After the recent DDoS botnet attack, integrators and end users are right to be thinking seriously about securing IP cameras and the networks they run on. Fortunately, there are many practical measures that can be taken to harden devices exposed to local networks and the Internet.
WHEN you’re thinking about securing IP cameras, the first thing to do is work on the password that gains access to the camera browser. Default user names and passwords like admin and admin, root and pass, admin and no password, admin and 123456 are a sure way to leave cameras open to hacking. Passwords are more difficult than they sound. They need to be complex enough to defy easy breaching and they need to be manageable. There’s nothing worse than losing a password and having to reset every device on a network, in effect recommissioning the system to re-gain communication. Passwords need to be managed and securely stored.
Cyber security vital to modern electronic security solutions
Like all good fairy tales, we begin with “Once upon a time…” Once upon a time, security systems were analogue and not connected to anything, or at most, a phone line, cameras connected to a time lapse VCR, and we saved footage on shelves full of video tape.
IT’S now 2016 and most security systems are network or internet-connected, yet it’s still far too common for people in the security industry to believe we’re living in a fairy tale world typified by a comment I recently read suggesting that physical security can survive without cyber security. However, in the world of modern security systems everything is a computer.
Acknowledging that there’s an element of hyperbole in that statement, let’s consider some of the key aspects that would have us consider a device to be a computer:
BGW Technologies will distribute Auriga IP-based public address and alarm verification systems
BGWT Takes On Auriga PAVA DistributionBGW Technologies will distribute Auriga IP-based public address and voice alarm (PAVA) system from Inform Technology Solutions
BGW Technologies will distribute Inform’s full range of public address and voice alert software as well as its locally produced Aries 100v and low impedance amplifiers, and the new Dynatá range of plane wave speakers.
Auriga, enables a tailored response to any event or required action and provides intelligible alert communication over local or wide area networks. To complement Auriga, Inform also manufactures and supplies a range of peripheral products for wide area alert and public address including the Dynatá range of high performance flat panel ‘planar’ speakers.
SENSTAR Tungsten is a high security Ethernet switch, distributed locally by BGWT and specifically designed to cyber-secure physical security networks, SCADA-based systems and safe-city applications.
Tungsten provides ironclad security with full control and customizable networking capabilities. Cutting-edge hardware, coupled with network intelligence and policy enforcement software engines, offer an effective tool for securing sites and installations.
Cloud, that vapourous construct of marketers and human imagination, holds many installers, integrators and end users in thrall but they’d feel more relaxed if they simply defined cloud as ‘someone else’s computer’.
PART of the challenge of the transition to a networking landscape that includes cloud is market acceptance. For many people, the word cloud and all those misty images of condensation meant to represent it, are opaque and incomprehensible. When people explain cloud, they seldom mention data centres. Instead they wave their hands mysteriously as though invoking Be'al, the life of everything.
Ongoing rollout of the national broadband network will carry 1 million alarm systems into a networked environment. Installers and monitoring stations need to plan ahead to make sure they don’t get caught out.
By February 2015, the NBN was available in around three quarters of a million premises across the country and was rolled out at twice the rate of the previous 12-month period. Similar increases in the pace of the rollout are expected this year and next. 2014 also saw the beginning of copper line disconnection and disruption to existing telephone and ADSL services prompting concern from some businesses. For example, as the NBN roll out continues and more disconnections take place, around one million back-to-base monitored alarms will require an upgrade to operate in an NBN world.
Axis Communications’ is a new compression technology the company says consumes half the storage and bandwidth of H.264.
“We launched H.264 in 2008; people ask if Zipstream is as big of a deal? It’s a bigger deal,” Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications GM Americas told SSN recently.
“Zipstream is fully compatible with the existing H.264 standard and all the video management systems out there,” Nilsson said. “Integrators can upgrade most [Axis] cameras right away with a firmware update.
According to Nilsson, Zipstream works by filtering blue sky or moving trees [for example] that are not very interesting - you then compress harder for an average or 50 per cent or more reduction in bandwidth and storage.
Synology’s teeny EDS14 resembles a NAS mated with a USB hub. It’s designed as a mobile server supporting up to 5 IP cameras. There’s a USB 2.0 port supporting remote access by dongle, while a USB 3.0 and an SDXC UHS-I slot handle storage.
WHAT strikes me out of the box is the size of Synology EDS14. It’s so small. There’s nothing to go wrong on the outside and the heavily ribbed poly housing and port-based design tells you there’s not much to go wrong on the inside, either. There are no buttons to break and it’s fan-less so this unit will shrug off dust and never overheat due to fan failure.
A majority of residents are favour the idea of smart homes
A recent study suggests homeowners like the idea of automation and consider safety and security monitoring to be automation’s central role. But they have their own ideas about installation and monitoring.
LOWE’S 2014 Smart Home Survey reveals a majority of residents are favour the idea of smart homes. But some contradictory findings include that while around 50 per cent prefer do-it-yourself solutions, 62 per cent believe home automation solutions are most beneficial for real time monitoring of safety and security. At the same time, nearly 30 per cent of home owners want domestic access control solutions they can control remotely from smart devices or workstations.
Central Security Distribution reports it has been appointed a Tier 1 distributor for the Synology range of products in Australia.
Dedicated to developing high-performance, reliable, versatile and environmentally-friendly NAS appliances, Synology boast a wide range of products including the DiskStation for desktop models and the RackStation for compatible rack-mount models.
This announcement is a big plus for CSD according to their CCTV product manager, Damien White.
“Synology products complement our range of enterprise cameras and CCTV systems to ensure that no matter what your requirements, CSD have a solution,” White said.
According to CSD, Synology NAS is not simply a storage expansion solution. Its solutions provide an affordable way to centralise data storage, simplify data backup, share and sync files across different platforms, and access data on-the-go.