As much as you value your business or institution, there’s no way that you can be on site at all times to ensure the safety of your assets. At the same time, spending money on a surveillance system can often feel like a waste. What’s the point if you’re not seeing the return on your investment? Though it’s tempting to believe that a break-in won’t happen to you, know this; a recent study found that, in some jurisdictions, as many as one-third of non-residential premises are subject to a burglary over the course of a year. That comes to a total of 570,767 incidents in one year alone. When you consider that the average cost of these incidents comes to $5,209, the money spent on a comprehensive surveillance system suddenly seems a lot more reasonable. Furthermore, those numbers don’t even take into account damages caused by vandalism or other malfeasance. Let’s take a look at a few recent incidents to get a better picture of just how much you could be putting at risk by not having a proper surveillance system in place.
Case One: Fire Stations and Manufacturing Plant, 2016-17, Atlanta Area
Proper surveillance doesn’t just monitor the building or buildings that make up your institution; it also helps you to keep track of what’s going on in the parking lots on your property. It was a lack of surveillance in just that area that allowed the suspects in this string of parking lot break-ins to commit their crimes without capture for nearly a year. More than 160 vehicles parked at a manufacturing plant and at over forty fire stations were broken into during that stretch, which alarmingly resulted in the theft of at least forty firearms. It was not until the FBI became involved that the suspects were finally identified and arrested; who knows how much longer their spree would have continued had law enforcement officials not been able to piece together the pattern of break-ins.
As a responsible business owner or manager of a public institution, you know that the safety of your employees and your clients is your highest responsibility. That responsibility extends to every inch of your property, and it includes having all the information you need in order to ensure the safety of everyone who visits your facility. What’s more, the fences and gates surrounding a parking lot often represent the last line of defense an invader must breach before gaining access to your property. That being the case, doesn’t it make sense for that area to be monitored so you can be aware of break-ins as they happen and have the ability to identify the perpetrator after the fact?
Case Two: Cell Towers, 2015, North Carolina
In a previous post, we explored the growing need for security at electric`al substations and the consequences that can befall the surrounding areas if said stations are damaged. Cell towers, meanwhile, have become almost as important to our daily lives as these substations; the signals they transmit are depended on by anyone who makes use of a cell phone or similar wireless communication device. That’s why it’s so disappointing to hear that the security present at these towers is often as lacking as that found at electrical substations. One only needs to read the story about this ring of cell tower thefts to see that there was very little standing in the way of the suspects and the expensive components that were stolen.
Outposts of this nature – regardless of the industry – are counted on by countless members of the surrounding community. It doesn’t have to be an electrical substation or cell tower; how would you feel if you found out that, say, the local water treatment plant employed lackluster security? The managers of these facilities bear a great responsibility to maintain public safety and order while also answering to the company or institution they work for. These three suspects caused over $150,000 in damage that could’ve been prevented with proper surveillance, surveillance that would’ve cost a great deal less than $150,000 to set up and maintain.
Case Three: Renewable Energy Manufacturer, 2011, Scotland
When you’re protecting your business or facility, you’re protecting more than just assets and people; you’re protecting ideas. Pelamis Wave Power learned that the hard way when they discovered that thieves might have taken more than just laptops when they burglarized their facility in Edinburgh. Though no connection has yet officially been drawn, there is reason to believe that the handful of computers that were stolen – which in itself represented a comparatively small loss of a few thousand pounds – were taken by individuals who sold the technology contained on those computers to a company in China who later produced a wave-power device very similar to the one Pelamis had been working on.
The most heartbreaking element of this story is that Pelamis had suffered break-ins in the past but had seemingly not upgraded their surveillance system in response. Though the individuals who were behind the initial break-ins merely wished to steal the facility’s valuable copper cabling, the fact that they were able to do so represented a gap in Pelamis’ security that was never addressed – a gap big enough for their intellectual property to slip through. It is hard to imagine a facility worth protecting that does not hold sensitive data in one form or another. Though cybersecurity plays a significant role in keeping that data safe, what are you going to do if someone decides to simply steal the device on which it’s held? Comprehensive surveillance means the ability to identify all threats to the livelihood of your institution no matter what form they may take.
There’s no one size fits all solution for surveillance; the particulars of the system you decide to set up will be highly dependent on the dimensions of your facility and the level of security you wish to achieve. That said, there are a few products that should almost certainly be utilized in any industrial surveillance system. The flexibility offered by the AXIS IP Cameras and accessories, for example, allows you to create a system tailed to meet your needs and budget. What’s more, i2c Technologies – as an AXIS Solution Gold partner – can provide those products at affordable prices that include free shipping and a comprehensive one-year warranty.
Even if you’re aware of the potential consequences of standing pat, it can still be intimidating to think about the cost and hassle associated with setting up surveillance for your facility. That’s why i2c Technologies commits itself to providing simple and affordable surveillance solutions for our clients.