What is remote guarding and how does it work?

January 12, 2023

Sometimes the security needs of an organization surpass their budgetary constraints. Hiring security guards can be expensive. Can you put a price on creating a secure working environment? Remote guarding is a way to provide top-tier physical security without requiring 24/7 on-site security guards.

See how Solink can reduce your reliance on live security guards.

Remote guarding, sometimes called remote video guarding or remote virtual guarding, is a way to off site the security guard needs of an organization. Instead of live security guards on site, a company uses a combination of video surveillance, video analytics, and remote live video monitoring to provide equivalent, or often better, security coverage of a property.

Remote video guarding capabilities heavily rely on cloud video surveillance. By accessing the feeds of security cameras from anywhere, Solink’s video analytics platform can offer remote virtual guarding capabilities.

Remote video guarding has many advantages over traditional security guards. First, security guards are an expensive and difficult-to-scale security solution. To have a single guard on duty 24/7 represents five full-time salaries. In addition to paying these employees today, their salaries represent long-term commitments that reduce the flexibility of your budget.

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Remote guarding vs. security guards

In the following, we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of both security guards and remote guarding. While the use cases often overlap, there is no one best solution. In fact, some places require a level of security that necessitates both, for example banks.

Security guards are a common choice for better physical security. You’ll often find security guards working in the gatehouses of private parking lots, at the doors of large buildings, and monitoring dozens of TVs looking for shoplifters.

For a long time, this was the only option for enhanced security. However, with technology making remote monitoring cost effective, certain disadvantages have become more visible.

A security guard sitting at a desk viewing multiple monitors and video feeds

Security guards

The advantages of security guards:

  • Visible security guards are a strong deterrent against theft and violence.
  • Security guards can perform secondary tasks such as opening gates or doors, greeting visitors, escorting people to their cars at night, etc.
  • On-site security guards provide a sense of safety to staff.
  • Humans can react to unexpected or unprecedented events.

The disadvantages of security guards:

  • Overnight security guards can fall asleep on the job.
  • A human can only watch one thing at a time, so even walls of video surveillance feeds do not lead to entire premises being monitored simultaneously.
  • Security guards can be expensive.
  • Competitive labor markets mean lower-quality candidates might be hired, which can lead to guards being a new internal theft liability.
  • It is hard to scale live security guards to hundreds or thousands of locations.

Long periods of downtime between incidents can lead to complacency or time theft.

Remote guarding

Remote guarding uses security cameras and advanced video analytics to replace or supplement security guards.

The advantages of remote guarding:

  • The entire property is monitored at once.
  • Video feeds are accessible from anywhere.
  • You can view what is happening on hundreds or thousands of properties at once.
  • Labor costs are reduced.
  • Video alarms as part of remote virtual guarding mean fewer false alarm fines.
  • Real-time video feeds of incidents can be shared with emergency services.
  • Video evidence of every event can be saved forever and easily shared with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Remote guarding solutions collect other data, such as point-of-sale transactions or access control events, making video surveillance equipment a business intelligence tool.

The disadvantages of remote guarding:

  • There is no on-site human presence to perform unexpected tasks.
  • Secondary roles, such as parking attendant, greeter, or concierge, may still be required, reducing the cost savings.

Who should consider remote guarding?

Remote video guarding isn’t for every company, and it can’t replace live security guards in every situation. If your security guard performs other needed duties, then video surveillance can be used to further increase the security level of your locations. However, it might not reduce labor costs as much as in locations with dedicated security personnel.

A dome surveillance camera on a metal pole

Some businesses are also required by law to have security guards on premises. However, if government regulations require security guards, then it is likely remote guarding is also a necessary part of the security plan.

Remote guarding is great for companies that are looking to get more ROI out of their video surveillance system. It can be implemented quickly and easily, without the need to hire new staff.

In addition, remote video guarding can help companies reduce their false alarm fines, improve the response time of law enforcement, and provide needed video evidence of all incidents.

What can remote guarding do?

There are many situations where remote guarding can drastically improve security and efficiency. Here are just a few of the roles fulfilled by remote virtual guarding.

Remote business monitoring

If your business is spread across multiple locations, then remote video monitoring is a key benefit of remote guarding. Indeed, remote video surveillance goes beyond monitoring the security of multiple locations.

Being able to access the video and data feeds of all of your locations in one place means you can audit your locations for cleanliness, regulatory compliance, sales efficiency, and more.

Sphinx does just that with the help of Solink. A single employee is able to ensure safety, security, cleanliness, and customer service standards are met at about 100 locations.

Spinx Success Story Read More

Access control

Access control systems allow organizations to monitor who is entering and leaving their premises as well as restrict access to authorized personnel only. However, on-the-fly changes can be difficult.

For example, if a vendor is running late, then it can be difficult to grant them access without meeting them at the door. Using a remote guarding solution, the owner of a security system can video verify that a guest should be allowed to enter their building and dismiss any alarm notification.

Multi-location management

Managing multiple locations is not easy. Complacency may occur when management is not on site. One way to keep employees focused on their job is to use technology to improve oversight. Remote guarding enables you to see what is happening at all of your locations from anywhere.

Solink also brings proactive features to push the information you need when you need it. Threshold Notifications alert you whenever your chosen metrics drift outside of your comfort zone.

These time-saving tools are especially useful for multi-location management.

Video alarms

Video alarms are a new way to protect your premises from burglaries and other threats. Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service utilizes your security cameras and advanced AI technology to operate as an alarm system.

Instead of monitoring doors and windows, video alarms protect entire areas for better security. They also cut down on false alarm fines by allowing video verification. As some jurisdictions have stopped responding to unverified alarms, this represents a much higher level of security.

Solink video alarm configurations dispatching police

In fact, in a recent comparison, Solink Video Alarms beat standard panel alarms in every category. Video alarms drastically reduced false alarm fines across eight locations, dispatched policy more quickly, and led to the arrest of several suspects.

Ensure compliance

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines scale with the size of an organization. That makes regulatory compliance especially important for large corporations. Remote virtual guarding can help you audit businesses for OSHA compliance.

In addition to government regulation, remote guarding can help with company policy compliance. Everything from whether salespeople are engaging visitors to the cleanliness of your facilities can be monitored remotely.

Solink offers Blocked Exit Detection. With health and safety fines on the rise, Solink uses advanced AI to make sure your emergency doors remain clear. Now, when an employee inadvertently leaves boxes near the egress, you’ll receive an alert. This handy product can save organizations thousands of dollars per year.

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Some businesses require security guards. It may be a mandated requirement to operate, or the security guards may be responsible for secondary duties. However, if your business doesn’t require on-site security guards, then you should consider a remote guarding solution.

Solink can reduce your labor costs without compromising the security level of your business. In addition to security, Solink’s video analytics platform helps improve the operations of businesses.

To see how Solink can enhance the security of your business while saving you money, sign up for a demo today.

Want to learn more? Take a virtual tour.

Tim Ware headshot

Timothy Ware |

Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.