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IoT Security Cameras Friend or Foe

April 17, 2024 by Andy Schofield

Every day each of us utilise technology to talk, see, read and share moments of our lives with our closest friends and families. We readily ingest the latest trending social media posts and have unprecedented real time coverage of news breaking events from around the world.  Our blue light services increasingly utilise body worn video and security is now not limited to large corporations as we deliver smart homes and bring access control systems and security cameras into our homes, we are a truly living in a connected world.

Unfortunately, where our connected world brings many benefits it is also utilised for many negative aspects and introduces significant risk to both organisations and us all as individuals. Technology is always driven by consumer need, functionality for the device is then added, followed quickly by improving the user experience. For some products this is where the product design ends, and the costs are low, and volume can be high. Strong products add security into this development roadmap at the start of the product design and commit to long term product development and cyber security testing, secure by design compliance and utilisation of multiple security protocols, it is fair to say not all IoT products are equal. Many IoT devices and security cameras lack basic security requirements and can potentially be easy to access.

Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace reported how one such device impacted an unnamed casino was breached by cybercriminals through an IoT fish tank thermostat, low cost, great functionality unit, however poor security and connected to the internet. The hackers exploited the vulnerability in the thermostat, gained a foothold on the network and then gained access to the high-roller database of gamblers and then pulled it back through the thermostat and uploaded it to the cloud.

Cyber criminals are not simply hitting corporations the connected world expands the attack surface to all of us, our businesses, large or small, our homes and our families.

In November 2018 a new tool was developed that enabled to search insecure IoT Security Cameras by simply entering an address, a ‘google’ style search for cameras. This enabled anyone without any hacking skills to simply view the camera remotely, wherever they were located without the owner being aware. A number of these reported were in people bedrooms, homes, businesses and were live on the web without the owners being aware.

Understanding and selecting the correct product is key but unfortunately this isn’t the silver bullet that solves the problem, even the strongest product requires a professional installation to ensure that the product is setup to the required levels of encryption to support its environment. Default passwords are changed and unique and any a regular patching process and critical updates programme is implemented.

Our connected world delivers a wealth of benefits and we are only starting to see the potential it can bring, delivering this without breaching privacy and trust and security is the key to its success.

By 2020, there will be more than 30 billion IoT devices in operation, growing to 75 billion by 2025. As the potential attack surface grows, we must change our approach to security as the attack vector for this surface is an entirely new landscape. At Reliance, security is at the heart of our designs and information security is at the heart of everything we do, talk to us today about integration with integrity. Call us on 0845 121 0802 or email info@reliancehightech.co.uk