Cybersecurity Laptop Concept

If you’re headed to a vendor fair or have a meeting set up with a company in the security industry, you may be overwhelmed by your company’s needs and the features each business offers. Especially in the field of security camera systems, there can be a lot of terms that you are unfamiliar with. Here are a few questions to consider before buying a new surveillance system.

How do you handle cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is an important consideration of any business, and surveillance systems are no exception. Your company’s network security is constantly in danger, so it’s important to find a solution that takes security seriously. One such company is Verkada, which offers the latest in security without you needing to understand the technical ins and outs of the system. These measures start with data encryption tools, ensuring that if your surveillance cameras are compromised, hackers will not be able to access the footage itself. You may also want to ask each business you speak with how they handle user authentication. Oftentimes, a system with two-factor authentication via SMS or an app like Duo Login will be much more secure than a traditional approach with a username and password. One final aspect of cybersecurity to ask about is whether or not updates are automatic. Many times, hackers will exploit outdated firmware in their attempts to access your data; having a system that regularly updates on its own is one way to protect against this weakness.

What if the internet goes down?

If you’re looking at an online surveillance system, it’s vital that you know how to proceed when your internet or network goes down. Some systems will stop in their tracks, while others have backup measures so that you don’t sacrifice your security. If you are looking into getting a hybrid-cloud system, you may be especially interested in how its cloud-based services are affected by an internet outage. Some companies offer offline modes that allow users access to important features and footage, even when their network is offline. This is one benefit of using a hybrid-cloud surveillance solution since it can switch to your local area network to transmit the data you need to keep your business safe.

What hidden costs might crop up using your system?

Since not every spokesperson will be upfront about this sort of question, learning about hidden costs from competitors’ can reveal a lot about a system you may be considering. For example, if you’re looking at a network or digital video recorder, you will likely have major upgrade costs every few years. These updates are necessary in order to continue using the older video formats that these systems are based around. Since the architecture they run on becomes outdated as technology continues to evolve, hidden costs may include anything from specialized servicing to update the surveillance firmware to software that converts older file formats to much more usable specifications. The bottom line is that some businesses that advertise lower costs upfront may end up having much pricier maintenance down the line.

Making any decision for your business can be stressful, and so it’s important to ask the right questions during your RFP process. Especially when it comes to security systems, you need to find out if you’ll really be able to rely on the system. While many businesses make decisions based on price, between hidden costs, cybersecurity threats, and internet outages, there are dozens of other factors to consider when you choose a new security platform, too. Use the above questions to frame your conversation and you’ll be sure to find a security solution that meets your needs.