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Smart Cameras – Opportunity with Vulnerability  

Technology is constantly evolving all around us. We often take for granted the major changes any industry may have in the short-term. CCTV has grown from roots focused on the commercial sector into a mass market product that can now be found in every office, many households, and everywhere in-between. This growth is due mainly to a combination of demand, better technology, and inexpensive options. However, these new developments have also allowed for the development of previously unforeseen risks, potentially exposing a user to vulnerabilities that could create a vulnerability for their entire network.

 

The commercial use of CCTV grew in the 1980s where we used VCR and multiplexer technology to allow users to view footage from multiple sources. The technology was widely adopted for businesses and even private residences. As technology evolved CCTV needed to advance as well. VCRs were replaced by DVR technology which opened a whole new range of options for users. The main advantage is that DVRs can be installed on a regular server, allowing for remote access to footage from devices such as a PC or laptop.

 

Today, with the increasing demand for AI capabilities, camera manufactures have adopted a strategy that will enable AI by adding software, sensors and processing capabilities on the camera itself. The upgrades, while necessary for the advancement of the industry, have increased the vulnerability of the systems to unauthorized access by malicious parties such as hackers. This new risk has already been reported by some of the leading CCTV company in the industry in an effort to avoid catastrophe for their customers. Even leading companies in the CCTV space have revealed weaknesses that they found in order the thwart a catastrophe for their consumers.  It is clear that new technology, like AI enabled devices, will increase the benefits for the users, it will also require an attentiveness that was not needed in the past when designing CCTV solutions.

 

When deciding what CCTV system to use, in today’s environment, one of the most important factors to consider is network security. With new threats arising daily, this can seem like a daunting task. Its best to work with a security partner that understand both the physical and logical aspects of security and work with you to identify a holistic approach to security, performance, and cost. However, as a first step,  please change all your default passwords.