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Developing a strong and reliable security system continues to rank as a top priority for business owners across all industries, with security teams expected to implement intelligent systems and integrated devices capable of both deterring criminality and improving operational efficiency.
Thankfully, modern security and building management technology is well-equipped to combine the operation of essential systems within one unified network, aiding teams in developing automated responses and procedures to best protect businesses from emerging threats.
To successfully create and implement a proactive and comprehensive commercial security system, each network component must be carefully considered and expertly installed to reduce the likelihood of uncovering vulnerabilities or exploits by malicious actors. An expert security systems integrator or security integrator team will typically perform this process.
For property owners and security staff looking to improve existing security systems, this article will explain all that needs to be known about modern security integrator companies and security systems integrators, including their roles and responsibilities, what to expect from top security system integrators and how to choose security integration companies best-suited to your needs.
What is a security integrator?
Building security systems integrators are highly trained professionals whose primary role is to assist organizations and internal security teams in developing, implementing and maintaining integrated security solutions.
Professional business security system integrators are authorized to install and calibrate both hardware and software-based systems to maximize efficiency and enable the creation of integrated security solutions. This role is typically more involved than security system installation.
Unlike installation teams, security systems integrators will be tasked with overseeing the project as a whole, including installation, calibration and how each facet of the security system can communicate as part of an integrated network. In other words, a security integrator is hired to help organizations develop truly comprehensive and future-proof business security solutions.
An effective security service integrator identifies opportunities to add intelligence and automation to security systems. This includes recommending and integrating analytics systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning to further improve awareness and incident response times.
A security solutions integrator will also advise businesses on how best to structure internal security departments by forming converged physical and cyber security systems or policies to help staff develop joint security strategies for sharing threat intelligence.
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Reasons to hire building security systems integrators
In a traditional or legacy business security system, individual components and devices intended to control property access, physical security, cybersecurity and HVAC systems typically exist as segregated systems, with the management of these tools divided across separate departments.
However, as security technology continues to evolve, so too do sophisticated threats and risk factors, meaning any gaps in knowledge or functionality observed between segregated systems can quickly lead to significant vulnerabilities for criminals to take advantage of.
By working closely with a professional security dealer and integrator company, business owners and security teams can mitigate risks by developing automated responses and converged security policies. Below are a few more reasons to hire a security solutions integrator.
The commonality of security threats
Recent reports seem to illustrate an increasing need for intelligent security systems deployed amongst modern businesses, with 39% of leaders surveyed in the 2022 Thales Data Threat Report claiming to have been affected by a significant breach during the previous 12 months and 44% reporting a measurable increase in the volume, severity and scope of such attacks.
For businesses to appropriately respond to and prevent sophisticated security breaches, it’s advised that all active security systems’ core components are combined within a converged network by professional security control integrators to strengthen security postures.
The importance of security convergence
As more businesses continue to utilize digital technologies and web-based programs to improve the efficiency and efficacy of critical systems, the need for security convergence becomes more apparent, with data suggesting over 50% of leaders have converged at least two core systems.
Choosing to continue operating segregated physical and cyber security systems can expose several significant gaps in understanding between physical security and IT teams that could leave businesses vulnerable to attacks. Physical and cybersecurity integrators can address this by forming and deploying an intelligent and bespoke security convergence strategy.
Sustainability and smart building management
Across most major industries, rising energy costs and a demand for more sustainable buildings have been seen to drive the adoption of smart building systems. These technologies typically include a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and sensors configured as part of an integrated network intended to automate and streamline the function of existing HVAC units.
Research indicates that businesses could reduce energy waste by as much as 40% by investing in smart building systems to automate the operation of all HVAC, lighting and occupancy management systems. However, advisory consultations with a professional security systems integrator will be required to ensure that such upgrades are designed and implemented appropriately.
What services do security integrators offer?
An effective security and surveillance information systems integrator will be expected to offer a wide range of professional services tailored to suit any organization’s specific needs. Primarily, security integrators and specialized professionals like surveillance systems integrators will provide detailed advice and support to internal security personnel to assist in developing reliable and long-lasting solutions.
Business owners and security management teams should ensure that their chosen solutions integrator recommends suitable security devices, offer advice regarding software solutions (including how best to update and maintain such systems) and teach internal staff how best to combine the operation of new and existing systems to optimize wider security networks.
Further forms of assistance provided by expert industrial security integrators include:
Security risk assessments
A qualified security and information system integrator, or security dealer and integrator, will collaborate with internal teams to perform a detailed assessment of all existing systems to inform staff of expected risk factors and evaluate the efficacy of currently installed devices. Audits will be conducted using relevant data to investigate common security events and evaluate historic incident responses.
The information collected here will be used to recommend new technologies, protocols and policies designed to improve incident response times and minimize exploitable attack surfaces, with most information integrators following a step-by-step process to identify significant risks.
Security system recommendations
After completing a thorough risk assessment, building security systems integrators will provide comprehensive recommendations for strengthening security systems based on the data collected. This may include upgrades to existing technologies, advice to replace legacy systems or actionable ways to integrate specific devices such as access readers, CCTV cameras and sensors.
Security management improvements
A physical and cyber security system integrator will also help internal staff improve security management procedures by teaching teams how to combine the operation of multiple systems to offer a more holistic view of the organization’s defenses. An increasingly popular way to achieve this is by adopting integrated cloud-based security management platforms.
By transitioning the management of active security systems to a cloud-based platform, teams can view, adjust and maintain all installed devices remotely from anywhere with a secure internet connection, as well as view relevant data and receive automated alerts if any devices are triggered. A security integrator for large facility installations will often recommend this.
Development of integrated systems
Security systems integrators will develop detailed plans outlining how existing and proposed security devices are to be integrated as part of a wider network. This will ensure that the resulting installation can function as a single seamless system with secure and accessible controls.
Security and controls integrators will create documents detailing installation requirements, budget forecasts and a projected installation schedule before starting the installation process, with most modern systems designed to integrate several core devices like business security cameras, access control devices, environmental sensors and on-site alarms alongside intelligent data analytics software.
Updates to policies and procedures
Alongside suggesting and installing new security technologies and improving the management of such systems, security integrator companies will work with staff to update internal policies and procedures to mitigate gaps in security and streamline the operation of all active devices.
Often this will involve implementing access control models used to manage property and system access by restricting permissions related to rule and role-based guidelines. For example, a rule may be set to automatically secure all doors after a certain time, or entry to high-security areas like server rooms and file-keeping systems may be restricted only to management credentials.
Security convergence assistance
With assistance from physical and cyber security teams, security integrators (or controls integrators) will act to identify potential security gaps where interconnected systems may be at risk from combined cyber and physical security attacks, ultimately recommending ways to address these vulnerabilities.
An information system integrator will help create shared threat detection systems and advise teams on prioritizing operational policies well-suited to integrated technologies. Cybersecurity integrators will also work to strengthen existing security measures related to internal networks.
System handover, training and maintenance
After all installation and integration processes are complete, a security integrator will test the finalized system and handover the management of all active devices to internal teams, including comprehensive training sessions, detailed documentation and operational instructions used to ensure that security and IT personnel are well-equipped to begin managing the new system.
As part of the handover process, security systems and controls integrators will also instruct organizations on how best to apply regular maintenance and updates to all core systems and components to improve the network’s longevity and ensure all active devices are suitably maintained.
Benefits of an integrated security solution
Improved security posture
Top controls and security system integrators will develop solutions designed to optimize business security by ensuring that teams have great visibility of all active devices, often with assistance from remote access management platforms, automated incident responses and real-time security alerts. By integrating the operation of multiple devices, staff can assess and respond to threats effectively.
Adaptive system controls
Security solutions integrators will help businesses implement bespoke software management systems and accessible dashboards designed to make the management and control of active devices much easier. This process is even more efficient if a cloud-based solution is developed, enabling teams to access and adjust each component remotely at any time.
Fewer gaps in security
Choosing to implement physical and cyber security convergence policies can aid internal teams in mitigating the risks posed by gaps in security observed between physical and digital systems. With both departments trained to operate and maintain security devices in line with opposing best practices, the number of exploitable attack surfaces will typically be greatly diminished.
Reduced administrative burden
By acting to automate essential systems and common incident responses, security and IT staff are afforded more time to focus on pressing matters without the need to frequently assess live data feeds, especially if AI integrations are utilized to help improve decision-making processes.
How to choose the best security integrators near you
Security system integrators can choose to work as independent specialists or as employees registered to larger security dealer and integrator organizations. Often, security integrator companies will be contracted to work for a specific hardware or software manufacturer.
If business owners already operate security systems containing devices manufactured by one supplier and wish to continue utilizing similar hardware and software solutions, it may be wise to seek out a security integrator experienced in working with such technologies. However, teams looking to develop entirely new systems may choose to explore a wider variety of candidates.
Regardless of which avenue is chosen, businesses should consider the following requirements:
Certifications and licenses
Security solutions integrators should be certified to work with many different types of hardware and software produced by different manufacturers to ensure that any resulting systems are free from issues and vulnerabilities. Businesses must ensure that any chosen security integrator can assist them in achieving compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, SOC, SOX and PCI DSS regulations.
An effective security systems integrator will be expected to work on complicated installations such as commercial security camera installations, meaning they must possess a wide range of skills relating to both physical and cyber security solutions, as well as a deep understanding of associated networks and information systems.
Additionally, high-level project management skills will be required as the chosen integrator will be expected to coordinate installation teams and train internal staff to operate the final system.
Quality of service
To guarantee the longevity of any newly installed systems, business owners should prioritize controlsintegrators that offer employee training and professional maintenance services, as well as those that are willing and able to work with the organization on a long-term basis as operations scale.
An ideal security integrator will not only have been working in the field for a reasonable amount of time but should also specialize in providing services to organizations and business sectors related to the company in question, whether commercial, industrial or multifamily security system installations.
A solutions integrator will be expected to produce a detailed budget, including all equipment costs, software license fees, labor and service charges. Top security system integrators will be willing to discuss options to suit varying budgets and possible future additions in line with the business’ growth.
Takeaways for hiring a business security system integrator
When searching for industrial security integrators or more general ‘security integrators near me’, make sure to consider the information detailed in this guide. Whether you require a top security integrator for large facility security or one suited to small business installations, an integrated security system customized to your unique requirements will protect your business from harm.
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