4 Surveillance Features That Pose Major Security Threats

Thursday, June 4, 2015 by under Safety

Surveillance cameras can be a great way to keep an eye on your business at all times—but there can be some setbacks. Like the majority of modern technology equipment, there is the chance of a hacker breaching your confidential data and causing serious business threats.

If unauthorized users attack your system, they can gain camera control, allowing them to see everything that goes on inside your company.

This post outlines four features to take a deeper dive into before installing your surveillance cameras.

1. Passwords

Often, your security cameras and/or video recording system will come with preset, default passwords. These passwords are typically generic and either well known or easy to guess. Ask your security camera manufacturer how to change them to avoid exposing valuable data.

In addition to strong passwords, only grant access to necessary individuals. The fewer people with knowledge of control and authentication information, the better chance of avoiding security attacks.

2. Remote Access

Remote capabilities can be extremely convenient, allowing you to see what is going on with your business even when you are not there. Unfortunately, though, this feature can compromise security if proper safeguards aren’t taken.

If a hacker gains remote access to your surveillance system, they too will have the ability to view your business no matter where they are. Hackers may be able to access:

  • Archived recordings
  • Camera controls and settings
  • Live video
  • Network storage and other resources

Often, remote access capabilities are available by default on networked equipment. Before purchasing your surveillance system, discuss default settings with your vendor.

Assure that you are aware of how remote access can be enabled and disabled based on your personal preference. If you choose to enable this feature, monitor your system and logs carefully, and be cautious of suspicious activity. Contact your vendor for technical support immediately if you sense your control capabilities or settings have been compromised.

3. Wireless IP Connection

Wireless security cameras that operate over Wi-Fi create additional risk if proper precautions are not taken.

The open nature of wireless communications means that an attacker could attempt to connect to the camera without being physically on your property or on your network. Make sure your cameras are set to use strong wireless authentication and encryption such as that provided by WPA2, and not the more vulnerable WEP. If a camera is lost or stolen, consider that it held wireless configuration information that could be used to access your network if exposed. Change your encryption key if this happens.

Wireless cameras can be an effective and efficient part of your security design, but it is important to meet with your vendor to discuss the best options for your business.

4. Software Updates

Keeping your operating system and surveillance software updated is crucial for eliminating unnecessary vulnerabilities. Outdated software can be considered a major red flag to hackers that your system has “holes” in it and can be broken into easily.

Vendors should notify you of any and all software updates for your cameras. Working closely with your vendor to learn new manufacturer capabilities will help your business fully utilize features offered and keep surveillance systems secure.

These examples represent some of the often overlooked aspects of a secure system design, but are by no means a comprehensive list. Consult with an expert to determine how best to design and implement a system that balances security, performance and usability.

How do you ensure your video surveillance system is secure? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

Image Source: Lydia


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