Crime is everywhere. Inadequate prevention against it is equivalent to allowing it to happen to your business. Even the safest places can become venues of crime, and you'll never know what will happen to your business in the future.
Here at Open Sourced Workplace, we reach out to many business owners who work in virtual offices, which is sensitive to more security threats than typical businesses. Hence, it's essential to have a security system that can adequately protect your place of business from theft and other criminal activities. A sound office security system makes good use of technology to ensure that all areas and all belongings are under constant surveillance.
What are the ten best office security systems?
6. Norton Security Premium
7. AVG Internet Security
8. Trend Micro Maximum Security
9. Kaspersky Security Cloud
10. Microsoft Windows Defender
The most appropriate methods will depend on the particular needs of your business. However, the best options should offer secure protection, automated services, ruggedness, and cost-effectiveness.
This article features the top 10 office systems to help business owners and administrators make better and more informed security decisions. First, this article contains a list of office systems that offer protection mainly from break-ins, theft, and other physical events that can strike your business. There’s also another list that features robust options that protect against virtual threats such as viruses and ransomware. Finally, this article describes the best features that you need to check when finding the best office security system for your enterprise.
You need to prepare for both physical threats and cybersecurity issues. We have written a detailed article, "Workplace Safety And Security Best Practices," which explains the importance of both physical and digital security.
When it comes to physical security, five products stood out among the rest.
These five products all provide professional monitoring. When these security systems detect a threat, they send a signal to a monitoring center that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The monitoring center assesses the risk and notifies authorities, allowing for rapid emergency response.
These systems also offer additional services that are available at varying price points, ensuring that you only pay for the services that you genuinely need. They are most appropriate for small business areas, including most virtual office spaces.
1. Norton Security Premium
2. AVG Internet Security
3. Trend Micro Maximum Security
4. Kaspersky Security Cloud
5. Microsoft Windows Defender
These options provide the most reliable protection at reasonable costs.
What makes a sound office security system? First, it should be sensitive enough to detect threats without making any false positives that can cause unnecessary worry for you and the authorities. Ideal security systems should provide adequate protection for all areas of your workspace, with overlapping and redundant layers of protection to ensure that you are always protected.
These security options should also be robust. They should be able to function even under challenging scenarios, such as when a thief tries to hack or deactivate the system itself. Finally, they should be able to provide adequate coverage at reasonable prices. If most of your operating expenses come from maintaining a security system, then the protection might not be worth it.
One of the main advantages of using Frontpoint is that you get to benefit from its long-standing history of impeccable service. Both homeowners and business administrators widely trust the Frontpoint brand. The company has a notable history of providing products and services that offer multiple protection features against attacks.
Like many security systems, Frontpoint uses a centralized hub that coordinates the rest of the hardware in the security system, which includes door and glass entry sensors, cameras, locks, and alarms. The center relies on either a cellular connection or WiFi, with the option to automatically switch to the best network available. This connectivity ensures that the system can send information anytime, even during events such as electrical blackouts or disconnected telecommunication lines.
A brilliant feature of Frontpoint is its Crash and Smash Protection. Some thieves might get the idea of destroying the hub to disable the protection system. With Crash and Smash Protection, not only will the system keep functioning, but the device will also send a distress signal to alert you and authorities about the incident.
This innovative protection scheme is one example of improving the ruggedness of security systems. You need to choose office security that can keep on working even when criminals attempt to disable it.
Frontpoint has an application for both desktop and mobile devices, allowing administrators to control different aspects of the system at any moment. Available features include arming and disarming the security system, viewing the video feeds, and giving people access to the area. Frontpoint also gives out warnings when you forget to active the system before leaving the premises.
One unique feature from Frontpoint is that the system also contains environmental quality sensors. These devices continuously monitor temperature, humidity, and carbon monoxide levels. As a result, the Frontpoint system also serves to alert you of health and safety hazards such as fires or accidental carbon monoxide release.
All components of Frontpoint rely on wireless communications, eliminating the need to buy and manage messy wiring.
One drawback with Frontpoint is that their customer support is not available at all hours. If you have a critical issue, it can take time for their support team to address your problems. Of course, Frontpoint still offers 24/7 monitoring.
Frontpoint is one of the more expensive systems in this list, with its cheapest plan costing $34.99 a month. The system also doesn't boast the most sophisticated hardware nor the lowest prices. However, the combination of robust hardware and software solutions, coupled with reasonable prices, makes Frontpoint the first choice of many business owners.
Many virtual offices reside within households; many people who choose to work from home use spare rooms already present in their home. For home-based systems, Vivint can be a powerful security solution that provides peace of mind and more.
Vivint requires professional services for the installation of the different system components. You can look at this as an advantage since you can focus more on your work while an experienced team handles all the necessary setup. However, you have to pay an installation fee of $99 to compensate for the professional assistance you receive.
Vivint excels in rapid response. It also relies on professional monitoring, so there is always someone monitoring your premises. Vivint uses an in-house team instead of outsourcing the manpower and resources needed for professional monitoring. The advantage of the method is that the company has greater control over the quality of their monitoring services. Coordination is also more straightforward.
The unique setup of Vivint makes its response one of the fastest in the market. They can alert authorities and notify you in eight seconds. By comparison, the competitive industry standard for security system response is around a minute.
Vivint offers the usual hardware, including cameras, sensors, and locks. Like Frontpoint, Vivint also allows administrators to control the system through their official mobile app. What differentiates Vivint is that it can also integrate with other IoT devices for home use. For example, Vivint can automatically adjust the temperature of your home-based office if it has access to a thermostat. The security system works well if you want a security system that also helps you in energy management.
Vivint uses a wireless system to communicate with your devices, eliminating the use of wires. Its central tool uses a cellular connection and relies on multiple batteries so that it can keep on running even during natural disasters.
Their monthly fee can start as low as $49 monthly.
Many systems increase in complexity as your business scales. It's one thing to manage a security system when you're the only user. It becomes more complicated once you factor in multiple users, all with different security clearances and permissions. One example of a security solution that solves this problem is ADT, which shines best in businesses with at least three security administrators.
ADT allows for customizable user access control. As the chief administrator, you get to choose which options are appropriate for each of your employees. You can assign them key fobs that give them automatic access to the premises. You also have fine-tuned control, as you can link their accounts to specific locks and alarms that they can control within the premises. This feature, dubbed permission-based address, gives you complete control without hindering your employees’ ability to work.
Another advantage of availing ADT products is that they offer same-day and next-day installation. You can order the package you need and expect full installation as soon as possible. The speed of their services means that your business spends less downtime and more time doing productive work. (Check out ADT latest products and prices on Amazon).
One drawback of ADT is the cost of the entire system. Since the system requires professional installation, you need to shell out $99 just for the initial setup. Like Vivint, ADT monthly plans start at $27, but their most advanced features require a subscription rate of $60 monthly. That said, you get what you pay for, and ADT offers many advanced features that are hard to find elsewhere.
Do you like the Google ecosystem? If you already have a smart office dwelling powered by Google products, then Nest is a good idea for adding a layer of security into your workspace. Nest is a suite of tools and software that lets you secure your office premises, and you get to benefit from the innovative solutions that Google can offer.
For instance, Nest users have to use a Nest Tag, a physical device that acts as a key for the entire Nest system. You can use the Nest Tag to arm or disarm the system. Nest also notifies you when you forget to activate the system before leaving the office.
You can also customize how the alarm will work when the various sensors detect something. For high-traffic areas and low-risk hours, you can put a delay on the signal so that you have time to deactivate false positives. For areas that need maximum security, you can set the alarm to go off immediately.
The central device, called Nest Guard, already contains motion sensors that can secure a single room. You can buy cameras that will protect other rooms. There are also sensors that you can place on the doors that will activate when they detect motion, and when someone opens and closes the door.
What makes Nest different from all the other offers in this list is the technological sophistication of their devices. For example, Google cameras easily record in 1080p and can keep on recording crisp videos even under low light conditions. Note that Google develops smartphones with advanced cameras, and that same level of expertise flows into their Nest products.
Another advantage of Nest is that they allow for contract-less plans. Expect to shell out $29 for a monthly subscription. This amount is already significantly cheaper than the other offerings on this list. Since there is no contract, you can stop anytime without any consequences. The contract-less option is suitable for businesses that might move into another area within a few years. (Check out Nest latest products and prices on Amazon).
If you're willing to consider a three-year contract, you can enjoy a discounted rate of $19 a month.
One drawback of Nest is that it doesn't have in-house professional monitoring. They even used not to offer this critical feature. Nowadays, they rely on Brinks Home Security as their security monitoring contractor. Of course, this deal comes with disadvantages such as potentially lower response speed, so make sure to weigh the factors and see if this is a risk you can tolerate.
Professional security does not have to come at a considerable expense. Simplisafe proves that business owners can get adequate protection without having to spend on expensive fees. The company does this through various means, including getting rid of intermediaries and salespeople who would otherwise drive up costs through the commissions they get. Customers have to deal with Simplisafe directly, which results in a lower-priced product. (Check out Simplisafe latest products and prices on Amazon)
Simplisafe has many of the features found in the other products on this list, including professional monitoring and a robust hub that can communicate through an independent cellular connection. The security system runs on long-lasting lithium batteries, making the system separate from a potentially unstable power grid. Smashproof protection ensures that the police will know of any break-in even if the infrastructure is physically destroyed.
Simplisafe does not require professional installation. The system comes preset with features to make the setup more comfortable and faster. Expect to spend less than an hour to start up the system.
The system allows remote control through your mobile phone. It also sends you alerts through email and SMS, notifying you of any unusual activity without alerting the burglar. The sensors that come from Simplisafe can communicate at distances of up to 400 feet, allowing the system to accommodate small to medium workspaces.
All that said, Simplisafe has some drawbacks. Many people believe that Simplisafe hardware is inferior to those of other security companies. The proprietary system also makes it harder to integrate third-party devices and software into a Simplisafe system. Finally, the range of products that you can avail is more limited in Simplisafe.
Again, you need to assess your needs. If you only want a professional security system without the bells and whistles, then Simplisafe may be for you. Their offerings are ideal for companies that are starting up and have to cut costs as much as possible.
Security is much more than just protection from physical altercations. Businesses are equally at risk from cyberattacks. More criminals are starting to launch destructive digital attacks, as it's easier to maintain anonymity and attack targets from all over the world. To fail to prepare is to let cybercriminals steal your files practically and potentially extort you for money. Hence, any business should have decent antivirus programs that can protect digital assets, such as mobile phones and computers, from any malware.
Many computer users instantly recognize Norton as an established brand within the antimalware market. For years, Norton has provided users with antivirus products that work very well. It’s no surprise that their current paid product, Norton Security Premium, continues to show up in top lists for antivirus software.
The current version of Norton Security Premium does not vary much from previous iterations of the product. Even the interface remains similar, which can be an advantage for people who are long-time users of Norton products. Of course, the product still has a modern and user-friendly interface.
Norton Security Premium excels in unobtrusive operations. Most of the time, users are unaware that the antivirus program is running. Even when fully activated, Norton Security Premium does not show distracting pop-ups or persistent notices. If you are someone who quickly gets distracted, Norton can ensure that your workflow does not get interrupted by minor interruptions.
At the same time, Norton performs well in detecting and neutralizing threats. The software package scans the programs and files you open in real-time, allowing the detection of viruses before they activate. Norton also monitors your network connections to stop phishing attacks and other external threats from reaching your system.
Norton has minimal impact on system performance. It runs in the background and consumes minimal system resources. Other antivirus systems tend to consume RAM and CPU resources voraciously, making it harder for you to do work on your machine.
One key downside to Norton is the high subscription prices. Expect to spend $110 yearly to maintain a license to use Norton Security Premium, which you can install on up to 10 devices. This pricing makes Norton more expensive than many of its competitors. However, new users only have to pay $55 for their first year. (Check out the latest Norton products and prices on Amazon)
The high price comes with reliable protection that is easy to use. If you're willing to spend extra on premium security, then Norton Security Premium is a suitable choice.
For a more budget-friendly antimalware option, consider AVG Internet Security. AVG owns both product suites of Avast and AVG, so users of both options should already be acquainted with most of the features of AVG Internet Security.
Compared to other features, AVG lacks some of the more advanced features like software updates that can patch up security issues in the other programs on your computer. Nevertheless, there are many third-party options, both free and paid, that can compensate for these missing services. Hence, the lack of advanced features does not automatically make AVG inferior to other products.
The core features of AVG Internet Security are robust. Their antimalware detection is one of the best in the field, due in part to the massive amounts of information that they receive from both AVG and Avast users. AVG offers automated scanning that actively checks background processes in your computer for any trace of malware. AVG also provides in-demand scans, which you can conveniently access on the first page of its user interface.
At the same time, AVG Internet Security does not noticeably affect system performance. The software allocates resources appropriately, ensuring that your device has enough resources to perform more critical tasks.
All of these features are available for around $70 a year, which is significantly cheaper than the other antivirus software options. (Check out the latest AVG products and prices on Amazon)
A significant disadvantage of using AVG Internet Security is its clunky user interface. Users have to go through several layers just to be able to tweak settings. It can be a hassle to customize the program, although you should eventually get used to it.
Many antivirus programs may be robust, but they can only be useful if people can manage them properly. Some sophisticated programs might be difficult to operate, reducing their potential to stop threats. Luckily, Trend Micro Maximum Security does not fall into that category.
Many users love Trend Micro due to its intuitive user interface. Even business owners who do not have much experience with handling modern technology should be able to manage the features of Trend Micro Maximum Security. For instance, the first thing you'll notice when you open the program is a broad prompt for launching a computer-wide scan.
In terms of effectiveness, Trend Micro Maximum Security fulfills the essentials. It detects threats by scanning files and programs, and it shields your machine from network-based threats.
The program also has ransomware protection, which prevents malware from encrypting your files without your permission. Ransomware often succeeds in blocking access to your data, and there is no assurance that you'll get access to your files back even if you pay the hefty ransom. Hence, it's better to prevent ransomware from reaching your device in the first place.
Trend Micro Maximum Security also protects your mobile devices, ensuring that your whole digital ecosystem is secure from threats.
The cheapest plan for 1-year protection will set you back $90, allowing you to run and install the software in up to five devices. (Check out the latest products and prices on Amazon)
Many people think of Kaspersky as a specialist solution that does one thing superbly: stop viruses. Kaspersky's malware detection engine is arguably one of the strongest in the market. Its latest offer, Kaspersky Security Cloud, provides business users with reliable protection without having to spend anything.
Free antivirus programs share virus databases with paid versions, so availing of a free program should still protect you against malware. However, you usually have limited extra options with free software. Kaspersky Security Cloud offers real-time monitoring of threats, as well as active scanning that you can run anytime. It has few other features, such as a password manager and some VPN usage, if you need to send sensitive data over an insecure network.
Kaspersky Security Cloud has a noticeable impact on your machine, particularly when it is running scans. However, the performance loss isn’t particularly critical, and you’ll still be able to do most office tasks even during scans. (Check out the latest Kaspersky products and prices on Amazon)
There is a long-standing belief that built-in antivirus solutions are inferior to third-party programs. The most recent iteration of Microsoft Windows Defender proves that this gap is closing as the years pass. Microsoft's antimalware program comes for free in every version of the latest Windows operating system. It’s a good option if you need antivirus protection from the moment you turn on your computer.
Microsoft Windows Defender runs seamlessly with the rest of Windows 10, so this option is useful if your business uses the operating system intensively. The threat protection of this product is sufficient for most use cases. However, auxiliary services such as phishing protection may need further tweaking. System updates for Windows should also include updates for Defender, so maintenance for this antivirus program is nearly effortless.
Surprisingly, Microsoft Windows Defender has a more considerable impact on system resources than many third-party programs. It's not enough to significantly impact productivity, so that shouldn't stop you from trying out this built-in antivirus solution.
If you notice, the programs and systems in this article share many common traits that make them the best in their class. Whenever you want to avail of any security-related service, make sure to check how each option stacks up against these criteria.
Any security solution should be able to provide sufficient protection. Most often, meeting this requirement means having various layers of protection that overlap. While the redundancy might seem like a waste of resources, note that criminals may easily breach one protection layer. Having overlapping protection means that your systems remain safe even during the toughest of times.
For example, a sound antivirus system should be able to prevent malware from entering your machine in the first place. Firewalls and network scanning are some of the techniques that can help block viruses. At the same time, the antivirus system should also be able to detect and neutralize viruses that have already infected files inside your computer.
Another feature that should be in a great security system is ruggedness. It should still be able to provide ample protection, even during challenging scenarios. Reasonable solutions are those that continue to protect even if attackers actively try to disable them.
For instance, all of the featured physical security systems in this article can utilize multiple connections, including cellular networks and WiFi. This duality is vital since relying on a single link can cause the system to stop functioning. Attackers may try to cut network lines to turn off the WiFi connection, while good cellular reception may not be present during natural disasters or in remote locations.
If security measures take too much effort to implement, then people will be less inclined to use them. The overall result is a loss of efficiency, which criminals may exploit. Sound defense systems work with minimal user input from users. The ideal arrangement is one that people barely notice, except when a threat has already been neutralized.
Most physical protection systems in this article offer professional monitoring, which gives your office surveillance that never stops. Many of these systems also alert you whenever you fail to activate them before leaving the area. Some even have an automatic activation feature for when you’re a certain distance away from your office.
Automation allows you to fully utilize your security system without compromising your ability to be productive.
Finally, cost-effectiveness should be present in any protection service that you avail. If protecting your office will cost an arm and a leg, look elsewhere. Consider the benefits that a particular option can provide and compare those with any tradeoffs.
Note that price is not a sure indicator of quality. Many products are overpriced, taking advantage of customers who do not make an effort to compare options. It's possible to get a great product at low prices, although you should also take note that you tend to get what you pay for in security.
How can I perform a security audit of my office? It's essential to follow a checklist when performing a security check so that you cover all possible issues. We have written a detailed article, "Workplace Security Inspection Checklist (49 Essentials To Include)," which explains the things you should check when assessing if your office is secure.
What other steps can I take to make my workspace secure? We have written an article, "50 Workplace Security Safety Tips Covering Physical, Data, Cyber and Employee Safety," which explains how every business owner can make their workplace more secure.
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