When installing a new surveillance system, whether at home or for your business, there are many factors that need to be considered. Aside from choosing the proper security cameras, devices, and management software, security camera cables are important and often overlooked.
Security camera cables are crucial to your surveillance system as they are responsible for power and data transmission within your system. You will likely be upgrading your system from analog closed-circuit television (CCTV) to an Internet protocol (IP)-based system. Thanks to special parts called encoders, if you are only upgrading your legacy system, you can keep your analog cameras and coaxial cabling in place. The encoders convert the analog output of the camera for use by an IP-based security system.
Alternately, if you are upgrading to IP cameras and want to keep coaxial cable in place, you would need to install adapters at both the device and the switch (coaxial cable cannot handle the digital output of the cameras).
Encoders and adapters are merely affordable, short-term solutions. And because they introduce new points of failure, they can become costlier in the long run.
IP Camera Systems Cables
Upgrading your system includes your security camera cables as well. For IP-based systems, there are two choices: Ethernet (copper) cable or fiber optic (glass) cable.
Made from twisted copper wires, Ethernet cables carry data using an electrical current. Cat 5e is currently the most commonly used in home applications and can support speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps) over 100 meters (m). Cat 6, 6a, 7, and 8 cables are more commonly used in business and data centers as they can handle larger data transfers, ranging from 10-40 Gigabits per second (Gbps).
Fiber Optic Cable
Fiber optic cables use light to send digital data along flexible, optically pure glass or plastic fibers that are about the width of a human hair and enable rapid movement of data. There are two types (single or multimode) which determine the speed and length of data transmission. The differences between the two types are significant and dictate how each is used.
Because it has a narrow core of optical glass surrounded by highly reflective cladding, single-mode fiber only carries data via a single mode of light (typically transmitted by laser). This allows for lower attenuation (data loss) over longer distances and, thus, is ideal for use in high bandwidth runs (ex. telecom and communications companies, college/university campuses).
Multimode fiber has a larger core, allowing several different light signals (more data) to pass through simultaneously. With a larger core comes narrower cladding, which results in more data attenuation. With that said, multimode fiber is better suited for shorter distances (ex. transmitting data and signals across a local area network).
Ethernet Vs. Fiber Optic Cables
Choosing between the two options will depend on your individual needs. Here’s a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Data Handling, Speed & Distance
Usability, Safety & Security
While both Ethernet and fiber optic cables have their advantages and disadvantages, it really depends on your security needs. Have you chosen between the two? Share your experience with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
For a great selection of CCTV security cameras, systems, and surveillance equipment, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!
When shopping for a security system for your home or business, it may be easy to focus on the specific features of the security cameras. However, much attention should be paid to video surveillance storage as well. DVRs (digital video recorders) are an integral part to the overall surveillance system. Here are some of the features and specifications of DVRs that you should pay close attention to.
A frame rate is a unit of measure denoting the number of frames recorded in each second by a DVR in a specific resolution. Calculations should be made based on the real-time frame rate of about 30 frames per second (FPS). For example, in order to record real-time video on a standard 16-channel system, you would need a DVR that has 480 FPS.
Remember that sellers may claim real-time images as the units display live video at about 30 FPS on each channel, but this needs to be assessed based on the recorded video footage (not the live video). A basic unit may record videos at less than 30 FPS while a top-end unit may deliver 30 FPS on each channel.
Resolution is the size of the image displayed or recorded. The most popular resolution is CIF – 360×240, and the highest is specified as D1 – 720×480. This is an important specification to consider as larger recorded images afford you additional details for review. For example, 4CIF images can feature views detailed four times as much as a base CIF image. You can find a variety of DVRs boasting anywhere from CIF to D1 resolutions.
When the video is transferred to the DVR for storage, it is first compressed to save space and to make Internet viewing fluid. Compression standards can vary from basic to nearly no compression protocols (ex. MJPEG or wavelet) to the top-end compression methods (ex. MPEG4). Currently, the highest compression standards are H.264 (which is 40% more efficient than previous versions).
While compression methods may vary in DVRs, hybrid DVRs are available. These are capable of using a combination of compression methods, and can also be used to do compressions separately (Internet streaming vs. recording).
You will need to know how much data your DVR can hold. Presently, baseline DVRs may allow one or two hard drives only, while more advanced models now offer 6, 8, or more internal hard drives based on user requirements.
Popular DVRs also offer redundant storage (RAID) configuration and FTP uploads. The FTP uploads feature allows backup of video for the DVR at an off-premise FTP server. This helps to avoid any possibility of loss in the case of a local system crash or a DVR robbery.
Audio can sometimes be an important addition to video footage. Some DVRs may accommodate synced audio and video, with lower-end versions having one to four channels and higher-end options offering up to 16 channels. Be sure to review the laws and legalities in regards to audio recording.
There can be a wide variety of video output, from BNC to VGA to HDMI. If you have a mix of these, you may need to invest in quality converters to ensure proper connections and performance.
Network IP surveillance systems allow users to access video footage via the Internet from virtually anywhere. Advanced systems even allow viewing more than one DVR at a time. These DVRs can boast specialized features such as camera groupings, e-mapping, different levels of user privileges, and more.
If you need assistance in choosing the right DVR and security cameras for you, please feel free to contact us 888-203-6294 or browse our vast selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Choosing the best security camera system can be based on many factors. When it comes to the individual security cameras, the quality of images and video captured is largely dependent on the image sensor.
The image sensor (also known as the “eye”) determines the imaging capability and performance of your security camera. Their duty is to convert an optical image into an electrical signal, and is either a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor.
To better understand which type of image sensor will work best for your security camera needs, we will take a look at the differences between CCD and CMOS.
What Is A CCD Image Sensor?
CCD’s receive light and convert it to electrons, then carry the electrons to a specific area across the chip to be processed. The conversion of analog light signals into digital pixels takes place in the chip without distortion. The special manufacturing process of CCD’s produces high-quality sensors in terms of fidelity and light sensitivity.
What Is A CMOS Image Sensor?
The CMOS sensor came from the MOS active pixel image sensor which emerged in the 1960s. Since then, its design and function has greatly improved, containing integrated circuitry and arrays of pixel sensors. Unlike the CCD, CMOS sensors process the elections at the same place that it receives the light, thus making it faster and smaller. The CMOS is able to do so because it has multiple transistors at each pixel, offering flexibility because each pixel is treated individually.
CCD vs. CMOS
Now that we have covered the basics, we can compare the strengths and weaknesses of CCD and CMOS cameras.
In these common applications, one camera outshines the other.
To shop our stock of security cameras and surveillance equipment, including CMOS cameras and CCD cameras, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you are located in Southern California and would like to schedule a site survey or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.
Upgrading your analog security cameras to IP security cameras has plenty of benefits, including improved image quality and advanced features. Most IP surveillance systems can make use of existing network infrastructure that is in good condition, decreasing costs for installation. Whether you are looking to upgrade because your analog system is reaching end-of-life for support or because your needs have changed, an IP surveillance system is a smart decision.
Now, the actual task of transitioning from analog to IP security cameras should not be taken lightly. You want to be sure that you take all things into consideration to ensure that you choose the right IP video surveillance system and that it performs sufficiently. Here are a few aspects you should not overlook:
Goals & Challenges
If you are looking to achieve ROI, you must fully understand how your IP security system will be used. Operational goals and potential challenges should be determined beforehand. Think about what types of cameras and how much resolution you need, as well as how long the footage needs to be stored and which areas need coverage. Proper planning is crucial to the success of your security system.
No one wants to pay an arm and a leg for a mediocre surveillance system. If done correctly, you don’t need to. By defining a security budget, you can find the right cameras and video management software (VMS) to fulfill your needs and achieve your goals.
As much as a quick transition sounds ideal, it is not always feasible. Understand that a proper transition will take some time, and it may be in your best interest to plan a phased migration. This will help to accommodate budget availability and operational disruptions. Prioritize which area needs immediate attention and begin there.
Going from analog to IP improves video quality, but also requires more storage. Advanced VMS can help to effectively optimize your network resources and bandwidth consumption, thus decreasing networking and storage costs over time.
A new IP video system may need additional staffing, so you should think about this and how you will train the new and existing staff. This will impact both overall costs and ROI of your system, and may affect cameras and software selection. For example, casinos require live monitoring around the clock while parking lot surveillance may use video analytics to alert security personnel of incidents or events that need attention.
Numerous third-party integrations can help to increase the efficiency of your system as well as manage costs. While most current systems have an IP-based interface for integration, leading suppliers also have a wide range of integrations which are tested and ready to apply. These can offer functionality, automation, and other enhancements to solve project needs.
Cybersecurity is of utmost importance, especially these days. If not addressed properly, going from analog to IP opens up your system, and any indirectly connected networks, to endless vulnerabilities. Be sure to discuss your specific network safeguards, policies, and strategies with your installer. Also, enlist a new IP security system that provides the appropriate cybersecurity architecture, software, devices, and policies.
Pay attention to licensing requirements and Software Upgrade Plans (SUPs) or Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that come with most VMS systems. These cover everything from higher tiers of support to future upgrades. For example, third-party cameras may require a license for each IP address, and these licensing requirements can add additional costs.
These include extreme heat or cold, humidity, corrosion, and high dust levels, along with ambient light levels, existing power sources, and network infrastructure. All of these can impact which security cameras and VMS equipment are necessary for you.
Because your security system should be operational and accessible at all times, it is important plan provisions for redundancy and back up for primary resources in case they fail. For most systems, simple RAID-5 or -6 redundancy in storage is sufficient. However, you should also consider budgeting for “failover” recorders and other server hardware, and have spare cameras on hand in case of failure.
It is only a matter of time until IP surveillance is the norm and analog security cameras are a thing of the past. But when the day comes, it is ever important to understand your security needs and what you expect from your IP surveillance system. Even a small mistake or misstep along the way can compromise your system.
Have you upgraded to an IP security camera system? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can shop our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to inquire about our products, installation services, or request a free quote!
Security camera systems have made great advances over the years. From traditional analog CCTV technology to IP networking, security camera quality and features have improved to provide better monitoring and security. Some of these enhanced benefits include higher resolutions resulting in clearer images, fewer cameras covering larger areas, and thus, a lower total cost of ownership. Many businesses and homeowners are opting to trade up to network IP security cameras, network video recorders (NVRs) and cloud-based storage for more convenient and affordable security.
Network IP Cameras & Assisted Living Communities
Aside from protecting homes and company headquarters, assisted living communities can also reap the benefits of installing network IP security cameras.
In the way that security cameras deter burglars from targeting your property, in assisted living facilities, the aim is to deter abuse and neglect. By strategically placing these cameras in and around the facility, family members can put their worries at ease by reviewing stored footage to ensure that no mistreatment is taking place and that the staff is providing the proper care. For facility managers, video surveillance footage can provide evidence should an employee or resident be charged with abusive behavior.
Network IP cameras can also help the staff keep a closer eye on residents or patients. For those residents at risk for falls, staff can potentially prevent falls and injuries, or respond faster to those incidents. Medical equipment such as oxygen tubes may get dislodged, and staff can get to the rooms faster to fix the problems. In the case of memory units, the entrances and exits can be closely monitored to prevent residents from wandering outside of supervised areas, and can help protect the facility from possible intruders.
These security cameras can also prevent employee theft. Although we would rather think that this is uncommon, it is not unheard of for residents to report their belongings stolen. Whether these claims are accurate or not, cameras provide evidence to prove what really happened. Also, facilities often find that supplies may go missing. To counter these losses, IP cameras can document the incident or prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Of course, opponents of these security measures stand firm in their belief that it makes it more difficult to recruit staff and that employees will have trouble making sound decisions for fear of families challenging their actions. The problem with this stance is that numerous other careers and industries are under constant surveillance with little to no issues arising. Proponents of employee surveillance believe these measures will help workers to make better decisions and avoid any questionable situations.
Why Should You Upgrade To IP Security Cameras?
As stated, upgrading to IP security cameras comes with a myriad of enhanced benefits. Aside from the obvious video quality improvement, IP cameras are able to utilize your existing CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cabling, saving time and money on installation. The intelligent video features include facial recognition, motion detection, audio detection and people-counting, to name a few. Also, because they are connected to the Internet, owners are able to remotely view live video, search archived footage, and receive alerts via any PC, tablet, or smart phone.
Choosing the Right IP Security Camera
Because the various IP camera choices on the market, it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some important features you should know about before choosing the best IP cameras for your needs.
There are three design options for IP cameras: bullet, dome and PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom). As inferred by their name, bullet cameras resemble a bullet shaped and best suited for directional monitoring. They typically do not possess the capability to zoom in or move. Dome cameras are shaped like domes and ambiguously monitor areas, aiding in its role of deterring misconduct. “Speed domes” spin quickly to capture a broader range of images. Lastly, PTZ cameras are ideal for covering large areas. These cameras can move and capture different angles, thus, delivering the work of several fixed-point cameras in one single device. PTZ surveillance cameras may also be preprogrammed to scan an area or may be controlled remotely.
IP camera resolution is the amount of visual data that can be captured and is measured in megapixels. It is often provided in horizontal and vertical pixel dimensions (ex. A camera that has 1280 x 1024 resolution is 1.3MP because 1280 x 1024 = 1,310,720 or 1.3MP). A higher resolution means the camera can capture more data, resulting in improved video clarity.
This allows you to transmit power over the data cable, which can run up to 100 feet. This will save you money and decrease installation limitations. In addition, the PoE standard 802.3af supports higher power ratings needed for motorized cameras (ex. PTZ).
If you are monitoring an area that has challenging lighting conditions, you will want a camera that has good wide dynamic range (WDR). This will control the backlight and remove shadows to produce adequate footage in difficult environments.
Infrared (IR) LED lighting is like night vision, allowing cameras to capture clear footage in low to no light conditions. IP cameras can see infrared light and when wavelengths reflect back, it is as if the room is illuminated and the camera can record video. Night vision capabilities improve with more IRLEDs and longer ranges.
If you are using your surveillance cameras outdoors, be sure to choose weatherproof and “vandal resistant” cameras, which will often be IP66 rated and IK10 rated respectively. This will safeguard against water or dirt, which can interfere with your recordings or damage your equipment. Some cameras even offer thermostatic controls, which will help to prevent condensation forming over the lens.
When upgrading to IP cameras within your home, business, or in assisted living communities, be sure to evaluate your needs and review your options before making a final decision. If you need assistance, please feel free to call us at 888-203-6294 to speak with a representative and request a free quote. You may also visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our inventory of network IP cameras and surveillance equipment.
A comprehensive security and alarm system for your home will help to keep you safe and give you peace of mind while you’re away. If you already have a home security system in place, it is likely that you are familiar with the different devices and security lingo. For those of you who are considering installing a security system, here are a few of the basics you should know about.
This is the component that communicates with all other devices in your system and also connects you to your alarm monitoring company. It is usually a touchpad in which you enter passcodes to arm and disarm your alarm, and is often considered the heart of your system. Some advanced systems enable voice control for the control panel.
Instead of the touchpad, a key fob allows you to arm and disarm your alarm upon exiting and before entering your home, similar to a remote car lock. These may be used at home or remotely. Depending on how many people are living with you or need access to your home, your provider should be able to accommodate the number of key fobs necessary.
These are often referred to as motion detectors and communicate with the control panel to let them know when there is movement. Motion sensors are installed on doors and windows, and when the sensors are touching it is noted as secure. If a door or window is opened while the system is on, the sensor is triggered and communicates the activity to the control panel.
Keep a close eye on everything whether you’re home or away. There are various types of security cameras to suit your needs including Pan/Tilt/Zoom, dome, bullet, day & night vision, and more. In conjunction with a corresponding app, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras can record activity when detected and send you an alert along with footage.
Electric Door Locks
Have you ever been at work or out on the town and wondered whether you remembered to lock the door? Electronic door locks can let you rest easy. You can check your locks remotely, and some even allow you to lock and unlock them remotely via a smartphone app. That way if your kids forget their keys, or you absentmindedly left the door unlocked, you can easily fix the situation.
Panic Button or Pendant
This wearable device is a popular add-on that allows a direct connection with the monitoring company to alert them when help is needed. By pressing the panic button, the monitoring company can communicate with the user and send the necessary emergency personnel. For those who have elderly loved ones living alone, this is a smart device to invest in for them.
If you have any questions about security cameras or surveillance systems, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
When running an online business, one of the most important aspects is security. Aside from protecting your company data, customers want to feel secure and know that they are safe when connecting and shopping on your website. Things like SSL and encryption are standard for any legitimate ecommerce business.
Unfortunately, small businesses with physical locations sometimes overlook the proper security measures, which can end up hurting the company in many ways.
Build confidence with your consumers by employing smart security practices with both your physical locations as well as your online presence.
Benefits Of A Secure Business
By securing your business, first and foremost, you are increasing safety for your employees and your business overall. When taking the appropriate measures, you can create a cohesive team and a sense of belonging among your staff. Applying on-premise security measures delivers the message that you value your employees and are concerned for their safety. In doing so, you are also improving job satisfaction, which can lead to employee retention.
Aside from improving employee morale, securing your business shows your customers that your staff and brand are worth protecting. Security methods also convey professionalism and help to build trust with your customers. By strengthening the legitimacy of your company, you are building a strong foundation for your business.
So how can you improve security in your business? Here are a few things you can implement to get started.
One of the most effective ways to protect your business is to control who gets in or out. Make it harder for unauthorized guests to gain access by graduating from a simple lock and key to access control cards. They are much harder to duplicate than keys, and when someone leaves the company or you need to revoke access to one person for whatever reason, all you need to do is change the database – no need to change the locks or the entry code.
Adding photos ID cards or badges will help your customers clearly identify your team members, as well as promote value amongst your team. It also adds an additional layer of security in helping to identify who should and should not be on site. It may prove beneficial for businesses to invest in their own ID card printer to avoid any possible counterfeits.
Easily Identify Visitors And Contractors
If left to their own devices, visitors and contractors may pose a risk in your building. Make sure you have a check-in system as well as photo pass and color coded lanyard so that everyone on the team can easily identify who’s who. Your team should also know the protocol for when an intruder is on the premises.
Although we are mainly focused on physical security, it is worth mentioning that cyber security is also of the utmost importance. These days, it has bearing on your physical security as well. Strong passwords, multi-step authentication and security from the cloud are smart and simple ways to minimize risks for your business.
Security Culture Among Team
Your team should have a strong knowledge of your security procedures. You should have security specialists analyze your business needs and assist you in creating clear, actionable policies for your employees to follow. Once implemented, these should be reviewed for all employees so that your team is on the same page and understand the company’s security policy.
Security procedures can play a crucial role in building a legitimate, successful business. What security measures do you implement to safeguard your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
To better understand the current surveillance industry, you should know a little history. Without going into great detail, here are some important milestones of the video surveillance industry from the past decade.
Ten years ago, SD analog cameras and DVRs reigned supreme. While video management software and IP cameras were available, they had yet to become a mainstream solution.
Also around this time, some megapixel cameras were offered. They only supported MJPEG encoding (which made storage and transmission of these more expensive), but they boasted better quality than analog cameras.
And still in the early stages, but a topic of interest, were analytics, which had limited deployment during this time.
Around 2008-2012, IP cameras got a boost from the adoption of H.264 for megapixel cameras. Because IP camera usage was up, VMS software followed suit. The benefits of this upgrade were clear, making it easier for consumers to understand and accept the price increase.
As megapixel and IP cameras grew in popularity, interest in connecting cameras to the cloud was rising. While the dream was to eliminate any on-site recording and maintenance, bandwidth limitations and poor cloud VMS killed the dream.
In 2011, video analytics remained off the radar thanks to performance problems, unhappy customers, and ObjectVideo suing the industry. Even today, analytics are still slowly crawling out of the hole.
In the next few years, edge storage promised the elimination of NVRs and recorder appliances since the storage and software would be housed within the IP camera. Unfortunately, reliability issues deterred early adopters, and the introduction of inexpensive recorder appliances pushed edge storage to the back burner. Rather than becoming a main solution, edge storage was more commonly employed to provide redundancy for higher-end applications.
WDR & Low Light Conditions
Over time, surveillance camera technology has improved to better accommodate low light environments. Before, WDR (wide dynamic range) cameras, which automatically adjusted to harsh lighting conditions, were expensive and limited in availability. Low light performance was generally poor, and even worse in MP cameras (WDR in these were relatively non-existent). Today, the enhancements in quality are evident.
Smart CODECs dynamically adapt compression and I frame interval to scene conditions, which ultimately reduces bandwidth requirements and offsets the need to move to H.265. Within recent years, we have seen a rise in this technology. Moving forward, broad support of Smart CODECs will eventually drive down storage costs and remote network challenges.
For more than a decade, IP was the only practical way to deliver MP/HD, however the introduction of HD Analog has successfully killed off SD analog. HD analog uses coaxial cable for transmissions and has dominated sales for homes and small businesses. Some argue that it is just a temporary fix, while others say it will expand features and options to become a mainstay.
Cybersecurity has only recently become a major topic in video surveillance, however, many still brush it off. Though recent events have spurred concerns (ex. Sony hacking, Hikvision hacks, Axis’ major exploit), most users perceive a low risk of cybersecurity. As our systems become more connected, we can only hope that cybersecurity is better addressed and taken seriously among manufacturers and consumers alike.
Chinese manufacturers have grown as contenders, with their earlier deployments showing poor quality and performance. However, over time, their products have improved and yet still maintain relatively low pricing. These manufacturers were originally OEM suppliers to Western brands, but recent years have shown their branded sales increase in the West.
Drive Down Costs
It seems manufacturers are in a current race to offer the lowest prices (whether to gain share or stay afloat) and consumers seem to be driving this shift. With numerous DIY and simple home solutions, we will see where the video surveillance industry is headed next.
To shop our selection of security camera equipment and packages, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For questions about our products and installation services, or to schedule a free* site survey, please call 1-888-203-6294.
Video surveillance can be an invaluable asset for businesses. It helps to improve security, manage risks, and boost efficiency. Most benefits of video surveillance can be seen and measure, however, determining its financial return isn’t as easy.
In order to better understand the fiscal value of IP video surveillance, security leaders consider the impact and effect of a hypothetical security event. This gives them better insight to how effective their surveillance system is. And by understanding how IP video surveillance adds value to your business, you demonstrate your overall dedication to success. Here are some of the ways IP video surveillance can influence and improve your business.
A common reason to employ IP video surveillance is to protect your property, employees, and customers. It can help to minimizes losses when it comes to a security incident, however, it can go further. The application of IP video surveillance can also ensure cyber security, data protection, intellectual property and brand reputation. By protecting these assets, a cohesive approach to risk management can be achieved.
Again, video surveillance goes beyond security and safety. It has become a fundamental aspect when building a business. Aside from monitoring on-site and remote locations, surveillance footage can be analyzed to improve employee productivity and help to measure the success of marketing campaigns. This data can be valuable across different departments, which adds to its value and merit.
There are different ways you can evaluate and determine the total cost of ownership for your system. For example, by investigating liability claims with video footage, you can save money and prevent future slip-and-fall claims. Some cases may be proven false, while others may bring to light new or unnoticed safety risks that can be addressed.
The stronger your system is, the more money you can potentially save. The most effective systems are comprised of enough cameras to cover all areas and detect crimes in progress, with highly trained staff to monitor the different feeds. A system that can do this as well as integrate the technology into all manner of law enforcement activities will demonstrate true ROI to security leaders.
Remote monitoring is an excellent luxury of IP video surveillance. When alarms go off or unfamiliar activity is detected, rather than sending managers or guards to investigate, you are provided with alerts and can respond quickly and appropriately.
Building a system that meets these standards will be a great addition to your business. What other benefits do you enjoy with your video surveillance system? If you don’t have one now, are you considering implementing an IP video surveillance system for your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Installing a surveillance system in your home or business can provide you with a sense of security. However, if you do not properly secure your system, cyber criminals can gain access to your video feeds.
Aside from an unnerving invasion of privacy, unauthorized access to your surveillance video can help criminals study the area, identify where important property is located, figure out traffic patterns, sabotage systems, deny access to feeds, and much more.
Because IP security camera systems connect to LAN networks, extra precautions are necessary to safeguard your system from attacks. Breaches are usually due to human error, negligence, and misconfigurations, and can often be prevented. The following are common vulnerabilities and ways to protect your surveillance system.
Default usernames and passwords are common with most IP based security cameras. They are used to set up your system and accounts for remote access. Too often, people fail to change these passwords, or choose simple passwords, making it easy for strangers to access feeds.
Be sure to set strong passwords, use good password management or user certificates in lieu of passwords. You may want to consider changing your password periodically as well.
Avoid enabling unused services as it can leave your system vulnerable to attacks. For example, cyber criminals could install malicious applications and scripts using file transfer protocol (FTP) or an app platform from an untrusted developer.
Minimize your risk by disabling any unused services and installing only trusted apps.
Sometimes organizations fail to define who has access to different aspects of the surveillance system, possibly leading to confusion and employees with unnecessary access. For example, it may be unclear as to who is responsible for reviewing security measures to ensure proper protocol is being followed.
For IT departments, it is recommended to only allow users access to the resources they need to perform their job.
Bugs and flaws in software codes can put your devices at risk. Luckily, you can do your part to prevent this.
Always keep your cameras, equipment, and software up-to-date with the latest firmware to ensure that bugs will not pose a threat. Vendors often post public common vulnerabilities and exposure reports which provide solutions for users.
Physical Installation Problems
Whether it is your cameras, wiring, or other infrastructure, poor installation can leave your system at risk.
Cameras should be installed out of reach to avoid any possible tampering or vandalism, but at a proper angle to view people and objects clearly.
Poor Physical Protection Of Equipment (Cabling, Servers, Gear)
If your cabling, server, or other surveillance equipment is not properly protected, your system is at risk for poor, intermittent performance. A small kink or damage to a cable can interfere with signal, causing disruption in your feed or even power failure.
Appropriate housing to protect your equipment from severe weather or extreme heat is available and is recommended for use if you are in an area susceptible to these conditions.
Routine maintenance is ever important to ensure that your system is and will continue to function properly.
A preventative maintenance program should include a checklist of issues to look for in order to avoid small issues that can turn into big problems (ex. damaged/loose cameras and equipment, exposed, loose, or damaged cabling, dirt/moisture on camera lenses). This will allow the owner to become accustomed to the system and more aware when something seems different or wrong (ex. possible signs of tampering).
Flaws In Standard Network Protocols
Most network surveillance systems use standard network protocols (ex. FTP, TCP/IP), however, weaknesses or flaws in these protocols can expose surveillance data to attacks.
For video streams sent over the network, the latest advanced encryption methods should be used.
Failure To Align Hardware/Software On The Network With IT Policy
If your hardware or software does not meet your IT organization’s network security policy, there will be security issues. For example, third-party software or apps are often poorly supported or lack security patches which make them vulnerable to security breaches. Thus, your IT department will not be happy.
Enforcing a strong IT policy is imperative for any business.