With the proliferation of modern, integrated systems and the rise of The Internet of Things, it’s understandable that some people will look at security technology and think: ‘I could fit that!’
However, as is often the case with complex technology, there is much more going on ‘under the bonnet’ than it may first appear – so it is well worth seeking professional assistance to ensure you get the protection you need and don’t waste a lot of time and money in doing so.
There is a very good reason why the security industry exists as a professional entity. Security is a highly complex discipline, which relies heavily on technology but also needs expertise, professional training and specialist experience to make it perform to its full potential.
As a non-security professional, if you went looking to buy raw security system components you might find it a challenge. Most security distributors won’t sell specialist security systems to the person in the street. These organisations are focused upon selling products to recognised and registered professional installers who know precisely how to utilise them properly.
Having said that, it is actually possible to buy some more basic access control and security systems on retail sites such as eBay. But whilst you can buy these systems, should you?! There is certainly little to stop anyone legally buying these systems and attempting to install them, but there are a number of potential pitfalls.
Firstly, you may struggle to understand how to set up security and access control systems properly. For example, there can be inherent dangers in the type of card technology you plan to use. You may choose to use a MIFARE card system, but end up using serial cards rather than sector cards - which means missing out on an added level of security that could easily be included!
As a DIY security installer, you can very easily miss some of the subtleties that fully enhance security to its full potential.
Security is about protecting the things that matter most, be that people or material assets, so it needs to be done properly! With access control in particular, what you are effectively doing is replacing the keys to a building with access cards, so these locking solutions need to at least match the protection of this most basic technology.
If cards become cloned or are lost, the building and any assets within it are potentially open to intruders. These people could then enter the facility at any time of their choosing and steal property or goods/products.
Equally, and perhaps even more worryingly these days, intruders or criminals could also use this unwarranted access to plant viruses or surveillance systems within your building, to steal data or circumnavigate online cyber security protection.
In recent years there has been a real blurring of lines between the protection of physical and logical assets, so allowing one or other to be compromised essentially offers a potential back door to the other.
Our advice is that when you buy a security system, buy it from somebody who really knows what they are doing and if you need guidance with regards to its installation, then speak to a reputable source like the manufacturer, rather than Bob down the road who "knows a bit about security stuff”.
Security you Deserve
Security isn’t something you want to cut corners on. Failure can result in very expensive lessons to be learned – even loss of life in some circumstances. DIY security might seem like a tempting cost-saving exercise, but it needs to be up to the task.
I like to use a motoring analogy – you could buy a sports kit car and build it yourself. But if you were looking to compete in motorsport you would look to employ qualified and experienced engineers to ensure it was reliable and up to the pace to do its job properly and keep you safe. A modern complex security system is just the same!