Before You Buy a CCTV Video System For Your Business: The Five Things You Should Know

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Common mistakes made by installers and users of CCTV security systems. The experts at The Tutis Group offers these tips.

It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.Mark Twain

Neglected Equipment:
It’s not uncommon for equipment to be forgotten after it’s installed. The user gives no thought to the system until it’s needed too late, only to find there’s no video! Many systems come with built-in maintenance functions but often these alerts are not set up by the installer or user. Before any installation is considered complete, make sure your installer sets up all the e-mail alerts, time/date stamps, camera out alerts, and recording interruption alerts.

Storage Needs Are Underestimated:
Costs associated with memory must be balanced with the utility added memory brings. Should an incident occur – it may be months before it gets reported. Due care should be taken in determining the amount of memory needed for any facility and its intended purpose. Purpose determines memory storage capacity. Sometimes it’s not just a matter of the storage itself as much as the configuration of the system. Is recording motion capture or continuous? Are individual camera alarms set? If some low traffic cameras are set for motion only, enormous hard drive space can be saved.

Expecting Playback Quality to Match a Live Feed:
This is where selecting the correct level of resolution is critical. Less expensive cameras seem adequate when you are accustomed to only viewing the live feed. However, critical i detail can be lost on playback if the wrong equipment was selected. Be certain that the installers have an understanding of your actual security needs. That comes from an understanding of the specific vulnerabilities your facility may face. Your installer has to be more than an electrician or technician. They must be able to complete a threat assessment and understand the nature of the risks posed for your particular facility.

Inadequate Operational Security:
The best systems can be compromised by a determined adversary and sometimes the threat comes from within. A dishonest employee may unplug the system a few days before their planned attack. An employee may be terminated or transferred but their credentials in the system remain unchanged – leaving the door open for future attack or cover for another employee’s attack. Most systems allow for security redundancy and checks and balances but often are not set up or monitored. User logs, user security levels with corresponding operational widows, and password management are tools that are rarely used even though most systems come complete with such important features.

Improper Installation:
Modern CCTV systems are so well designed and prolific that users can be lulled into believing these are simple do-it-yourself projects. Many electronic retailers sell inexpensive systems that are ready to go right out of the box. However, even these systems require due consideration where they are placed.Installation cost is not the place to save money.

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John Decker
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