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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 RemGuard Visual Management news

Chris Connor joins AD Network Video as Business Development Manager
Chris Connor joins AD Network Video as Business Development Manager

Connor will be building a surveillance monitoring client base across the AD Network Video range AD Network Video, the solutions arm of AD Group, has recruited experienced business development manager Chris Connor. Connor's role Connor, who joins from deView Europe, will be building a surveillance monitoring client base across the AD Network Video range with a special emphasise on the education, healthcare, petrochemical and retail markets. His focus will be to generate large end-user projects based. In addition to CCTV solutions, Connor will be developing new opportunities for AD Network Video's fire detection solution. FireVu offers a video based early detection for flame, smoke and can be combined with a thermopile capability (temperature sensing). AD Network Video provides tailored high-end secure IP video solutions, with consultancy, for clients that demand systems that deliver effectiveness, reliability and return on investment. It comprises a suite of solutions through its brands – RemGuard, AD Aerospace, TransVu, TSS as well as FireVu. COO of AD Network Video and AD Group comments Pauline Norstrom, chief operating officer of AD Network Video and AD Group comments: “AD Group has put considerable investment and time, with its in-house development team, in bringing to market solutions that solve pressing client issues. The growth of the business development team reflects our belief that we have listened to the market and we have the solutions that can generate a demonstrable return on investment.”

AD Group recruits Usmon Khadim and Matthew Flaherty as Product Managers
AD Group recruits Usmon Khadim and Matthew Flaherty as Product Managers

Matthew and Usmon will be managing the product lines of Dedicated Micros Usmon Khadim, holds a masters in Management Information Systems: Change and Development from the University of Manchester, joins Matthew Flaherty an Operations Management graduate from Lancaster University. Usmon and Matthew will initially help support a number of product management programmes as part of their training and development. The roles will grow to manage the complete product life cycle and ensure AD Group continues to realign and re-position its differentiated product and technology solutions with its target market sectors and sales channels. AD Group, which innovates, develops and markets surveillance monitoring solutions, is aiming to nurture a new generation of talented professionals across departments as well as continue to develop in-house and hire experienced professionals. The company offers a range of high-end surveillance monitoring solutions which are taken to market through its consultative selling arm AD Network Video. The businesses and brands within the group include premium remote monitoring service RemGuard, safety and security for aircraft business AD Aerospace, DVRs and cameras for arduous environments TransVu and TSS, which offers integrated vehicle surveillance solutions for logistics and emergency services. AD Group has developed an innovative fire detection solution for high value assets using flame and Visual Smoke Detection technology, FireVu, which is used in more than 200 locations worldwide. Matthew and Usmon will also be managing the product lines of Dedicated Micros whose products include secure IP camera and recording equipment. Pauline Norstrom, chief operating officer for AD Group, comments: “The appointment of Usmon and Matthew shows our commitment to changing and developing our organisation to align with our diversification strategy. A strategy which is designed to ensure that AD Group's innovative and differentiated video technology reaches our target customers in the high risk market sectors through our new sales channels.”

RemGuard provides CCTV remote monitoring services to crack down on metal theft at catering facility
RemGuard provides CCTV remote monitoring services to crack down on metal theft at catering facility

  RemGuard is providing CCTV remote monitoring services to a catering facilityRemotely monitored, detector-activated, CCTV specialist RemGuard Visual Management  part of AD Group has stopped a recent, out-of-hours, criminal attack at a catering facility on Merseyside in its tracks and, crucially, assisted the police to arrest two suspects at the scene of the incident before they could make off with several thousand pounds worth of essential metal items used in the company's production processes.The site, which prepares and packages meals for distribution to schools, hospitals and vending machines, has been linked up to RemGuard's BS8418 compliant Remote Video Response Centre(RVRC) for over two years. This intelligent monitoring is supported by on-site transmission equipment with CCTV cameras and detectors strategically positioned so any criminal activity can be detected at the earliest possible stage and the police and keyholders alerted. An audio challenge 'talking CCTV' capability is also set-up on the Merseyside site so, if necessary, verbal warnings can be issued to warn-off trespassers.In the latest night-time incident, on-site detectors were triggered by two intruders scaling the perimeter fence looking for something to steal. When operators at RemGuard's RVRC checked the associated images to identify the source of the activations, they could clearly see the individuals concerned attempting to walk-off with a large sheet of aluminium checker plate and part of a stainless steel conveyor belt. After being contacted by RemGuard, two police cars swiftly attended the scene where their arrival caused the criminals to drop the items and start to make their getaway. However the suspects attempt to flee proved unsuccessful and the men were soon apprehended by the police officers. Whilst the individuals initially denied any wrongdoing RemGuard's operators were able to provide the police with the vital video footage which clearly showed the two men's criminal intent. Operators screening the activities with the RemGuard remote monitoring CCTV solutionCommented the Security Manager for the site: "We are extremely pleased with RemGuard's remotely monitored, detector-activated, CCTV service and the way that its operators dealt with the recent incident. The criminals had already been detained by the police and were about to be led away for questioning when I arrived on scene minutes later to double check that our building was secure. The combined value of the two items, which the men were trying to steal before RemGuard's timely intervention, was over £2,750 not withstanding the potential for disruption to our operations. We work to very tight timescales so we are naturally keen to avoid any downtime as a result of unchallenged criminal activity. With RemGuard's monitoring in place, we have the reassurance that at critical times when the facility is not operational, a lookout is being kept for suspicious activity."RemGuard has also played a valuable role in a number of other incidents at the caterer's facility. The Security Manager for the caterer recalls at least three times when the RVRC's intervention has stopped intruders from staying on the site: "These other situations have generally involved three or four youths climbing the fences however, thankfully, RemGuard's verbal warning that the police will be called if they do not leave the area seems to be enough to drive them away." The catering facility is now a much safer place with the RemGuard technology monitoring the siteThe Security Manager's task of overseeing site security is also assisted through NetVu ObserVer viewing software, supplied by RemGuard, which allows him to log-in from home via PC to view CCTV images of the site. This capability is particularly valuable if he is contacted by one of RemGuard's RVRC operators to clarify whether someone should actually be on site or whether an incident requires him to attend.Added the General Manager for the catering provider: "Sometimes trespassing on our site may be due to where we are positioned with pedestrians simply looking to take a short cut from one part of the town to another. However, while sometimes their intentions may not be criminal in nature, we don't really want to have anyone wondering around our facility unsupervised, particularly, as they may hurt themselves or inadvertently cause damage to our facility. The ability for RemGuard to intervene proactively is therefore an extremely valuable capability."Said Alan Collinge,  Director of Operations at RemGuard: "The success of our remotely monitored, detector-activated, CCTV service at this catering facility once again underlines the potential for this type of security to provide a cost effective solution for commercial and industrial sites. A key attraction is obviously the fact that there is visual confirmation by an operator regarding the cause of a specific activation so minimising false alarms, and enabling the fastest possible appropriate action to be taken. The issuing of verbal warnings alone in our experience is a sufficient deterrent in over 90 per cent of incidents and when the emergency services have to be alerted we have the CCTV footage and individual site plans to hand to guide them to where the suspects can be apprehended."

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