How to protect your security system from hackers

13 Apr 2022
BY Dave Salisbury

How to protect your security system from hackers

I will always say that a good CCTV system is essential to keeping a business safe and secure. Cameras are a strong visual deterrent and they keep a 24/7 watchful eye on the interior and exterior of your business premises. They’re reliable, efficient, and will never doze off and leave your buildings and assets unprotected.

But what happens if someone decides to hack into your CCTV system and why would they do it?

Four reasons your CCTV system may be hacked:

  1. This is the most obvious: to disable it. When the CCTV is disabled intruders can freely access your site safe in the knowledge they’re completely unobserved.
  2. Perhaps they’ve already done something untoward and have realised that they may have been caught on camera. In this situation they might try to hack into the system in an attempt to erase or capture the footage.
  3. If the CCTV system is monitored by a remote monitoring service the would-be hacker might try to access the system to try and interrupt the connection between your site and the monitoring hub.
  4. The worst-case scenario would be that the criminal is trying to hack the system as a gateway to your company’s local network to gain access to your HR server, finance, or payroll serv

What the hacker does is send out stacks of ping requests. Every system will use a particular port and what the hacker is looking for is a bounce back from a specific one; when they get it they’ll know there’s a CCTV server on the other side of it that they can hack into. Not a place you want to find yourself in, particularly with information such as employee national insurance numbers, home addresses, career histories, medical conditions, and bank details now vulnerable and you, as the employer, liable.

When you invest in an integrated security system it is truly imperative that you work with a reputable security system installer to protect your business. Protecting customer servers and confidential data is part and parcel of what we do at Zicam. As a member of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and having the NSI gold accreditation our customers can be safe in the knowledge that the correct regulations and processes are always followed and can be proved by the NSI audit process. You must always do you due diligence when it comes to security installation specialists; there’s so much at stake if you don’t use an accredited company.

Protecting our customers’ CCTV systems

Security and surveillance is our expertise, and that includes cyber security. Here’s how we protect our customers’ systems.

In the first instance there’s a strong and resilient firewall, then depending on the level of infrastructure of the security needed we can drill down further and have what’s called a whitelist. Every computer has its own, unique internet protocol (IP) address, so on the whitelist we would have our IP address, the monitoring station’s IP address, and perhaps that of the managing director – theses three addresses are the only ones that could access the firewall and be allowed through to the CCTV system.

The second line of defence is a virtual private network (VPN) connection –  a private and secure network connection through the internet – which acts as another layer of protection. Thirdly, there are unique usernames and passwords for every user that will only allow them access.

Remember those ports that the hackers ping to find a CCTV server? What we can also do is mask them by changing the default port of the manufacturers to our own. That way the hacker thinks they’re seeing one thing when it’s actually something completely different!

Hacking is a scary thought for business owners, but it doesn’t have to be a main concern if you work with an accredited security partner. We’re always happy to talk about how the bespoke systems we design for our customers meet the specific requirements of their business. If you want to chat about cyber security or any other aspect of your current, or potential system, get in touch to talk to a member of our team.

Dave Salisbury, Managing Director, Zicam Integrated Security Limited.

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