For Businesses, Securing CCTV Should be a Primary Concern
By Larry Alton

For IT management, few issues are more challenging or relevant than cybersecurity. And when it comes to CCTV and other forms of surveillance video footage, it’s important to implement a forward-thinking security plan to prevent confidential information and data from ending up in the wrong hands.

CCTV as a Business Asset

 Closed circuit television, or CCTV, is a single transmission video feed that transmits video to a closed feed that, under normal circumstances, only your business can access. It’s considered a valuable asset for businesses and offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Real-time surveillance. For a business that has lots of customers and employees on the premises throughout the day, CCTV cameras provide a valuable way to track what’s happening in real-time without having a heavy security presence on the ground (which is alarming to most people).
  • Crime prevention. People are pretty good at picking out security cameras – particularly if they’re about to commit a crime. If they spot cameras, they’re much less likely to follow through. So in addition to recording crimes as they occur, CCTV cameras even prevent certain types from occurring in the first place.
  • Record keeping. It’s always smart to have visual evidence on hand to protect your business in situations involving insurance claims, lawsuits, criminal activity, proof of deliveries/pickups, visitors, etc.
  • Lower security costs. Having a handful of CCTV cameras setup on your premises effectively reduces the number of security guards you must hire. This lowers overall security costs and saves your business money.
  • Reduced insurance premiums. CCTV footage has been shown to reduce the number of false insurance claims made against businesses. As a result, many insurance companies incentivize businesses to install their own systems by lowering premiums.

 When you combine these benefits, it’s easy to see how valuable CCTV is. And while it’s a fairly simple technology for an IT department to deploy, the real challenge comes with keeping it secure in the midst of a hostile cyber landscape.

Related: During Cybersecurity Month 2019, we offer you the free Oct. 23 webinar “Lessons Learned from Snowden’s former NSA boss: Strategies to protect your data.” Sign up now and get bonus content of three exclusive articles!

 CCTV Cybersecurity Concerns

 Every piece of data your business owns and transmits is a potentially valuable fragment of information that hackers and cybercriminals will fight for. Video – for all of the reasons mentioned above – is particularly enticing. This makes it a huge target for hackers.

Cybersecurity is already a major priority for your business. The question is, does this security-first mindset permeate your CCTV initiatives? If you’re unsure – or if the answer is a firm “no” – now’s the time to address the underlying issues.

 For starters, video solutions must be built with security in mind. It’s far easier to develop a secure system from the ground up than it is to add some Band-Aids at a later date.

Rather than purchasing the cheapest video option you can find, look for a system – and by system, we’re referring to the software component – that can be tailored to your organization. For example, the VALT application from Intelligent Video Solutions allows for easy customization and permissions to manage exactly which features are used and who has access to what content. This significantly reduces the chances of video ending up in the wrong hands.

The second big concern is in relation to archived video footage – particularly sensitive video that deals with crimes and/or insurance claims. All video should be (a) encrypted and (b) safely stored in the cloud with a two-factor authentication system guarding the files. Once video has been transmitted and archived in the cloud, any on-premise storage in the CCTV cameras or monitors themselves should be scrubbed clean.

Finally, consider the CCTV cameras themselves. Network IP cameras can be hacked by criminals. The last thing you want is for your “closed circuit” cameras to begin transmitting video to someone else. The solution is to strengthen your network – a VPN is ideal – and to frequently change passwords to make it harder on cybercriminals to keep up.

 Do You Have a Strategy?

 If your business has CCTV, you can’t afford to wing it. You need a detailed and documented cybersecurity strategy to avoid situations that compromise the integrity of your business, employees, and customers. Take the time to meet with your team and discuss all possible threats and opportunities so that each can be properly accounted for as you move forward.