Why Your Smart Cameras Could Be Your Biggest Security Risk

Security cameras are designed to keep your business safe — but what if they’re actually making you vulnerable to cyber attacks?

It seems that everywhere you look these days there are smart security cameras, from your neighbor’s house to your office. Regardless of where they’re used, these increasingly popular IoT devices can bring a range of benefits to those who adopt them. However, they can also present serious risks if not properly secured.

A recent consumer investigation in the UK conducted by product review company Which? highlighted how easily these cameras can become vulnerable to attack. More than 100,000 indoor security cameras across businesses and homes in the UK were found to be at risk of hacking due to a critical design flaw. The investigators also believe that 47 security camera brands worldwide feature a similar software flaw that makes it easy for hackers to access the video stream, steal or change passwords, target other devices connected to the network, and even discover a camera’s exact location.

Despite this all-too-common narrative around such IoT devices, the reality is that modern businesses cannot afford to miss out and risk falling behind the competition. Instead, they must find proactive ways to bolster security and safeguard their network from these risks.

 

The Rise of IoT Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding fast. In fact, over the coming years, IoT devices are expected to multiply at a pace that will make previous technology adoptions look comparatively slow. With around 20 billion connected devices worldwide being used everywhere from public streets to apartment buildings, it’s no surprise that these devices are seeing widespread use in modern businesses.

Smart cameras in particular have a number of advantages that make them a popular choice for businesses. In addition to the greater visibility and simplified management that comes with some of the best cameras, new capabilities like face search and heatmaps make it even easier for businesses to track movements and individuals within their spaces. This can help increase security in general — but it also has added benefits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to track employees with camera footage can help with everything from social distancing and contact tracing to developing more effective cleaning schedules.

 

The Risks of IoT Devices

As the recent UK security camera investigation has shown, the many advantages of IoT devices also come with a number of potential risks businesses must consider. The massive growth of IoT devices has provided cybercriminals with the perfect potential entry point to business networks. One successful attack on a single security camera can have catastrophic consequences for a business as a whole, making it critically important for businesses to take additional security precautions.

The unfortunate reality is that many IoT devices are vulnerable due to a lack of built-in security features. For those devices that do come with some out-of-the-box security, the features are usually weak and infrequently updated. The result is that unless organizations actively engage in their own proactive cybersecurity measures for IoT devices, hackers will take advantage.

Moving away from the current embrace of IoT devices is unrealistic. Instead of rejecting these devices because of the security risks they invite, businesses must recognize that camera manufacturers often don’t consider security a priority — and thus they need to take matters into their own hands. To effectively preserve the security of your network while utilizing IoT devices, a third-party IT partner can help you address any existing vulnerabilities.

 

Securing Your Cameras

Given the risks that accompany smart security cameras, working directly with a camera vendor or a traditional security company won’t cut it. Device providers tend to neglect security, and traditional security companies will have no insight into larger networking issues. Instead, a dedicated IT partner that works directly with the camera provider can offer the best of both worlds.

By turning to a partner like Turn-key Technologies, Inc. (TTI), you can trust that security and performance are considered equally in the implementation of your IoT devices. We work closely with top providers like Verkada and Avigilon to be sure we can educate our customers on the ins and outs of security camera software and hardware as necessary. More importantly, we take your larger IT infrastructure and network into consideration in the way that a camera manufacturer or security company cannot.

If you are interested in learning more about how your security cameras might be making your business vulnerable to cyber attack, contact us today. Our experts have decades of experience implementing enterprise-grade security solutions and minimizing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

By Craig Badrick

September 22, 2020

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