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Cyber Security for CCTV: Protect your Cameras

More Cameras mean More Security Risks

The pace of adoption of IP Cameras and their interconnected technologies has increased exponentially over the last two years. In 2021, London was the third most surveilled city in the world with an astonishing 73 cameras per 1000 inhabitants (behind only Taiyuan and Wuxi in China).

The features and benefits and rapid deployment of this networked technology has meant that well-documented security flaws are overlooked in this increasingly complex cyber environment.

This is despite the fact that any device with an associated IP address is an inherent risk, as it is just so easy for remote hackers to locate and target.  


Why is Cyber Security Critical to your CCTV Setup?

All CCTV system projects should include a comprehensive CCTV cyber security strategy to ensure compliance and minimise risk when protecting the sites, people and property. However there seems to be a mindset of balancing risk and convenience when it comes to CCTV safety; preventing unauthorised access to any data should be a priority for any reputable CCTV specialist.

In the event of a malicious actor identifying an IP camera, secure credentials, comprehensive network protocols, and firewalls should be in place to prevent them from accessing the cameras in the first place.

Compromised cameras are not only an invasion of privacy, a breach of GDPR, and a risk to safety, property, and assets; the compromised device can be used as a pathway to other network devices, credentials, and data. It’s an easy access point to the network that does not need to be accessible.  


What are the Cyber Security Risks for your CCTV Systems?

There are a number of risks associated with remote CCTV monitoring, such as:-

  • Vulnerabilities provide a back door into the network
  • Weak passwords
  • Lack of multi-factor authentication
  • Infrastructure maintenance
  • Miscommunication between IT and Security teams
  • Leveraging state-of-the-art AI technologies may not always deliver seamless integration, particularly with legacy systems.

Because the complexity and methods of hacking constantly evolve, CCTV hardware manufacturers develop regular important security updates which are released via firmware updates.

The ability to remotely upgrade hardware to the latest firmware is critical to any CCTV system, to attempt to combat ever-evolving risk.


Best Practices to Prevent a Breach of CCTV Cyber Security

In most countries around the world, CCTV is covered by very specific legislation such as the data protection act in the UK and the EU’s GDPR (May 2020). These laws protect the right to privacy and legislate that any personally identifiable information must be handled according to the applicable laws of the land.

If your CCTV system is hacked, this information, which is your data, could easily end up in the wrong hands. In a world where cybercrime is a very real threat, protecting your CCTV is a necessity. Here we’ll give you some helpful hints to protect your CCTV systems.


1. Practice Strong Password Policies

Anyone who has access to a CCTV system should have their own unique individual logins, which you should be able to rescind when necessary, such as when someone moves on from the business or property. Strong password policies should be implemented to protect your system from hackers. You should also invest in a system that forces the user to change their password regularly, as this also decreases the chance of the login being guessed.

You should also strongly discourage people from sharing passwords or giving each other access to their logins. Consider also using multi-factor authentication, which provides an additional layer of security – further reducing the chance of a cyberattack.


2. Vulnerability Testing

While no two sites are the same, it is CCTV safety best practice to perform network vulnerability scans at least once per quarter. One minor vulnerability left unchecked can wreak havoc on your network, gifting malicious actors the open door they need to gain a foothold, exfiltrate data and cause damage to your client’s business and your reputation.


3. Updates/Proactive Maintenance

At Netcelero, we get asked a lot if CCTV sites can be hacked. The answer is yes – very easily. To keep any network device as safe and secure as possible, you must ensure it is regularly updated to the latest firmware version available as these contain vulnerability fixes that constantly evolve.

This is even more true of CCTV security systems, where the latest firmware updates are crucial to keeping your system free from hackers.

It’s also important for CCTV Cyber Security to update your hardware regularly, too. Old, outdated hardware is more likely to malfunction – again leaving it susceptible to cyberattacks.


4. Traffic Filtering/Source IP Whitelisting

The whitelisting or filtering of IP addresses is an important part of networking security since it can significantly reduce the risk associated with unauthorized access. Industry leading solutions, such as Netcelero’s i-spi, provide geo locking out of the box.

What this means for customers in the UK, for example, is that access is restricted to only UK IP addresses dramatically reducing your cyber security attack surface to stop unwanted access attempts from locations such as Russia or China.


5. Firewall Protection

Firewalls serve as a first line of defense against external threats, malware, and unauthorised access to your data and systems. Data passing through your network creates opportunities for threats to compromise your operations – cyber security in CCTV is about protecting your data.

By monitoring and analysing your entire inbound and outbound traffic you have the ability to stop virus attacks, prevent hacking, stop spyware, and most importantly promote privacy and ensure best practices through security and error log analysis.


6. End to End Encryption

End-to-end encryption provides the gold standard for a secure communications path. In an end-to-end encrypted system, only the sender and the intended recipient(s) is able to access the data – all other access is blocked – so third parties or hackers are unable to access the encrypted data.

With both the i-spi and the i-ctrl solution from Netcelero, you can connect with a VPN from your laptop, desktop, or even your smartphone securely end-to-end.


7. Real-Time Alerts

Real-time alerts provide peace of mind for clients – believing your premises are secure, but not being alerted to any potential issue, erodes client confidence in their CCTV protection.

Security professionals are able to resolve problems in a timely manner as they will receive an alert the moment a serious problem arises. Best of all, this increased transparency builds trust between you and your client as information is shared more freely.


Secure your Remote CCTV Monitoring Systems with Netcelero

The trusted connectivity experts in Netcelero have been simplifying secure CCTV connectivity for a decade and understand the latest cutting-edge technologies. These technologies are critical for providing real-time actionable insights, and require interoperability with seamless integration, without compromising on security.

Netcelero has developed two industry-leading solutions with cyber security as the key driver of their development.


The i-ctrl

The i-ctrl provides a secure communications path with powerful firewall protection and a static IP combining multiple networks, which removes the complexity of resilient cyber secure CCTV communication path challenges.

Simply insert any SIMs from any network you choose and/or connect any DSL, Starlink, or fibre router to the i-ctrl and instantly receive a static public IPV4 address that sits across the multiple connections and transforms even just 4G SIMs into a secure, resilient, diverse communications path. 

The i-ctrl device is instantly deployable and secure, delivering an automatic failover, with selectable levels of firewall protection to ensure CCTV Cyber Security, whilst ensuring you enjoy always-on connectivity.

Learn more about the i-ctrl


The i-spi

The i-spi transforms any internet connection, even just a standard 4G SIM or Starlink connection, into a secure communications path from on-site cameras or NVR to any ARC! Traffic filtering by region and IP address is enabled with smart geo-locking and source IP whitelisting.

This means that it limits access to IP addresses of only the country you are in. The i-spi provides a secure, reliable remote connection to any CCTV system and blocks hacks in the process, giving you peace of mind that connectivity to the monitoring system is safe, and fast and that data is accessible in real-time.

Learn more about the i-spi


Don’t risk your data any longer, contact the trusted CCTV cyber security experts at Netcelero today to find out how we simplify secure connectivity.