August 7th, 2019 6:44 am

Is Integrating a CCTV and Access Control System Right for You?

image of access control and cctv system

A CCTV setup is a fantastic deterrent against crime—studies show that if a criminal knows they’re being watched, they’re likely to move on to the next business that doesn’t have cameras.

However, the CCTV doesn’t stop someone from accessing the building if they really have their heart set on doing so.

That’s why pairing a CCTV setup with an access control system may make sense.

For example, if your access control system uses proximity cards, someone could use a lost or stolen card to enter the building. Who would know… until it’s too late.

But paired with security cameras, the story is different. The use of IP video cameras and sophisticated video analytics software means you know who is using that card every time. If the CCTV setup records the entrance when someone uses a proximity card, the system can generate an alarm if it’s not the person who is actually authorized for access.

What integrated CCTV and access control systems can do for you

We see three primary benefits for our clients who choose to integrate these systems: deter, monitor, and document.

  • Deterrence: Like I said above, surveillance cameras are wonderful at deterring crime. For the opportunistic criminal (or an amateur troublemaker), a well-placed camera may be enough to make the person decide it’s just not worth it.
  • Monitoring: Next to deterring a crime to begin with, being able to monitor what is happening is the best way to protect your employees and your office. Surveillance cameras alone allow you to actually see what is happening in real time. Combined with the access control systems that can identify specific users with specific access permissions, lets you monitor access points and respond quickly to problems.
  • Accountability: If something should happen, the integrated system provides documentation of exactly what happened and when. This insight not only serves for the situation at hand, it provides information that can help you and your security team improve systems and policies to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

Do you need CCTV and Access Control integration?

Considering the benefits, is integrating your CCTV and access control system really necessary? After all, the systems can be very expensive. And because each on their own can be complex, they don’t always work well together. So if you’re going to add surveillance cameras to your access control system, make sure there is a return on investment for you.

The types of businesses that benefit most are large sites where you won’t know all of your employees by face; sites that have highly-sensitive areas, where any breach requires immediate action; and any office in multi-tenant buildings.

On the other hand, if you know everyone in the company and you’re not doing sensitive work, you may be better served spending that budget on a good door control system, such as combing card readers with biometric scanners.

Ultimately, the decision is about the level of security you want or need and your budget. If you do want to look into what it would take to integrate you CCTV and access control system, we can help. Our experts can come out and assess what you are already doing and help you choose the best option for moving forward.

Contact us to set up an appointment.