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Tackling the challenge of the growing cybersecurity gap
Tackling the challenge of the growing cybersecurity gap

The SolarWinds cyberattack of 2020 was cited by security experts as “one of the potentially largest penetrations of Western governments” since the Cold War. This attack put cybersecurity front and centre on people’s minds again. Hacking communication protocol The attack targeted the US government and reportedly compromised the treasury and commerce departments and Homeland Security. What’s interesting about the SolarWinds attack is that it was caused by the exploitation of a hacker who injected a backdoor communications protocol.  This means that months ahead of the attack, hackers broke into SolarWinds systems and added malicious code into the company’s software development system. Later on, updates being pushed out included the malicious code, creating a backdoor communication for the hackers to use. Once a body is hacked, access can be gained to many. An explosion of network devices What has made the threat of cyberattacks much more prominent these days has been IT's growth in the last 20 years, notably cheaper and cheaper IoT devices. This has led to an explosion of network devices. IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth Compounding this issue is that IT spending has never really matched the pace of hardware and software growth. Inevitably, leading to vulnerabilities, limited IT resources, and an increase in IoT devices get more attention from would-be hackers. Bridging the cybersecurity gap In the author’s view, this is the main reason why the cybersecurity gap is growing. This is because it inevitably boils down to counter-strike versus counter-strike. IT teams plug holes, and hackers find new ones, that is never going to stop. The companies must continue fighting cyber threats by developing new ways of protecting through in-house testing, security best practice sources, and both market and customer leads. End-user awareness One of the key battlegrounds here is the education of end-users. This is an area where the battle is being won at present, in the author’s opinion. End-users awareness of cybersecurity is increasing. It is crucial to educate end-users on what IoT devices are available, how they are configured, how to enable it effectively, and critically, how to use it correctly and safely. Physical security network Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem A valuable product that tackles cybersecurity is, of course, Razberi Monitor™, which is new to ComNet’s portfolio. Monitor™ is a software platform that provides a top-down view of the physical security network and ecosystem. It monitors and manages all the system components for cybersecurity and system health, providing secure visibility into the availability, performance, and cyber posture of servers, storage, cameras, and networked security devices. Proactive maintenance By intelligently utilising system properties and sensor data, Razberi’s award-winning cybersecurity software prevents problems while providing a centralised location for asset and alert management. Monitor™ enables proactive maintenance by offering problem resolutions before they become more significant problems. Identifying issues before they fail and become an outage is key to system availability and, moreover, is a considerable cost saving.

Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other
Physical security and the cloud: why one can’t work without the other

Human beings have a long-standing relationship with privacy and security. For centuries, we’ve locked our doors, held close our most precious possessions, and been wary of the threats posed by thieves. As time has gone on, our relationship with security has become more complicated as we’ve now got much more to be protective of. As technological advancements in security have got smarter and stronger, so have those looking to compromise it. Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, however, is still incredibly new to humans when we look at the long relationship that we have with security in general. As much as we understand the basics, such as keeping our passwords secure and storing data in safe places, our understanding of cybersecurity as a whole is complicated and so is our understanding of the threats that it protects against. However, the relationship between physical security and cybersecurity is often interlinked. Business leaders may find themselves weighing up the different risks to the physical security of their business. As a result, they implement CCTV into the office space, and alarms are placed on doors to help repel intruders. Importance of cybersecurity But what happens when the data that is collected from such security devices is also at risk of being stolen, and you don’t have to break through the front door of an office to get it? The answer is that your physical security can lose its power to keep your business safe if your cybersecurity is weak. As a result, cybersecurity is incredibly important to empower your physical security. We’ve seen the risks posed by cybersecurity hacks in recent news. Video security company Verkada recently suffered a security breach as malicious attackers obtained access to the contents of many of its live camera feeds, and a recent report by the UK government says two in five UK firms experienced cyberattacks in 2020. Cloud computing – The solution Cloud stores information in data centres located anywhere in the world, and is maintained by a third party Cloud computing offers a solution. The cloud stores your information in data centres located anywhere in the world and is maintained by a third party, such as Claranet. As the data sits on hosted servers, it’s easily accessible while not being at risk of being stolen through your physical device. Here’s why cloud computing can help to ensure that your physical security and the data it holds aren’t compromised. Cloud anxiety It’s completely normal to speculate whether your data is safe when it’s stored within a cloud infrastructure. As we are effectively outsourcing our security by storing our important files on servers we have no control over - and, in some cases, limited understanding of - it’s natural to worry about how vulnerable this is to cyber-attacks. The reality is, the data that you save on the cloud is likely to be a lot safer than that which you store on your device. Cyber hackers can try and trick you into clicking on links that deploy malware or pose as a help desk trying to fix your machine. As a result, they can access your device and if this is where you’re storing important security data, then it is vulnerable. Cloud service providers Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software in the personal computer Cloud service providers offer security that is a lot stronger than the software that is likely in place on your personal computer. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are able to hire countless more security experts than any individual company - save the corporate behemoth - could afford. These major platform owners have culpability for thousands of customers on their cloud and are constantly working to enhance the security of their platforms. The security provided by cloud service providers such as Claranet is an extension of these capabilities. Cloud resistance Cloud servers are located in remote locations that workers don’t have access to. They are also encrypted, which is the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorised access. Additionally, cloud infrastructure providers like ourselves look to regularly update your security to protect against viruses and malware, leaving you free to get on with your work without any niggling worries about your data being at risk from hackers. Data centres Cloud providers provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and AI Additionally, cloud providers are also able to provide sophisticated security measures and solutions in the form of firewalls and artificial intelligence, as well as data redundancy, where the same piece of data is held within several separate data centres. This is effectively super-strong backup and recovery, meaning that if a server goes down, you can access your files from a backup server. Empowering physical security with cybersecurity By storing the data gathered by your physical security in the cloud, you're not just significantly reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, but also protecting it from physical threats such as damage in the event of a fire or flood. Rather than viewing your physical and cybersecurity as two different entities, treat them as part of one system: if one is compromised, the other is also at risk. They should work in tandem to keep your whole organisation secure.

HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade
HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade

According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analogue, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure overhaul for HD video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analogue HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy solutions for HD video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analogue systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analogue solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analogue technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping video delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetise their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analogue systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing network hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilise a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying surveillance through one DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analogue or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analogue systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression.  HD casino surveillance made simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorised personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analogue system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorised personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximising existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

Latest Stortech Electronics Limited news

Pecan CCTV launches new vandal resistant dome in the security market
Pecan CCTV launches new vandal resistant dome in the security market

Pecan CCTV has announced the launch of the VRD146 Series a fully featured easy to install vandal-resistant True Day/Night (TDN) dome with On Screen Display (OSD) technology. This new high specification 600TVL 1/3" Sony Super HAD II CCD colour/mono dome is fitted with a 2.8-11mm F1.4 DC auto iris lens in a durable IP66 rated weather-resistant vandal-resistant housing.  Features include Digital Noise Reduction (2DNR), Digital Wide Dynamic Range (DWDR), Backlight and Highlight Compensation (BLC/HLC), 8-zone Privacy function and 4-zone Motion Detection. An IR LED option (VRD146L) provides accurate night time viewing coverage of up to 15 metres.However the key benefit to installers is the versatility offered by the VRD146 Series' alternative cabling arrangements. Recognising that every installation is different Pecan have designed their new dome so it can be surface-mounted, with cable entry at the bottom or the side or using existing cables terminating inside the camera itself. A wall mounting bracket is also available if required.As well as being easy to install the dual voltage (12v DC/24v AC) VRD146 Series is also simple to set up thanks to the 3-axis camera gimble and OSD joystick controls. Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufacture and distribute a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acal plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Pecan CCTV website sheds its old skin to sport a new look and feel
Pecan CCTV website sheds its old skin to sport a new look and feel

Pecan CCTV is an innovator in developing and supplying products for a wide variety of applicationsPecan CCTV has announced the launch of its new website pecancctv.com which features a fresh modern design with improved navigation and a wealth of information about the firm's extensive range of quality surveillance equipment.The new site allows visitors to search easily by equipment type or product code and download datasheets with the technical information they need to make the right choice. New products are now included on the home page and access to technical support is easily available via enquiries to a dedicated email address. Other new features include a special offers section for selected items, answers to frequently asked questions about CCTV, plus news of all the latest product and service developments. Pecan CCTV is an innovator in developing and supplying products for a wide variety of applications. During the past twelve months the firm has invested in a major re-branding exercise to bring the look and feel of the company in line with its growth and position within the CCTV market. In addition to commissioning an entirely new website this activity has seen Pecan update their logo and revise the layout and design of their technical information to make it easier for their customers to find the information they need. The new site will act as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to make informed procurement decisions for all their CCTV requirementsDirector, Jess Johns said: "Pecan CCTV has evolved over the last few years and we felt that the previous logo and branding didn't give a true reflection of the business today. Similarly we wanted to bring a fresh new look and feel to the website in terms of the design, accessibility and navigation.""Customers benefit from our extensive experience which enables us to develop products with the latest technology featuring everything from entry level internal domes to vandal-resistant cameras and state-of-the-art micro domes.""The new website still has all the useful information and tools to help our customers find the information they need but with a much easier to use format designed to raise awareness of, and interest in, the comprehensive range of products and technical support Pecan can provide.""We hope that the new site will act as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to make informed procurement decisions for all their CCTV requirements supported by the knowledge and expertise we provide to help them identify the best solution for every application."Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufactures and distributes a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACAL plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange. To find out more about Pecan CCTV's innovative products and benefit from their extensive technical expertise call 01279 419913 or email them.

Pecan expands Southern Area Sales team with new Sales Manager
Pecan expands Southern Area Sales team with new Sales Manager

 Wendy Ficken, Southern Area Sales Manager at Pecan CCTVPecan CCTV recently promoted Wendy Ficken to Southern Area Sales Manager. Although she may not have been a familiar face to Pecan's customers in the past her voice certainly will be as the twenty-six year old has been with the company since 2004 working in the internal sales office. Wendy, who is clearly enjoying her move from Internal Sales to External Sales, told us: Over the past four years I'd developed great working relationships over the phone so when the opportunity came for me to meet our customers ‘face-to-face' I jumped at the chance."Before joining Pecan CCTV's parent company, Stortech Electronics Ltd., Wendy completed a Business Studies course at APU University, and this combined with her extensive product knowledge is proving a real benefit to Pecan's customers, especially when a bespoke security solution is required.Wendy continued: "Listening to what our customers want is really important and being able to offer them the expertise and knowledge to develop a specific solution is very rewarding - especially when it results in us introducing a new product into the range.""I enjoy working for Pecan because of the amount of support you get. Having ‘been there and done that' I recognise just how important it is for the external sales team to have good working relationships with the staff in the office. It's great to be part of a company where everyone works together as a team to ensure we all do everything we can to give our customers the best possible service."Although she may not have been a familiar ‘face' to Pecan's customers in the past, her voice certainly will be Pecan CCTV Sales Director, Jess Johns said: "Wendy's well-earned promotion is proof of our ongoing commitment to train and develop our staff to achieve their full potential. We also believe our flexibility and willingness to respond to the changing needs of our customers is crucial to our success which is why we will continue to invest in strengthening our sales capability throughout the UK."Pecan is the trade name of the CCTV Division of Stortech Electronics Ltd who manufacture and distribute a comprehensive range of CCD camera systems and components. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acal plc who are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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