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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
October 23, 2019


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Don’t let your security solutions be your downfall

Dan Meyrick, Regional Sales Manager, UK & Ireland, Genetec Inc, discusses the dangers of cybercrime and cyberattacks.

According to the 2019 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, more than 800 million people fell victim to cybercrime last year alone. Cyberattacks are the number one threat today plaguing businesses and individuals alike and are the fastest growing crime globally. Not only are they increasing in size and volume but are also becoming more sophisticated and costly.

In fact, by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world an estimated £4.8 trillion annually, making cybercrime more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. With the rise of IoT, many physical security systems today are interconnected, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks – which is why ensuring the security of the security solutions themselves is an increasingly pressing issue for companies looking for a comprehensive security infrastructure.

For example, IP based security cameras and other security hardware are by their very nature IoT devices, therefore enabling IP solutions to provide greater interconnectivity across more systems than ever before. However, whilst it does bring many benefits it also introduces new challenges and risks.

According to Gartner, by 2020 more than 25 percent of cyberattacks in enterprises will involve IoT devices and when not secured properly, any camera or access control device can be accessed remotely by just about anyone, not just those with granted access. Inefficient or outdated firmware could put the whole organisation’s network, along with all the sensitive information it holds, at risk to be exploited by cyber criminals.

Contrary to popular belief, large corporations with big budgets are not the sole target for cyber criminals anymore, with more than 60 percent of cyberattacks currently aimed at SMEs. With smaller funds, the chances of a SME managing to sustain operations following an attack is minimal, as the average data breach costs companies around £3 million. Simply put, most companies can frankly not afford to take the risk when securing their physical security systems. Luckily, recognising the growing problem, most physical security manufacturers today do offer advanced ways to protect against cyber-attacks, and ensure best possible protection by regularly testing the penetrability of the infrastructure in place. This is integral when choosing a provider today, as when the attacks evolve, so too must the security systems.

The security of security

Being aware of the threat is the first step. With words like ransomware, cyber-attack, and data breach flying around at an increasing rate, many may become numb to hearing about them. This ‘cyber security fatigue’ can however prove costly if it means less effort is put into strengthening these vital infrastructures. Whilst it may seem like a hassle to spend time and money on installing and testing firewalls and other security measures, it is guaranteed to be more expensive and laborious having to recover from a cyber-attack.

However, there are a few simple precautions that can make a business much less vulnerable to cyber threats. These include keeping software up to date, developing well-planned internet security policies, creating strong and unique passwords and ensuring employees are aware of the threats and trained on best practice in cyber security. Comprehensive physical security solutions should come with built-in end-to-end encryption from security cameras to servers, which is why when choosing an IP-based security solution, the first thing that should be scrutinised and evaluated is the vendor’s cybersecurity policies and offerings. Choosing a solution offering features such as multi-layer encrypted communications, data protection capabilities, strong user authentication and password protection can help protect organisations against hackers and other internet-based attacks – all the while ensuring only those with defined privileges will be able to access or use resources, data and applications.

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