More and more, IP cameras are replacing aging, analog-based CCTV systems. The benefits are numerous. What business would not want to have the capability to tie cameras across their entire organization into one centralized location?
But as more security installations have migrated to IP, it has opened up questions about the security of IP networks themselves. No one wants a hacker to be able to access their CCTV system and view footage that was supposed to remain private. In an age when it's almost impossible to keep a lid on confidential messages (just do a Google news search for "WikiLeaks"), the evolution of IP technology may have opened a window for prying eyes on the Internet.
Tom Connor details how he was able to use Internet searches to find unsecured camera networks in this article for technology website Ars Technica .
This issue, however, hasn't fallen on deaf ears in the surveillance industry. At last year's ASIS International conference in Dallas, I had the chance to speak with Dedicated Micros President Mike Newton about the company's new Closed IPTV solution.
According to Newton, Closed IPTV protects against the potential of an Internet user on the other side of the world from hacking into a camera system and tampering with the video feeds.
"You need to know that that is your camera and that the footage is coming from that camera," Newton said.
If you're worried about who has access to your camera networks, I would suggest you read the Ars Technica article and then review what security protocols you have in place to protect them from unauthorized users. You don't want something that should remain internal matter being broadcast across the World Wide Web.