At Work

Security Cameras, Botnets, and IoT — Oh My!

In case you were not already aware, your security camera system could be vulnerable to attacks by hackers eager to damage business information systems. As the developed world begins to embrace the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT for short), it is certain that these attacks will continue to become more sophisticated and pervasive.

Without getting into the technicalities of how botnet attacks work, just understand that it involves a large network of infected computers that hackers are then able to harness and control remotely. The reason this is a looming problem for internet security experts is because as devices become increasingly interconnected and dependent upon the ability to gather information from users and databases, they can be exploited for nefarious purposes.

Because security camera systems were one of the weak links that allowed hackers to recently to blame for the recent attack on Dyn, which slowed Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, among others, to a halt during the attack, it is essential to ensure your business security cameras are secure.

Thanks to Platinum CCTV for the following surveillance camera security guidelines


1. Disable P2P settings in your cameras

Most security cameras have enabled peer to peer capabilities, but you should never use it. P2P came into vogue in order to make IP camera setup and use easier for users. However, because P2P technology requires your camera to be connected to your internet connection, which communicates with the security camera company’s server, it makes you vulnerable to an attack because the only thing protecting the connection is the password on the camera itself, which most people never change.

NVRs and DVRs are also vulnerable to hacks as well because they often depend on the same substandard software as the cheap security camera systems flooding the market.

The takeaway? Hackers can reprogram your security camera and recruit it as an asset in their botnet. This is one reason why, instead of buying some cheap camera from an unknown seller, they should seek out experts in the field of security camera sales and support who can walk them through the steps of properly configuring their security system.

2. Isolate your security cameras at installation

While disabling P2P capabilities is a good first step, it is by no means the only measure you should take in order to protect your security network. You also must completely isolate your cameras by setting them up on a physical network that is unable to connect to the internet. There is a side benefit to the isolation procedure as well, because it keeps the IP cameras from eating up your bandwidth and slowing down your network.

The problem, however, is that many businesses that rely upon cheap security systems only allow the user to port into their internet connection, which slows their network and exposes them to security vulnerabilities that hackers exploit every day.

3. Use an encrypted VPN for remote access

No security protocols are perfect, but an encrypted VPN is the way to go if you plan to access your security camera system remotely on your phone or other device. This is an added layer of protection to the isolated camera setup discussed earlier, because the VPN provides heavy-duty encryption that is nearly impossible to crack. In this configuration, the IP camera connects to the video recorder, which then connects to the VPN. Thus, when you connect remotely to the security camera system via your smart phone, it has to undergo a series of authentication steps before granting access to the device.



Your business and home security system are vital to your personal safety, but knowing that these systems can be hacked via P2P exploits should spur you into action to make sure your IP and network security are up to the challenges that hackers are pursuing. As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent throughout society, with more unsecured devices and under-informed device users coming online every day, security system owners cannot afford to rely upon substandard security measures.