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  4. Helping companies realise a maintenance strategy that is aligned to the cyber security of connected video security systems

Whether your business is big or small, conducting effective maintenance on your video security system is essential. But which is the right maintenance strategy for a connected system? That’s a big question, if your present maintenance policies do not for example check that firmware including all security device updates are being applied then your network connected security system could be exposed to digital sabotage.

It’s easy to be complacent and take a view of what would a hacker want with a connected security camera? or that your existing analogue biased maintenance policy will suffice after all its still just a CCTV camera just connected via IP rather than coax. If your maintenance policy has just been rolling over year after year maybe it’s time for a review, sticking with outdated policies could be catastrophic to you, your business and your staff.

Here at i-PRO we’ve been innovating product that relies less on traditional maintenance requirements allowing that most valuable of resources, time and therefore money to be concentrated on a maintenance regime that is relevant for all the IP cameras, recording devices and software or to be more accurate IOT devices that all make up a connected video security system.

In this blog we present some of our innovations “live” today in our products which enable these maintenance savings to be made. We’ve also listed some of the BSIA guidelines as to where these savings should be re-invested to minimise the exposure to digital sabotage of network connected equipment,

So first lets set about by saving some costs;

Most CCTV maintenance contracts invest heavily on cleaning the hemispheres of external cameras; externally to wipe away dirt and grime that have been deposited; internally to replace the moisture crystals or Gel packs that stop the cameras misting or fogging up.

Here at i-PRO we’ve perfected a 7 year applicated ClearSight Coating, manufactured onto the hemisphere that acts as an invisible protective layer. By allowing water to sheet over the surface of the dome rather than form as droplets, not only do we provide better surveillance visibility in the rain even at night with IR's on, when the rain stops there are no droplets for dirt to attach themselves to. The ClearSight coating is actually reacting with the rain water to provide a self-cleaning function, to wash dirt away effortlessly. The airport concourse image seen above shows the ClearSight Coating results that are achieved, seen by comparing the left hand side of the image which has been coated to the right hand side that hasn’t.

As well as droplets described above, moisture from the atmosphere inside the camera, PTZ or fixed will over time saturate the moisture crystals or Gel packs traditionally used to prevent condensation

Here at i-PRO we’ve designed a purpose built dehumidification device that is a factory fit in our external cameras. This device works for the life of the product, separating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms present inside the hemisphere, dispelling the hydrogen through a breathable membrane. This keeps the moisture level inside to a minimum and prevents condensation on the cover and lens. This electrolysis-based technology is safe and green because heaters and fans are not used.

Neat technology both inside and outside of the camera housing but what does this compute to in savings?

We recently published a case study which can be read in detail on our web site (see link below) where the customer managed to half the number of maintenance visits through deployment of i-PRO cameras, this represented a £50K saving in overall expenditure.

With savings made through such technologies we conclude this blog with some bullet points as to where maintenance funding should be re-invested to carry out engineer on-site activities designed to minimise the exposure to digital sabotage of network connected equipment.

With the savings made we can re-invest money into a smart service. Showing your IT service knowhow can be a real differentiator "after all anyone can clean a camera housing!"

Here are a few pointers to get you started

  • Verify with the client that the current password policy has been applied, e.g. passwords updated if required. Consider whether security system remote maintenance access passwords should be changed.
  • Verify with the client that remote users are still current.
  • Check that all security device updates have been applied.
  • Review the training of client personnel to identify need for refresher or repeat basic training, e.g. due to personnel changes.
  • Verify with the client back-up procedures are being followed and that any recovery events have been completed successfully.
  • Review with the client any perceived problems that have been observed with the system which may be indicators of historic or active sabotage activity.
  • Review and update (if required) the inventory of security devices on the security network; look for anything added or removed, or unused (that should be removed).
  • Review and update (if required) the inventory of authorised software applications running on network connected security devices.
  • Verify that there have been no changes to the initial system configuration; all unrequired protocols remain disabled; network port security is enabled; encryption is enabled; all devices use same network time source; port forwarding, firewall ports are closed (unless required); no new unrestricted physical access to network hardware.