Commercial Security Systems: A Guide for Businesses

Commercial Security Systems: A Guide for Businesses

Small businesses, governments, hospitals, and schools need intelligent commercial security systems to protect their people, property, assets, and data from potential threats. 

This buyer's guide is designed to help organizations of all sizes navigate selecting and purchasing a commercial security system that best suits their needs and budget. 

Here, we’ll discuss key factors such as understanding the features and benefits of different systems, budget considerations, and criteria for selecting a credible service provider. 

Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions and choose the best commercial security system for your business.

In this guide, you will learn

  • What is a commercial security system? (+ benefits)
  • How to assess your security needs and budget
  • Evaluate different types of business security systems 
  • Key features to look out for  
  • How to choose a credible service provider
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Step One - Choose to Invest in a Commercial Security System

Before making an educated decision to invest in a commercial security system, you need to understand what they are and the associated benefits. 

What is a Commercial Security System?

Commercial security systems are a network of interlinked components, both hardware and software, that provide 24/7 protection for commercial enterprises – detecting unauthorized access and alerting administrators of potential threats. They typically include video surveillance cameras, alarms, video management software, and various types of smoke, fire, temperature, and sound sensors. 

Commercial security systems are typically used in the following industries

  • Enterprises
  • Hospitals 
  • Governments
  • Educational institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Manufacturing facilities

Benefits of Commercial Security Systems

Many business owners neglect to address physical security, instead opting to ignore the issue. This could be for a variety of reasons: 

  • Uncertainty surrounding crime
  • Apprehension over investing in a system
  • Lack of time to devote to physical security

However, disregarding security is never wise, as there are numerous advantages to investing in a comprehensive security system. Modern technology provides customizable protection options at various price points - leaving no excuse for neglecting on-premise security.

Here’s how a commercial security system benefits your business.

  • Deter crime
  • Prevent unwanted visitors  
  • Reduce fraud and employee theft
  • Qualify for lower insurance premiums
  • Investigate incidents quickly and efficiently
  • Eliminate the need for full-time security guards 
  • Provide employees and customers peace of mind 
  • Ensure rapid emergency response if an alarm is triggered

Don’t be the reactionary business owner that ignores commercial security until it’s too late. Be proactive and invest in a comprehensive system that provides the coverage and protection you need to defend your bottom line.

Step Two - Assess Your Security Needs and Vulnerabilities

Now that you’ve decided to invest, it’s time to uncover the gaps in your security posture and assess your exact needs. Take the time to understand your needs, as this will simplify and shorten the buying process later — ensuring you choose the best commercial security system with features that support your operational needs. 

Here are the factors to consider as you evaluate your security needs: 

Physical Security Vulnerabilities 

While all businesses are exposed to crime, the chance varies depending on your industry and location. For example, a financial institution in a high-crime area requires more robust security measures than a retail store in a peaceful suburban town. Understand the inherent risk associated with your business and adjust your security measures accordingly. 

In addition to identifying risk, it's essential to review your physical security. List out all the potential risks in your building —considering public entry points and how assets are being protected. Look for flaws in your on-site security, including:

  • Camera blind spots
  • Secure areas that are easily accessible
  • A shortage of security personnel. 

Amount of Cameras 

You’ll need to evaluate which areas of your building need video surveillance to determine how many cameras your business needs. Think about the locations you need to cover to keep your people, property, and assets safe.

Here are some important areas to consider:

  • Lobbies
  • Parking lots
  • Property entrances/exits
  • Areas where employees work
  • Areas where customers are present
  • Areas where valuable assets are kept 

Video Quality 

When choosing a business security system, consider the resolution and frame rate. Resolution determines how clear or realistic captured footage appears. For high-resolution images, you want a system capable of capturing a resolution of 1080p or 4K. 

The frame rate also impacts image quality as it determines the smoothness of the video. A low frame rate will result in choppy footage, while higher frame rates will capture fast-moving objects and people, such as license plates,with more clarity. For smooth image quality, you want a system that supports at least 30 frames per second.

Keep in mind that high-quality video footage will help you identify people and objects more accurately, improving the chances of collecting concrete evidence if a crime occurs. 

Video Surveillance Storage 

How much video storage you need primarily depends on the following:

  • The resolution of your footage
  • How many cameras are recording
  • The size and type of recording files
  • How long do you want to store it

There are three main storage options: local, hybrid, and cloud. Storing recorded footage and data in the cloud has many benefits, including remote access, device flexibility, and greater storage capacity. On-premise storage runs the risk of hardware failure, theft, or tampering, whereas cloud storage includes robust cybersecurity and data protection measures.


Video surveillance integration with access control and visitor management is growing in popularity as it gives businesses greater visibility and more control. Look for a commercial security system that's designed with scalability, integration, and flexibility as a top feature. Your security requirements are ever-changing, so it's integral to choose a flexible system that can accommodate future growth. 

For example, MOBOTIX video surveillance cameras easily integrate into existing systems so organizations can scale quickly and efficiently. The revolutionary decentralized design provides organizations with maximum flexibility and add-on capabilities so they can continue to optimize their security infrastructure as new needs arise. MOBOTIX can combine with other ONVIF-compatible security equipment, providing a flexible option for scaling video surveillance security systems.

Evaluating Security Needs: Questions to Consider  

The following questions will guide purchasing decisions and help you define your security needs in more granular detail.

  • How many cameras do you need?
  • Where will the cameras be located? 
  • Do you need to be able to record in the dark? 
  • Do you need to be able to identify people’s faces? 
  • What is the approximate square footage of your facility? 
  • Do you have server rooms that need added protection?
  • Do you have mission-critical equipment on the property?
  • Do you have glass windows and doors that can be broken into?
  • How many entrances and exits are located throughout the facility?
  • Do you need continuous footage or a video record of only specific events?
  • What procedures are in place to prevent unauthorized access after business hours? 
  • How long does video footage need to be stored, and does it need to be high-quality?

Your answers will streamline future conversations with service providers as they will have all the information they need to determine equipment type and placement.

Step Three - Commercial Security System Cost + Budget Considerations

Here’s a simple truth – commercial security system cost varies. However, you can calculate estimated costs based on the following price factors:  

  • Security hardware 
  • Installation and service 
  • Monitoring 

For a more precise quote, schedule a consultation with an experienced security expert. While the cost may seem daunting to some, forward-thinking businesses understand what that price tag represents: confidence in their security, health, and safety.

How much does a commercial security system cost? 


Step Four - Evaluate the Different Types of Commercial Security Systems

It’s time to choose a suitable security system that aligns with your security needs, budget considerations, and operational goals. There are many commercial security systems — varying from basic alarms to complex systems that integrate video surveillance and access control. Commonly used business security systems include:

Indoor Cameras

Indoor cameras are discreet, multi-functional, and versatile. From customer flow analysis to theft investigation and employee monitoring, these cameras can monitor an entire room without blind spots. Our security experts recommend the following indoor security camera: 

Konica Minolta Mobotix c26 c360° Camera-1

Outdoor Cameras

Outdoor cameras are waterproof and designed to endure harsh outdoor conditions. Reinforced housing protects hardware from extreme temperatures and high humidity while optimizing visibility in poor lighting conditions. Outdoor cameras typically come in several designs, such as dual camera, bullet, dome, and pan-tilt-zoom. Our security experts recommend the following outdoor security camera: 


Thermal Imaging Cameras

Thermal imaging cameras detect temperature abnormalities, detect intrusion in the darkest conditions and serve as an early warning system for fires and equipment overheating. High-quality thermal imaging cameras can measure human temperature and record even the slightest temperature changes of 0.1 degrees Celsius. Our security experts recommend the following thermal imaging camera: 

Konica Minolta Mobotix S16 FlexMount Hemispheric Camera

Access Control

Access control systems monitor visitors and regulate who has access to a particular building, space, or location. Video-based access control systems provide secure keyless entry to buildings using several convenient identification methods, including key fobs, RFID cards, biometric authentication, and number combinations. Our security experts recommend the following access control system:

Konica Minolta Mobotix T25 IP Door Station-1

Visitor Management System 

Visitor management systems are used to monitor visitors’ activity in a particular environment. Visitor receptionist systems provide a streamlined and more convenient customer service experience for guests by delivering automated greetings and interactive information, including maps, calendars, employee directories, web pages, videos, and more. 

Typical features include visitor detection, check-in/check-out, active visitor reports, and badge printing. Our security experts recommend the following visitor management solution:

Step Five - Identify Key Features

Every security system comes with its own set of cutting-edge capabilities. Before finalizing your selection, compare the key features of various systems. Your security needs will determine which features to prioritize. Here are some of the essential features to consider. 

Motion Detection 

Look for commercial security cameras with built-in motion detection features. Motion detection automatically detects human movement and vehicular activity within a monitored area. Motion detection can trigger an alarm, send notifications, or record suspicious activity. 

Motion detection is typically used with features such as facial recognition, crowd detection, or mask detection to create an efficient security system that quickly and accurately detects potential threats.

Video Management Software 

Video Management Software (VMS) provides users with a single interface for capturing, recording, storing, retrieving, viewing, and analyzing video footage. Advanced VMS can instantly tag surveillance video with metadata, enabling quick and effortless retrieval of footage when necessary through intelligent search. Businesses in heavily regulated industries can leverage a VMS to set automated policies for retaining and retrieving video to ensure compliance. 

A comprehensive VMS will offer the following advantages and features:

  • Playback features 
  • Alert customizations
  • Video analysis tools
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Scalable with device integrations
  • Compatible with ONVIF standards
  • Server, edge-based, or cloud storage options 


Thermal imaging technology utilizes heat sensors to detect temperature changes within an area. Thermography can see people or objects based on their thermal signatures, allowing for more accurate detection than traditional motion sensors. 

Thermography has two main features: automated temperature scans and thermal overlays. 

Automated Temperature Scans

Businesses can use thermal imaging to conduct automated temperature scans, which detect elevated body temperatures as visitors enter a building. Automatic temperature scans are an effective tool to help control the spread of COVID-19. 

Thermal Overlays

Advanced thermal overlay functions help businesses detect hazards like smoldering fires and overheated equipment. By overlaying the heat mapping and real-time images, organizations can quickly identify hotspots and dangerous sources of heat.


Remote Access  

Remote access enables users to view real-time surveillance video from a desktop, smartphone, tablet, and web browser anywhere at any time. With remote access, users can receive notifications on their devices when any suspicious activity is detected, allowing them to act quickly and stay informed no matter where they are located.


Cyberattacks against internet-connected security systems are a growing security risk for organizations. Hackers have proven they can penetrate vulnerable, low-quality security systems and gain access to sensitive data.

When selecting a commercial security system, look for a video surveillance system with built-in cybersecurity features, including:

  • End-to-end encryption 
  • Storage failure detection
  • Linux-based OS system
  • Automatic firmware updates
  • Custom system roles and permissions
  • Ability to quickly turn on/off facial recognition 
  • Ability to disable or enable California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Privacy Mode

Our security experts recommend MOBOTIX products as they are NDAA-compliant and consistently pass penetration tests. 

Step Six - Choose a Credible Service Provider

When selecting a Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) provider, there are several critical areas you need to consider, including their partnered manufacturers, reputation, and capabilities. An experienced and credible service provider will offer the following.

Strategic Partnerships

When evaluating a VSaaS provider, consider the video surveillance manufacturers they partner with. Look for service providers with strategic partnerships with reputable companies such as Konica Minolta and MOBOTIX, as this will determine which systems are available.

Reputable video surveillance companies like Konica Minolta are more likely to have received various awards for their security products. When you select a partner with the right strategic partnerships, you can be confident that your options are the best on the market.

Physical Security Assessment

Businesses should partner with a security integrator that conducts on-premise security assessments. During an evaluation, security experts conduct a full 360-degree inspection of your property to identify existing issues in physical defenses, including:

  • Doors
  • Locks
  • Walking paths
  • Security guards
  • Video surveillance equipment

Security experts will discuss your goals, concerns, and budgets and provide an in-depth report outlining observations and actionable recommendations for optimization.

Customization Options

It’s critical to partner with a security company that offers a high degree of customization, as this will enable you to tailor a solution that suits your operational needs and budgetary restrictions. Whether you need a complex, integrated system that covers multiple business locations or a few outdoor cameras to monitor a commercial building, ensure your security integrator can design a custom solution for every use case.

Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Cooperative Contracts

GPOs and cooperative contracts provide qualified organizations access to great prices on business equipment like video surveillance systems by leveraging the collective buying power of their members. GPOs and cooperative contacts streamline the Request For Proposal (RFP) process and ensure you receive the desired product at a discounted price through a legally vetted, pre-negotiated contract.

When choosing a security integrator, ask if they have GPO affiliation or pre-negotiated cooperative contracts to lower costs. A credible company should have pre-negotiated contracts with the following organizations:

References and Reputation

Find a security partner who has business acumen as well as technical expertise. Your security integrator should be well-versed in physical and cybersecurity trends. Ideally, their collective "resume" should include a healthy mix of industry-specific certifications and awards from trade organizations.

To gauge reputation, consult companies in your industry that have previously used the vendor and ask pointed questions about their experience. Any credible vendor can provide client references, white papers, or case studies.

Customer Service

Fast response times are critical for maintaining system performance and longevity, so you need a reliable service provider that upholds service level agreements (SLAs). A dedicated security integrator will outline on-site response times, support center response times, remote monitoring capabilities, minimum uptime guarantees, and other terms and conditions. Unresponsive companies that are slow to respond to system defects weaken your security posture and leave you more vulnerable to security breaches.

Final Step - Start the Purchasing Process

You’re ready to start the purchasing process – equipped with the information needed to make informed and financially sound decisions.

Since there are numerous factors and variables to consider, partner with a VSaaS provider that clearly understands your business’s requirements. A credible VSaaS provider will provide technology recommendations, expedite installation, ensure superior system performance, and position your infrastructure for scalability and growth.

Commercial Security System FAQs

1. How Many Security Cameras Do I Need to Protect My Business?

Commercial property, on average, will need roughly 16 to 65 cameras for maximum security and coverage. However, the number of cameras you’ll need depends on your property size, the assets you want to protect, budgetary restrictions, and a host of other factors.

2. What is Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS)?

Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is a cloud-based solution that enables businesses to watch, monitor and record video footage remotely. The service typically includes the following at a recurring monthly price:

  • Installation
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Analytics
  • Remote viewing
  • Storage solutions
3. What are the Top Benefits of Cloud Video Surveillance

By storing video footage in a remote, typically off-site data center, instead of on the premises, cloud video surveillance allows businesses to reduce system and personnel costs significantly. Cloud systems provide businesses with powerful analytics and storage capabilities at a fraction of the cost. Companies no longer need to invest heavily into expensive hardware infrastructure, which is ideal for companies with tight budgets and limited staff. Additional benefits include:

  • Scalable
  • Reliable backup
  • Storage flexibility
  • Bolstered cybersecurity

Keep Your Company Protected With a Commercial Video Surveillance System

Businesses ready to improve their security should reach out to an experienced Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) provider who can help them design and implement a solution tailored to their industry’s needs.

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(855) 948-5679