Today‘s connected world is witnessing an unavoidable rise in cyber threats. Although most organizations put great care in securing their core business IT networks, the same standards are often overlooked for physical security networks. This leaves a significant gap for cyber criminals to breach into the corporate network.
There is sometimes the misconception that physical security system network architecture is standalone with no internet access or external accessibility and can therefore not be accessed from an eternal network.
However, this is not the case and there are still risks:
- Physical security systems have Windows-based servers and storage infrastructures which require frequent and timely OS, application patch and firmware updates. Internet access must be provided for these updates, therefore posing a threat.
- A dissatisfied employee could access the unsecured network and lock, destroy or leak videos stored on the NVR, employee data on the access control or HR system (HR and ACS data is often interlinked), or other sensitive data from the security system.
- A cyber intruder could simply disable the security system so that it no longer protects the facility, allowing intruders to enter the premises due to ineffective access control.
Recent studies have demonstrated that end point devises, like cameras and card readers, can pose as serious threats – they can be an easy entry point if not adequately secured. The most common infiltration method is using a default/weak password, user ID or through the presence of compromised firmware or software which has not been updated.
Although manufacturers typically provide means to safeguard systems, many implementation partners and end users ignore rolling out these procedures and expose the organization to risk.