Network protection for security systems

Examining the vulnerabilities of networks and how to keep them safe

It is worth exploring the insider network attack scenario with IT, as it can apply to security networks. How quickly can you tell when a network camera is disconnected from the network? Will it go undetected until the video loss is noticed, or will someone receive a video loss alarm? Are the cameras monitored the same way that critical IT equipment is monitored, so that the loss of the network connection is immediately reported? What about an IP card reader that is disconnected? Will that only generate an access control system alert to a security officer, or will network monitoring also provide notification to someone who can address the problem?

If you are still thinking of your security systems network as an installed network, then it is time to start thinking of it and treating it as a managed network. Hopefully you have followed the IT department's standards and guidelines, so that the security systems network can be managed as well as the corporate business network can be managed.

If you have convergence experience you want to share, e-mail your comments to me at or call me at 949-831-6788. If you have a question you would like answered, I'd like to see it. We don't need to reveal your name or company name in the column. I look forward to hearing from you!

Ray Bernard, PSP, CHS-III is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities. Mr. Bernard has also provided pivotal strategic and technical advice in the security and building automation industries for more than 22 years. He is founder and publisher of The Security Minute 60-second newsletter ( For more information about Ray Bernard and RBCS go to or call 949-831-6788. Mr. Bernard is also a member of the Subject Matter Expert Faculty of the Security Executive Council (