Pros and Cons of In-House vs. 3rd Party Monitored Security Systems

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Security and loss prevention is a serious concern for most businesses. Luckily, you have options. There are many reputable alarm monitoring businesses that can meet your needs. In other cases, some companies do well with their own in-house monitoring stations. But how do you sort the pros and cons of in-house vs. 3rd party monitored security systems?

Sorting these pros and cons requires a comprehensive look at the monitoring company’s capabilities, adaptability, threat responsiveness, and how well the security controls support your business practices.

Security Risks

The first critical step in determining the right option for your security monitoring is to understand your security risk by doing a physical security risk assessment. What you monitor, where you are located, and the operating hours of your company significantly affect your security risks. Consider:

  • Do you have staff in one place that work consistent hours?
  • Are you in a high-crime area?
  • Do you have multiple locations with rotating shifts, or does everyone arrive around the same time?

Cost & Investment of In-House vs. 3rd Party

Now that you understand where your greatest threats lie, you need to evaluate your security controls. Do you have trained, credentialed staff or the right infrastructure to provide comprehensive, quality coverage? If not, can you invest the time and money to hire, train and manage staff and install the right infrastructure to be effective for your needs?

Quality Control

An advantage of outsourcing is that the service provider must adhere to service level agreements or SLAs that guarantee a certain level of quality. For instance:

•  Monitoring center availability

•  Response time

•  Resolution time

•  Frequency of service and maintenance visits

•  Promptness of emergency notifications

•  Penalties for violating contract terms or SLAs

On the other hand, an in-house monitoring team should always have the most current contacts when staff or vacation schedules affect availability, as well as changes to working hours, shift schedules, and maintenance timelines.

When it comes to in-house vs. 3rd party monitored security systems, these details can be difficult or impossible for a third party to keep current if someone in your office isn’t vigilant about communicating the new information.

Infrastructure: In-House vs. 3rd Party

Small businesses may find putting the right infrastructure in place or updating outdated systems too daunting, giving a clear advantage to 3rd party monitoring. Some of the capabilities that you may require from a monitoring service could take time and training to implement in-house:

•  Access control systems

•  Analytics

•  Automatic fire alarms

•  Compliance, credentialing and permit management

•  Environmental hazard monitoring

•  Facility security monitoring

•  Inspection and testing

•  Video surveillance

Integrated Alarm Systems 

Another factor for deciding between in-house monitoring vs. 3rd party monitored security systems is whether you get valuable data from your alarms that you can then share between systems. Integrated systems allow you to more easily assess the alarm to determine whether it fits past false alarm activity, whether one alarm is related to another, and to quickly dispatch response, all with minimal intervention.

In-house integration allows for customization for your specific needs. This extended integration between physical, life/safety and cyber systems may be more difficult with outsourcing.

Ask the Experts

If monitoring is not the focus of your business, you may need to leverage resources and systems to expand your operation to adapt. One of the advantages of implementing an alarm monitoring solution from a company like Bold Group is that security monitoring is their core capability.

Bold Group has invested in the most qualified resources and certifications, as well as the highest quality software, hardware and communications protocols to help you with a robust, comprehensive monitoring service. They provide the largest library of receivers to interconnect multiple alarm systems to streamline alarm monitoring capabilities. When you need experienced, dependable alarm monitoring, let Bold Group help you find the right solution.