The Security of the Security
Cybersecurity is a hot topic in virtually every organization. As surveillance continues to grow exponentially, millions of cameras are deployed to help keep people, property and organizations secure. More and more of today’s surveillance networks traverse company and organizational IP networks – as it should. IP networks allow for more intelligence for surveillance than legacy analog networks.
But, like any single component that touches the IP network, cyberattacks are a paramount consideration for surveillance. It would be sadly ironic if precisely the technology used for security surveillance provides an opportunity for intrusion into the IP network. But, frankly, it has happened although certainly not an intended consequence. According to Wired Magazine's article: The Biggest Security Threats We'll Face in 2016, "Instead of hackers hijacking your laptop for their zombie army, they will commandeer large networks of IoT devices—like CCTV surveillance cameras, smart TVs, and home automation systems."
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are best practices and methods to thwart cyberattacks and lock down the very vulnerabilities that can be found by creative hackers. Some are process, some are cultural and some are technological.
Cybersecurity: Eyes Wide Open
In the surveillance area, most security equipment installers are not IT professionals but rather physical or electronic security specialists. This means they are steeped in security best practices but may require more education in the areas of IP security and considerations around surveillance. The same is true for IT and the possibility of not fully understanding the scope and challenges around electronic security systems. These are some important questions and matters for IT and electronic security specialists alike.
- Is it a camera malfunction or an intrusion attempt? That is a question to ask when maintaining security cameras. Put the skeptical hat on. A camera that has gone offline may be ignored by security administrators at least until a service ticket is issued and a technician dispatched. Depending on a service contract, the camera (and its port) can be offline for hours or days. Opportunity for a hacker.
- Cyber intrusion attempts are not in external or exposed areas, although those are certainly areas of concern. As has been reported regularly, many high profile cyberattacks are from within so there needs to be attention across all assets and surveillance points.
- Less reliance on live attendants or dependence on regional loss prevention individuals can create windows of opportunities. In larger franchise and multi-site locations there is a need to ensure the technology is available for remote health monitoring and cybersecurity protections to lock down vulnerable ports.
- More IP and PoE based network devices (Cameras, Encoders, Card Readers, Biometric Readers, Specialty Devices) exponentially increases the number of entry points. It is simply a matter of complexity. It is not scalable or sustainable to apply human manpower and watch every port and requires more automation and tools for the job.
- Disjointed or inner departmental squabbles can create un-synchronized policies and procedures to combat threats. This is an opportunity for organizations to work together and avoid silos. That is precisely what hackers are looking for and it must be a joint effort.
- Differing levels of understanding or interest from end users. It is incumbent upon the system integrator or the security director at the end user to ensure that credentials are provided only to those that need them with proper administrative roles. It is possible that manufacturer administrative credentials for logging onto camera or software have never changed out of the box. Take this important step!
- One best practice is not enough. Providing cyberattack protection is an ongoing, multi-prong effort. It requires processes, culture of commitment and the right technology to manage it in a scalable, automated way with good governance.
Cybersecurity: It Takes Attention & Innovation
As a developer and manufacturer of intelligent surveillance appliances, Razberi provides next generation solutions that enable security leaders with easy to use, powerful tools that help them protect and manage their surveillance assets.
Razberi ServerSwitchIQ intelligent surveillance appliances are much more than a simple network video recorder (NVR). The appliances include two intelligent software features that are key tools to protect the network:
- Razberi Locberi provides a simple capability to click-and-secure camera ports from a secure dashboard. This allows installers and technicians to lock down camera ports to the MAC address so that when disconnected or not the proper address, the camera port is unavailable for use.
- Razberi VyneWatch is a health monitoring system included with all Razberi appliances. Health monitoring provides security managers with oversight over the surveillance network down to the camera. It provides proactive alerts that identify appliance, camera or other issues (including tampering) to reduce the risk of capturing poor video or no video.
Razberi helps security leaders avoid providing a tempting trail of crumbs back to their networks…it employs powerful intelligent features that when used effectively can be a key deterrent to cyberattack threats.