Compliance Management, Network Security, Privacy

New research shows CCTV cameras still a soft target

A new report from CCTV experts Cloudview has surveyed a cross-section of UK social housing providers, and found that, while almost 60 percent of respondents are aware that their CCTV systems are vulnerable to being hacked, 30 percent don't know how to make their system more secure.  

Data protection & hacking – Almost 60 percent of respondents are aware that their CCTV systems are vulnerable to being hacked, although many don't know how to make their system more secure. Fifteen percent of CCTV users are completely unaware of their vulnerabilities despite recent DDoS attacks via CCTV cameras.

The survey also found that a third of housing associations are worried that their CCTV images are too low quality to identify criminals or intruders – even though this is why most of them installed CCTV in the first place.

As a result they find themselves in breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA), which states that data recorded with the purpose of identifying individuals performing criminal activities must be of sufficient quality to do so, otherwise its capture is unjustified.

In the research, 99 percent of housing providers rated the quality of CCTV images as being significantly important.

More than half of the respondents would consider using the cloud if it made their CCTV system safer, more reliable and easier to use.

Despite surveillance cameras being the second most internet connected device, all of the top eleven concerns about using CCTV could be solved by adopting an IoT solution.

Cloudview has said that ‘native'/legacy CCTV systems give limited service as a deterrent, and as a source of evidential information. This is because perpetrators often simply assume that CCTV is unattended or broken and after a while ignore it completely.

Cloudview said, “Using either remote access, which introduces an additional risk of hacking, or direct access to obtain evidential footage is time consuming and expensive and therefore is often avoided except in extreme circumstances.”

In many cases, external contractors are needed to obtain CCTV footage for housing providers because natural staff attrition means that technical knowledge is lacking. Responsibility for CCTV can also be passed around different departments, meaning that important functions such as equipment maintenance (maintaining correct system times, etc.) and cyber-security are overlooked, according to Cloudview.

James wickes, CEO of Cloudview,  thinks that the entire industry should be doing more, he's said that: "I would like to see the development of a ‘KiteMark' that would provide consumers with an assurance that the supplier had at least thought about security. This, combined with users taking responsibility for implementing secure settings, would lead to a significant improvement in CCTV security."

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