The Value Of Remote Services

The value of remote services

Residential Security Handbook 2022: Smart Estate Living Residential Estate (Industry)

Remote or offsite monitoring services have been available to estates for several years with some estate managers being in favour of offsite monitoring and others opposed to it in favour of keeping everything onsite and under their control. And then there are those who prefer a hybrid approach using onsite and offsite services to strengthen their security posture.

With the world moving to cloud services at a manic pace, it’s only reasonable to ask whether more (or most) estates will join the move to remote services. (Of course, many estates already make use of remote services to one degree or another.)

However, the question is not really about remote or onsite. Craig Peel, GM of Mantis Security, says, “I don’t think it is a matter of convincing them of the viability of remote monitoring services, but fully understanding the actual needs of the estate, the role played by a control room in the overall operation of the estate, beyond just security functions. From this information we determine how each of these could be done from a remote location without impacting on the value-added components of the control room.

“If the answer is that the value-added components cannot be effectively managed remotely, then it may be best to leave the control room onsite. However, even if the control room should remain onsite, consideration should be given to looking to a remote facility being a failover to the onsite facility and how best this can be implemented.”

While offsite alarm control rooms are decades old, the same does not apply to other systems and technologies. However, with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) growing at a dramatic pace, the number of ‘things’ that can be monitored via technology is almost endless. This applies to security technology, from camera, perimeter and even fire alarms, but also to monitoring non-security technology, such as generators, water pumps, networks, servers, diesel levels, water levels, etc.

Peel adds that any form of operational equipment or system that operates according to set programs and parameters can be monitored today and events or changes in status of the monitored system can be reported to the control room. Whether onsite or offsite, automated notifications can be sent via cellphone, emails, apps etc. Some local management platforms can even make a voice call to the appropriate people in case of a serious event.

 

 

The viability of remote VMS and AI

Given the economies of scale of remote operations, the costs of having a remote VMS or remote AI-based video analytics is far less than having the same installed onsite. That is why alarm monitoring services can offer low rates, the same technology and people serve multiple customers; hence, the same applies to surveillance, access control and so forth.

There is a catch that we all know about, however and that is the reliability of the connection to the remote site. What happens when the Internet goes down? What happens when Eskom strikes, as seems to be happening more regularly these days? With only remote control rooms or event management systems, an estate could be literally and figuratively left in the dark. Although, Peel argues that network or Eskom failures can be just as devastating to local operations if there is no fallback plan.

A reality check for South Africa

“The effective planning of the CCTV system and associated alerts in terms of operation, when either the local fibre connection or the electricity supply goes down, is equally important, otherwise the system is not functional until re-instated. Unless the system can continue to operate during a power failure, the estate’s risk profile changes and may require additional physical security personnel until it is restored.”

When it comes to power backup, Peel advises the use of UPSs/inverters coupled to a generator to ensure continued power during a mains failure. When it comes to network connectivity, a wireless connection to a location on a different grid to the local network would improve the likelihood of maintaining connectivity and operation of remote services.

A remote, or shared service (like AI-enhanced video analytics) can offer many benefits compared to the same system setup onsite. Peel explains that the AI learns from each interaction and when this learning is based on multiple client environments, the improvements in the system are faster and more noticeable, resulting in better performance and efficacy.

To get the best of both worlds, a hybrid solution may include onsite analytics (in cameras or on the estate’s VMS, for example), where suspicious activity is sent to the cloud service for more intense scrutiny and evaluation. This significantly reduces the instances of false alarms, according to Peel and therefore delivers a more focused and reliable service.

As part of the planning process, he adds that estates could look at failover/overlapping system such as Videofied to provide cover when the electricity or fibre connections are down, as these devices are not reliant on Eskom or a network connection (apart from the GSM networks).

Decisions: remote or not

Estate managers and their security managers cannot simply make the decision as to onsite or offsite services over a coffee break. There are many issues to consider, the main one being the safety of residents and legitimate visitors on the premises. The decision, says Peel, is very much led by the assessment mentioned above.

“One of the considerations may be whether they have the space to house an effective control room, onsite, but will largely depend on the added value the operation onsite provides to other functionality and duties, such as enrolment of tenants, etc. Where the only role of the control room is responding to events on a black screen and to notify somebody on site, it is more cost-effective to do this remotely where the operator can monitor numerous clients, thereby reducing the costs.

“One the other hand, if the range of duties required of the operator is to be fully operational and focused on a single client due to the range of value-added functions being performed, then this could be done onsite more effectively in most cases.”

When it comes to the remote services Mantis offers to the residential estate market, Peel lists the following as a starting point:

• Artificial intelligence via an edge device attached to existing CCTV system or via cloud-based AI, depending on the specific needs of the client, the systems in use and number of cameras to be managed (making use of the Deep Alert system or the INNOVI system).

• Alarm/device monitoring making use of Permacon monitoring and transmission devices.

• Videofied alarm system with built-in video verification and no reliance on mains power.

• Network and IP address monitoring system.

 

The Future of Guarding and Security and How to Adapt with These Changes

The Future of Guarding and Security and How to Adapt with These Changes

Written by Eyal Ben-Shir

“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Roy T. Bennett

As we experience the difficulties and challenges sprung to us by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to look at guarding solutions and evaluate its overall place for the future. Security companies in South Africa are making the move towards using off-site monitoring, CCTV cameras and technology. Some schools of thought adhere to technology only or others adhere to manned/physical guarding. This blog post will argue in the benefits of using a blended approach of labour and technology to ensure safer communities, properties, and information. We will define various terms and we aim to clarify these important concepts in an educational manner for all our readers. This is an important topic as we need to be receptive to change and learn from all the seismic shifts in the security industry.

In simple terms, a security officer is a person employed to protect people and properties from crime, accidents, fire, and suspicious behaviour. A security officer needs to undergo specific industry related training and gain the relevant experience to perform his/her duties effectively. Extensive interventions, further training and proper supervision will allow each security officer to flourish further in their careers. Proper screening and vetting of potential security personnel for any prior criminal activity is mandatory. Scenario-based testing will unveil the security officer’s current knowledge regarding the security industry and the level at which he/she is currently at.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Following from this, we are dealing with human beings who each come with their own narratives, histories, personalities, and backgrounds. To ensure the optimal working relationship between employer and employee, attention must be shown towards the development of each security officer. He/she might even become a supervisor, manager or become part of the upper tiers of operations and/or management. It is the duty of the training staff to make training sessions enjoyable, productive, and engaging for all. Each person needs a tailored and specific approach to learning. Adept trainers need to understand the different learning styles that suit each person best and adjust their training to ensure that the trainee receives the most benefit. Furthermore, reinforcement of training, recognition, mentorship, and proper succession planning will allow for more employees to flourish. Happy employees will be more productive and have increased work-life satisfaction. According to recent psychological research, job satisfaction and life satisfaction are strongly related to desirable outcomes in work and life such as: higher job performance, organizational citizenship behaviour, lower absenteeism, and organizational commitment (Diener and Tay, 2012).

Following from this, the right trainers and management staff will allow employees to develop more effectively and even if there are contentious issues, more empathetic and holistic approaches can combat this. This can include personalized one on one mentoring sessions, proper discipline, and regular performance appraisals. This involves time, money, and effort however if done correctly, it can lead to security officers better protecting clients’ assets, people, and information due to improved job and life satisfaction.

“It’s not about your resources, it’s about your resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins

It is vital to consider how resourceful your security provider is. Resourcefulness is the ability to overcome difficulties by using clever and efficient ways to solve these difficulties. In South Africa specifically, innumerable industries have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result there have been disruptions in essential industries, business closures, trade disruption, reduction in productivity, decreased income and countless related consequences. This spills into the security industry as there is a clear link between crime and economic inequality. Security companies need to rely on dynamic, cost effective and technological products and services to aid in the fight against crime. All this links to the fact that resourcefulness is invaluable. Security professionals need to be inventive, enterprising, and tenacious going forward.

Moreover, we cannot just buy all the cameras, the latest security gadgets, and equipment without first analyzing each product carefully. Security companies must operate within restricted budgets due to the new economic landscape. The best use of technology needs to combine with making cost effective use of our budgets. High-definition cameras, off-site monitoring, guard management software and access control systems are part of the holistic package that an effective security provider can use. However, a key reminder is that solely relying on technology without adequate training, supervision and human intervention could be detrimental to the overall goal and purpose of security which is looking after and protecting people, clients’ assets, and information. Sufficient product knowledge on the part of security professionals and consumers can lead to better decisions made. Emphasis to the type of property and site is critical. Quality risk assessments will determine which technology is correct for that site. Being resourceful with technology and guarding is likely to achieve better outcomes in terms of security measures and protection.

“Synergy – The Bonus that is Achieved when Things Work Together Harmoniously” – Mark Twain

The final piece of the puzzle for effective security in this ever-growing industry is synergy between personnel, technology, client, and overall cost. Without all these crucial elements working together harmoniously then this will result in subpar service delivery or catastrophe. The security industry is based on trust, and it is the duty of security professionals to carefully listen to the client’s needs and see how they can input value into the safety and lives of their beloved clients. To conclude, we need to pay attention to the fluctuating economy due to COVID-19, superior guarding solutions, the proper training and improved work-life satisfaction of security officers, conducting quality risk assessments, applying resourcefulness, and achieving total synergy. To reach the overarching goal of safety and security, it all boils down to implementing a tailor made and specific solution to the needs of all clients.

If you are interested in upgrading your security solutions or having one of our knowledgeable staff discuss an integrated solution of guarding and technology for you, look no further than the leading contract guarding specialists in South Africa, Mantis Security. We can conduct a free risk assessment on your property, business, or establishment. Our related services also include employee vetting and screening.

Contact us on 0114871000, email info@mantissecurity.co.za or visit our newly updated webpage on www.mantissecurity.co.za. We are also on social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram.

Security Vehicle | Mantis Security The Future of Guarding and Security | Mantis Security

Smarter Security and Safety Risk Solutions

Benefits Of Real Time Video Monitoring

Video surveillance is a controversial topic, especially with the way privacy issues are looming over our heads. At the same time, the importance of surveillance in business cannot be understated in the current social climate as it’s fundamentally important to ensure the overall safety of your possessions and the individuals working for you. As a business, it is justifiable to worry about the physical health of your employees and your office property, especially if you have a small or medium-scale outfit.

CCTV monitoring is one of the most common forms of surveillance available today. There are more than 25 million operational CCTV cameras globally, and experts believe that around 67% of the burglaries taking place in businesses could be avoided by installing real-time security measures such as CCTV monitoring.

Real Time Video Monitoring – What is It?

Remote, real-time video monitoring is just one way to protect your construction site, business, home or industrial property from vandals, vagrants, and suspicious activity. This proactive solution can deter criminal activity before it happens. Trained operators watch your commercial property in real-time and can alert local authorities, or dispatch response guards from their own control room.

Video evidence verifies there is a crime in progress, which can lead to a faster response time from police. This is only one of the many benefits of remote video monitoring.

Advantages of Video Monitoring

  • Improve Employee Productivity

It’s a simple fact that when workers know the boss is watching, they’re more than likely to work harder, but that’s not the only reason video surveillance can provide a boost to productivity. With video systems in place, different departments will be able to communicate with each other more effectively. With this greater degree of collaboration and cooperation, business productivity can only increase.

  • Resolve Conflicts

Conflicts can pop up in any number of cases. Sometimes it might be a dispute between an employee and a customer, or it could be between two employees. In instances like these, it’s helpful for the business to look at what happened and come to a decision on how best to proceed. This is possible when the company has a security camera system installed, giving proof of what happened.

  • Theft Reduction

Surveillance cameras are an excellent way to both prevent and reduce theft. The mere presence of a security camera is sometimes enough for a prospective thief to rethink their plan of action. With a surveillance system in place, incidents of theft can be reduced dramatically, saving your business money and keeping your store and offices secure.

  • Real Time Monitoring

One benefit of surveillance cameras is they provide you with real time monitoring of your place of business. You would no longer need to look through archival footage to find what you need; instead you watch things in the moment they happen. Best of all, with a remote video monitoring service, you can view it all from the convenience of your mobile device no matter where you are. This allows you to keep an eye on your property should you suddenly get worried about what is happening while you are away.

  • Improved Safety

When it comes to lone worker safety, few systems lead to a safer environment than a video surveillance system. Security cameras can monitor employees while they’re working alone on the factory floor, for example. Should an accident or other dangerous incident occur, the surveillance system can provide an immediate alert to help that employee out? In some industries, surveillance systems are needed to comply with federal and state safety regulations in the first place.

  • Digital Storage

As helpful as recording events in real time is, surveillance systems can also act as digital storage systems. All that footage can be stored digitally, giving you a large store of information which you can study and analyse for future use. With today’s security systems, finding the video footage you want has also become easier.

  • Helpful Evidence

Criminal activity can’t be avoided 100% of the time. That’s why it’s so useful that a video surveillance system is able to provide investigators with valuable evidence in criminal cases. Gone are the days of grainy footage now that most security cameras have high resolutions that can pick out the tiniest details, all to aid investigations and catch the people responsible.

 

For any information regarding Mantis Vision – click here to get in touch with us today!

Source credit: https://pro-vigil.com/2017/01/26/10-reasons-business-needs-video-surveillance-system/

 

Off-Site Real Time Video Monitoring – Benefits Discussed

Off-site video monitoring is just one way to protect your construction site, industrial property, business or home from vandals, vagrants, and suspicious activity. This proactive solution can deter criminal activity before it happens. Trained operators watch your site in real-time, and will contact your armed reaction partner of choice to inform them of any unusual sightings at your premises, business or residential. Clients are also notified of suspect events by means of a video clip sent to their cell phone, or by email notifications.

Video evidence verifies there is a crime in progress, which can lead to a faster response time from police. This is only one of the many benefits of remote video monitoring, let alone real-time video monitoring!

Biggest Advantages of Real Time Video Surveillance

  • Prevent and Reduce Theft with Video Surveillance Cameras

“Placing security cameras throughout your business can help prevent crimes such as vandalism and theft as well as break ins. When security cameras are appropriately placed, they can help deter potential burglars.

  • View Real time Monitoring of Video Surveillance Cameras

Real time remote video monitoring is extremely useful. Commercial video surveillance allows you to monitor critical areas continuously. You can do this from a computer, mobile phone, or tablet anywhere anytime. It’s even possible to have multiple sites communicating on the same network, so views from different cameras are accessible through the internet.

  • Improve Business Productivity with Commercial Video Surveillance Cameras

Another advantage to having video surveillance is increased productivity. Employees are more likely to be on their best behaviour and work to their fullest capability when they know they are being monitored.

  • Provide Evidence with a Camera System

Having a video surveillance system in your business allows you the benefit of providing evidence for an investigation should a crime occur in your workplace. The cameras can help identify anyone involved in a criminal activity in or around your company and provide visual evidence for a police investigation.

  • Maintain Digital Storage of Your Business Video Surveillance

An IP camera systems will allow you to store all the recorded footage digitally using an NVR, hard drive, or network server. You will be able to find footage anytime you want.

  • Help Customers and Family Members Feel Safer Inside Your Business or Your Home

The advantages of having video surveillance cameras extend beyond you to your customers.” Surveillance cameras help many customers feel safe by offering a better shopping experience, offer you a full night’s rest knowing your family and home are protected, as well as the priceless peace of mind associated with knowing that if anything were to go wrong, you have instant, reliable backup.

For advice, assessments, quotations or bookings, click here to get in touch with us today!

Source credits: https://holdersecurity.com/2017/05/10/8-advantages-video-surveillance-business/

 

 

Off Site Monitoring Companies – Common Site Security Risks and How to Prevent Them

The aim of securing premises, in principle, is based on being able to prevent losses, while not hindering day-to-day business. This is to be achieved within a budget that should be as low as  possible. Bearing that in mind, security, whether physical measures or manpower, is not cheap, so the answer is to ensure that it is kept proportionate to the related risk.

A risk assessment should be undertaken as this will help quantify what is required to help the business operate in a normal manner. Read more about security risk assessments here.

While good security may not visibly contribute to the profitability of a business, the losses and disruption of inadequate security will have cost implications if it disrupts or stops the business operations. Security risk assessments should focus on all threats to the business. A common risk for any business is theft and criminal damage, including arson. However, depending on the nature of the business, there can be other threats, including business espionage, sabotage, activists

There are, however, some common risks that every company faces in terms of security.

Site Security Risk Factors

Business Location – High Risk, Medium Risk or Low Risk?

A major feature that determines the level of vulnerability of your job site is location. If your business is located in an area that faces daily crime, you are at a greater risk of criminals trying to steal from you, vandalize your property, or otherwise harm you. Even if your site is located in an area that doesn’t experience a great deal of crime (medium or low risk areas), you still have to be concerned if other variables are in play. For instance, many businesses are in areas that become quite deserted overnight and on weekends. If criminals feel that there is a minimal chance of them being noticed by police or security company patrols, they are far more likely to attempt targeting your site.

Prior Security Breaches or Incidents of Invasion or Break-In

An important aspect of risk factors for your business sites relates to your past experience with security. As unfortunate as it is, if you’ve been targeted by criminals before, it’s highly likely that you’ll be targeted again. Criminals want the job to be as easy as possible and they generally won’t go out of their way to target highly secured sites.

However, if your site has sub-par security, property criminals will take advantage of the situation and likely target or hit your property repeatedly until you bolster your security. If you’ve been targeted, you need to fix the problem now before it gets worse and you lose more money, or worse, lives.

Industry-related Risk Factors

The type of industry you’re in and what types of equipment, machinery and goods you have on your premises is also a determining factor in how high a risk your premises are. Criminals tend to be interested in the biggest payoff for the least amount of effort; it then makes sense that if your business is part of an industry that involves heavy, expensive equipment, or hols high-value goods in easy-to-reach places – you’ll typically face a higher threat of theft (or at least costly theft).

These are very good reasons to consider implementing some “beefed-up” security measures. If you’re in the warehousing, trucking transportation, or distribution industry, criminals are aware that you have expensive products being trafficked regularly in and out of your premises. This is an incentive to try to gain access to your site and steal your products.

 

Can you check the tick box on any of the risk factors we’ve listed? If yes, click here to get in touch with one of our friendly consultants today and allow Mantis Security to keep your business safe from all sides.

Active vs Passive Security – How Can Different Security Measures Work Hand-in-Hand?

Active security can be categorised as a system which itself either reacts to an unwanted situation, or gives off a (typically) silent alarm to notify those responsible for reaction that something is amiss. A good example of an active security system would be a motion detector. This system picks up even the slightest of movements, and triggers an alarm to the control room. The monitored control room will then respond accordingly. Perhaps an even simpler way to explain an active security system is that it allows for immediate response, alerts and notifications.

A passive system – such as a non-monitored surveillance device is there mostly for record-keeping purposes. Think of a CCTV camera placed at the entrance to a residential complex. This will record the number-plates and capture a facial image of every person entering the complex. It does not alert security to any breaches, nor does it send silent signals. Rather, it keeps visual record of all parties which can be referred back to in a situation where an incident or breach of security has occurred.

Both security system types have their unique benefits:

Active and Passive Security For During An Intrusion

During an Intrusion – Passive security: records what happens as accurately as possible.

During an Intrusion – Active security: detects what happens as accurately as possible and notifies the proper authorities. Here are some questions active security can help answer during an intrusion:

  1. When is there a potential intrusion?
    Monitored 24-hour control rooms will be alerted to any suspicious activity via CCTV real-time streaming, and may be able to diffuse the situation or at least warn you of the possible threat.
  2. Is this a legitimate alarm or a false alarm?
    Passive systems may be liable to sending off false alarms, which result in a waste of time and resources for the responding company as well as unnecessary call out fees and worries for the customer.
  3. Which authorities should be notified? (e.g. property manager vs. send law enforcement).
    The monitored control room can see whether a van of masked robbers is attempting a home invasion and alert police and dispatch their own backup, or see if it’s a spiteful ex trying to gain access to your property.
  4. Where is the intruder in the facility?
    Criminals will either hide or flee at the first sign of police or security; active security gives the upper hand in being able to locate the criminal via real-time CCTV and notify the responding authority (or their own teams) – which is far more likely ot lead to a successful apprehension and arrest.
  5. Is the intruder still on site when the police arrive?
    The intruder(s) may be armed and simply waiting for police to arrive; active security allows for the criminals whereabouts to be noted and passed onto law enforcement to ensure they are not taken by surprise. 

Active and Passive Security For After An Intrusion

After an Intrusion – Active security: helps start review process as soon as possible after the incident.

After an Intrusion – Passive security: allows for review and analysis. Here are some questions passive security can help answer after an intrusion:

  1. Who broke in?
    Surveillance cameras are able to record faces, movements, vehicles and number plates. Passive security may help trace the criminal “after-the-fact”.
  2. How did the intruder enter the facility?
    Again, camera footage may be pulled up for a specific period in which you suspect the crime was committed. You can see where entry was gained and inspect that area for weak spots, tools left behind, perhaps an identifying item such as a cell phone etc., which may help lead law enforcement to a successful arrest.
  3. When exactly did the intrusion occur?
    For insurance purposes it may be beneficial to you to be able to pinpoint exactly where and when an incident occurred; it also aids law enforcement by providing a timeline to help ascertain here they can begin looking for the perpetrator.
  4. What might have been taken?
    You may be overwhelmed to come home to a burgled home, and the last thing on your mind is to look for antique jewellery which may have been stolen. Surveillance footage may be able to help you trace the steps of the burglar to see what they were looking for and what they got away with. It may also help law enforcement uncover their modus operandi to assist in similar future crimes, helping by establishing their pattern.
  5. How can changes be made in the future to prevent this situation?
    Other than finding the weak spots which allowed the perpetrators to gain entry in the first place, you may want to make changes to your existing security setup – i.e. – implementing active security systems.

 

If you’d like to explore your options in terms of active and passive security solutions, click here to get in touch with us today!