans.com to learn more.
Lets work together to make it through the storm.