Government rules introduced to control the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have meant a number of businesses either need to be shut down or staff are required to work from home. The owners of these companies will understandably be concerned about keeping their premises secure during this time. Additionally, ensuring the continuity of IT systems is vital with employees working from home and businesses innovating and selling more goods and services online.
Protect your goods, machinery and important equipment
If business owners are concerned about goods and equipment that are normally stored at their commercial premises it maybe necessary to move this and store them at home or in another more secure location. To ensure added security valuable goods and equipment could be stored at the homes of a few senior employees. Any important documentation related to the business should also be stored somewhere secure.
Making sure locks for doors and windows are adequate is also important. Although you maybe worried about spending company money at this time protecting your assets is vital so consider shutters for doors.
Protection from CCTV
The good news is that if companies have existing alarm and CCTV systems for security these can provide continuing protection. As modern IP CCTV systems, like those developed by Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon, work over IT networks you will be able to monitor the footage from cameras remotely as well as via a mobile device.
If you are viewing your CCTV footage via a mobile device it is important that cyber security is maintained by ensuring you are not using default passwords so that data protection breaches do not occur.
Electronic access control systems, such as the Paxton Net2 software, are also available as web-based versions which can be accessed remotely wherever you have an internet connection. These systems can be integrated with intruder alarms so can give you added peace of mind if you have had to lock up your business premises.
Employing security specialists
Companies can employ a specialist security firm to monitor CCTV footage remotely if required and they can also provide support for your systems if they do go wrong including, if necessary, going to premises to carry out maintenance.
A leading accreditation body for the security industry, the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has stated that: “Approved companies working in security and fire safety deliver every day essential services ranging from a wide variety of guarding services, to fire detection and intruder alarm systems, CCTV systems and the 24/7 remote monitoring of these systems in purpose built and secure Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs).”
The NSI added, “Approved companies working in these specialisms go to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their service. It is our belief essential staff in their businesses are key workers, providing critical maintenance and emergency call-outs to ensure effective security and safety cover. They understand exactly how to balance utilisation of Key Worker status with the demands of social distancing, and so support public safety and the emergency services.”
Security guards can provide additional support
Businesses that have otherwise have minimal security measures may feel the need to employ security guards to ensure their property and their goods are protected.
The regulator for the private industry association, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) confirmed at the end of March that some security professionals were classed as critical workers for the purposes of obtaining childcare if they worked in the key sectors identified by the government as important to keep running normally.
This, the SIA, said would cover those providing security provision in hospitals; schools; social care; courts; government estate; supermarkets and the food supply chain; the transport network; national infrastructure and utilities. Additionally, roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, would also meet the critical worker definition the SIA said. According to the SIA, this would include, amongst other areas, the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises.
All security staff whether a security guard or those maintaining your CCTV or alarm systems would follow the social distancing rules of on maintaining a two-metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.
IT systems under pressure during the coronavirus outbreak
Along with most people working from home there is a lot of innovation occurring with food suppliers, pubs and restaurants now providing home delivery services as well as smaller retailers boosting their online presence and delivering products. To manage additional homeworking and more use of IT solutions successfully, companies need to ensure they have the IT infrastructure to make this work.
IT staff that will now be working from home need to be closely monitoring company IT spaces and server rooms to ensure business continuity for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With less people going into offices or other commercial sites people may not notice issues, such as leaks or air conditioning unit failure, that could cause damage to IT equipment.
Real-time monitoring can provide business continuity
Real-time monitoring systems to make sure that IT equipment are running efficiently are essential. A broad range of server room monitoring hardware, software and services are available to provide businesses with the systems that they require to monitor server-rooms. The parameters include temperature, humidity/dewpoint, fluid, airflow, smoke, power, intrusion and also monitoring of third-party devices.
If you are concerned about power surges or blackouts make sure you have the correct Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system to provide seamless transition between mains power failure and a battery backup. Meanwhile, intelligent power distribution units can distribute and manage electricity supply to servers and networking devices and provide a central unit to control and distribute electricity across a server room.
The real-time and power monitoring solutions provided by Schneider Electric and its APC brand, are comprehensive and bring together all the data collected at the touch of button. If environmental or power issues are detected alerts are created which can be routed both to desktop and mobile devices. This allows IT or facilities teams to be able to fix many of the common power and environmental issues remotely thus keeping these employees safer. If IT staff are not able to monitor these issues you can use an external specialist to remotely monitor and maintain your system.
Meeting the security and IT challenge successfully
Ecl-ips, an NSI Gold-approved CCTV and access control specialist, that partners with Avigilon, Paxton and APC/Schneider, is among the companies that can support its customers remotely and, if necessary, on site with essential maintenance and support. Additionally, the firm is providing remote real-time monitoring services, using NetBotz and Schneider Electric’s Data Center Expert, which are key to the healthy running of IT systems.
Meeting the immediate security and monitoring challenge is important to ensure business continuity and may well strengthen your infrastructure so you are more able to deal with risks and challenges in these areas in the future.
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