Security and Trust: Why it’s essential that private security services are transparent

Security operator in action


When you make the decision to use security services, either for CCTV, intruder protection, fire detection or access control, you want to feel confident and comfortable with the service you receive. A huge benefit of having a security system in place is that it will provide you with peace of mind.

But if you worry that your security services aren’t being entirely open, truthful and transparent then that peace of mind can quickly diminish. If your security services withhold information, footage of your site, details of alarms or even the speed of their response, then you may begin to wonder what you’re paying for and whether it really will prevent a security breach when a threat arises.

It’s so important, for the reputation of the industry and for the service customers receive, that security and trust go hand-in-hand. Security and trust work together to provide a transparent system that benefits the user and the reputation of the industry (not to mention the individual business).

To achieve trust, all stages of the security process need to be dedicated to establishing transparency. That means security installers, integrators, the remote monitoring station and the end-user all need to be involved. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to achieving security and trust, which spans the journey of a security system installation.

1. Trusting the security installer:

Security and TrustTo start at the very beginning, the end-user will source an installer to fully integrate a security system that is designed specifically for their site and provides them with a comprehensive security solution. To begin the security off well, it’s at this point that transparency and trust need to come into the picture. The end-user will inevitably trust the security installer to provide a security system that will provide them with the level of protection that they need.

At this point it is important that the end-user is aware of the remote monitoring station so they can do their own research and understand the level of service they can expect to receive.

2. Trust between the installer and remote monitoring station:

At the point of commissioning a site, both the installer and remote monitoring station need to keep in mind trust and transparency. The remote monitoring station needs to ensure that they can sufficiently view the site via the security system and the installer needs to make sure any ‘blind spots’ are solved at this early stage.

A full walk test and 14-day soak test of the site will make sure that this happens. A walk test is completed on the day of installation – it simply involves the installer walking around the site and the security cameras following their journey to check all areas are covered.

A soak test is performed by all reputable installers and remote monitoring stations – it is a 14-day test period which allows the remote monitoring station to double check they are able to provide sufficient security for your site, using your current surveillance cameras. The remote monitoring station must be honest about whether or not they are able to effectively monitor the site as it can be detrimental to their reputation later down the line if not. You can find out more about the commissioning process over on our support page – Bringing a New Site to Farsight.

3. Continually monitor performance:

The next step in achieving trust between the end-user and their security services is to provide a system that allows the end-user to monitor the health of their security systems. Such a system will allow the end-user to build trust with the security systems installer and maintainer: the end-user will be able to track faults as and when they are raised, and see how quickly those faults are rectified. They will know that their security system is being well looked after and their security is continually optimised.

4. Provide information:

At the same time, the remote monitoring station is responsible for providing the end-user with all possible information on the security of their site. For example, it’s important that the end-user has access to footage of their site, they are fully informed when an incident occurs and that they receive reports showing how well their security system is performing:

  • Some end-users will find it reassuring that they can have access to footage of their site (within 35 days, before it is deleted from the system) so they can fully understand how their security works.
  • It’s obvious why an end-user will want to be kept in the loop when a security breach occurs – often the key holder needs to be on site. The remote monitoring station must be dedicated to contacting the key holder and the emergency service as soon as the security operators identifies a threat.
  • Finally, reporting on the performance of a security system provides complete transparency for the end-user. They will be able to see if their security services are responding quickly and regularly to each alarm. In fact, here at Farsight we’re leading the way with reporting on our performance – end-users can receive reports that are generated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

It’s clear that a trusting relationship throughout the security installation and service is important. A lot of it will depend on the ability of the remote monitoring station to offer the latest in effective reporting – that truthfully shows how well they’ve performing – along with enforcing efficient work procedures for operators to rapidly call both key holders and the emergency services when an incident occurs.

If trust between security services and the end-user is broken, it’s often difficult to rectify, which is why it’s so important to invest in it continually. The end-user knows the remote monitoring station and installers are the experts in security, so more often than not they will trust them in the first instance. But if an incident goes unnoticed or is dealt with poorly, then that trust will be difficult to regain.

Similarly one point that’s not been explored in a lot of detail here is that the remote monitoring station needs to trust the end-user too. We recently blogged about inside jobs, which can be hugely detrimental to security and trust, you can read our blog here.