How to Avoid Aging DVR Vulnerabilities

Thursday, June 18, 2015 by under Safety

Digital video recorders (DVRs) allow you to view and store surveillance footage, giving you real-time visibility into your business’ operations and security. However, they can also serve as an unauthorized entry point to your company’s network if not properly secured and maintained.

For example, one business discovered several of its Windows-based DVRs had been comprised and used as part of a botnet. Because the machines were unpatched for a long period of time, vulnerabilities arose within its system that allowed hackers to attack using well-known methods.

If your video surveillance DVR is outdated, you could be causing your business more harm than good. Learn red flags of an aging DVR and when it may be time to upgrade.

Red Flags Your DVR May Be Outdated or In Need of Service

To prevent vulnerabilities to your DVR’s network, keep an eye out for red flags that your system may be outdated or in need of a software update. These include:

  • Compatibility problems when adding or replacing surveillance cameras.
  • Hard drives that have operated continuously for more than three years.
  • System that locks up, reboots, stops recording or fails to playback videos.

To avoid compromising valuable security camera data, talk with your vendor if your DVR shows signs of aging. Catching vulnerabilities early helps avoid unnecessary loss to your business.

Replacing and Upgrading DVRs

When to replace your DVR can depend on a number of factors, such as type of device, availability of manufacturer-provided updates and the degree at which your system can be serviced. In some situations, upgrading to newer system may be the best-case scenario. In others, software updates may be just the medicine your DVR needs to thrive again.

Maintain your operating system (OS) and recording software to keep your DVR running securely. Updates may include:

  • Bug fixes.
  • Expanded camera capabilities.
  • New and improved features.
  • Stability improvements.

Before making a decision on replacements or updates, connect with your vendor to discuss your various options and details. Some upgrades may require a valid software maintenance agreement (SMA), software service agreement (SSA) or additional upgrade fees. Also, coordinate with your security vendor to confirm that an upgrade is compatible with your site configuration. Proper maintenance of your equipment is crucial.

Ensure Performance and Optimal Security With New Systems

If an upgrade is the best solution to provide maximum business security, make high-quality performance a top priority for your new system. To keep your equipment working properly, ask your provider how the unit will be patched and updated. If you don’t have the capabilities in-house, insist on a program of routine service to clean and test the recorder.

Also, ensure installation of your new DVR follows best practices, including:

How do you prevent aging DVRs from compromising your business security? Share with us in the comments below.

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