IP CCTV in a IP world – How secure is your security?
The IP CCTV market has exploded over the last few years but the people installing it are still catching up. Yes, many have now been trained to set IP addresses, login to cameras on a webpage and even connect them to the internet but to install a secure CCTV system there is a lot more involved. An insecure CCTV system could cost you a lot of money or even send smaller companies bankrupt.
CCTV is inherently used to protect the most important items in your business your customers, staff, high value items and even your reputation. So, if your system is insecure what can be gained by hacking in?
Images of your customers – Data protection
Times when you have lone workers or low staff levels
Blind spots in CCTV coverage
Locations of your valuables
Access to delete evidence or disable the CCTV
Now let’s take this a step further… what if this system is connected to your company network now due to a hole in the security system they are now accessing your till system gathering information about your customers and their payment details and other sensitive company information. This could even open a route to your head office network.
After spending many years advising companies on their IT security before moving in to physical security I realise how many companies are at risk from their own security systems.
Here are a few best practices to set you off on the right foot:
Get your IT team involved with the design of the infrastructure it may be a CCTV system but it comes with all the complications of an IT network…if you are out or your depth employ a consultant to assist.
Include cloud services in your design as it may be secure in house but what happens when the data leaves the premises.
Ensure you have clear and enforced password policies in place. Any default password can be exploited.
Consider the location and access to your switches routers etc. it’s not always someone outside the building trying to hack in.
If there is no requirement to be attached to the company network or a lack of in house knowledge to secure the company network run a separate CCTV LAN with its own broadband connection.
Use good quality well supported hardware, regular patches and firmware updates are not just essential for performance improvements and new facilities they are continuously protecting you against the latest security threats.
Ask your installer whether they pen test their solution regularly and if they offer a support contract that includes the installation of critical patches to the hardware supplied to keep your system secure.
Thanks for reading and I would appreciate you leaving some comments on your experiences or tips you have learned on the journey to IP that may help others have a safe transition.