Look around in a store or a mall and you’ll find some security cameras. While security cameras weren’t very popular a few years ago, now you’ll find them in almost all streets. They have now become an integral part of maintaining the security of any establishment. Whether you are in charge of a government building or a private business or institution, you must be having some security cameras. How do you ensure that they’re safe?
How Safe Are Your Security Cameras
How to Protect Your Security Cameras from Online Threats
Unfortunately, security cameras themselves can be subject to a lot of dangers. The most common among these is malfunction. However, with internet-enabled facilities, CCTV cameras face the same dangers of hacking as any other electronic device. If you are wondering how you can ensure your security cameras stay safe, here is a general guide.
Only Use Strong Passwords
This applies to you if you use your smartphone or tablet to access your CCTV feed. In that case, you need to have a strong username and password that cannot be guessed easily. Usually, there are default usernames and passwords put in place to all such installations. You need to change yours as soon as the system is installed.
It would be wise to keep a hard-to-guess password. Further, if you feel you need additional security, there is no harm in changing the passwords every now and then. You can also use different passwords for different levels of access.
User a Standard Account
As the proprietor or the main security person of your establishment, you will have access to the admin account. However, you should avoid using it for small tasks. Keep this reserved for special situations or routine checkups. During other times, you should instead use a standard user account.
If you do so, then you avoid the risk of exposing your admin access rights to anyone if they are monitoring you. This prevents them from taking advantage and hacking into your CCTV system.
Change Default Ports
When you install your security camera system, you are going to use certain ports to access it remotely. Usually, common systems use port 80 by default. They might also use RSTP ports 554 and 3100. You need to change these default ports and use custom ones for better security.
Changing the ports you use will benefit your system by preventing unauthorized access. Usually, such breaches are perpetrated through large-scale scans of security systems of multiple establishments. These scans mostly target the default ports and changing them will give you enhanced security.
Use the Minimum Number of Ports Needed
If you want remote access, you are going to need to use the ports. But opening and using a port exposes you to some dangers as well. Generally, opening just a few ports lessens the chance of your system being breached.
It is a smart move to open and use only a limited number of ports. Ideally, just a few ports should serve all your purposes without exposing you to external threats. It is important to note that the latest CCTV systems are quite like PCs. And so, they share a fair degree of vulnerabilities as well. Naturally, you need to protect your CCTV system just as you would protect your PC.
Turn Off Your Router’s Remote Ping Response
Your Router’s ping response exposes your system to detection. Usually, hackers use large-scale IP address checking to find out ping responsive routers. This makes hacking into them easier. So, you should turn this router feature off. This will help you remain safe.
Do Not Use the DMZ Feature
The DMZ feature is often the reason why hackers are able to tap into CCTV systems. This feature basically reallocates all your ports to one server or device. While this can potentially be a secure way to go about it, it also exposes you to other dangers. Particularly, if your devices run services like Telnet, this can be a big problem. It is best to never use this feature at all.
Time Your Connections
Another great way to secure your CCTV system is to time your incoming connections. If you specify a time where you connect to it, the firewall will be active otherwise. This will increase the prevention of unauthorized breaches. Also, being offline during the time you are not connected to the internet will further enhance your system security.
P2P systems are very effective for keeping all kinds of security systems safe. Basically, a P2P setup will create an NVR connection. This helps to create a secure and seamless connectivity allowing smooth transmittance of audio and video.
However, having a P2P connection slows down your access time. But this issue does not affect your actual streaming experience once you have logged in. This is a very effective way of both securing your CCTV system and also accessing it in a seamless way. It is very popular with admins and is highly recommended.
Use a VPN
Although P2P is a great way to secure your CCTV system, it is not unbreachable. Further, not all security systems are compatible with P2P. If you find yourself with such a system, then VPNs are a much better alternative.
Of course, you are going to need a VPN-enabled. However, this only needs to be on your router and you will be good to go. Once you fire it up, your VPN will create a tunneling protocol across the internet. This will encrypt all your activity and prevent access to anyone without authorization.
Further, if any extra access is required, then the admin will have to configure the VPN to allow it. So, it effectively provides a secure layer of encryption on your router and all connections going through it. It also hides your IP address and thus the online identity stays hidden. This will, in turn, protect your CCTV system from any kind of breach.
Securing your CCTV system is very important. You should consider the following steps and establish a connectivity protocol for best security. This will help you keep your security camera system free from external threats.