Gaining universal access to your CCTV from any internet connected device is a very useful thing to do. But be warned on the implications of doing this. You could easily and unwittingly open yourself up to serious security and privacy issues.
The usual way of ‘exposing’ a device on the internet is to open up a port on your internal firewall and allow internet network traffic to reach the device. In most firewalls this also includes an operation called port-forwarding.
Port forwarding is “In computer networking, port forwarding or port mapping is an application of network address translation (NAT) that redirects a communication request from one address and port number combination to another while the packets are traversing a network gateway, such as a router or firewall”. Fully understand that? You can read more here.
By allowing any internet traffic to reach your device you are exposing yourself to hackers. Some recent CCTV security incidents include
- Wireless IP cameras open to hijacking over the Internet
- Webcam and CCTV security flaw shows us to prying eyes
- Camera Settings That Could Make You Vulnerable to Getting Hacked
- Somebody’s watching: how a simple exploit lets strangers tap into private security cameras
If you are going to exposure your CCTV camera to the internet (and we suggest that you don’t do this!) you do at minimum the following
- Fully patch the device with the latest firmware.
- Regularly check for new patches – at least monthly – and apply.
- Use long passwords that are NOT shared with any other system. See here for advice on what is a secure password.
- Regularly change the password – at least quarterly.
- Ensure you follow the vender’s best advice on a secure configuration for internet connected devices. If they don’t have any advice, assume that the device cannot be exposure on the internet in a secure way.
An alternative method is to use Silverstar Analytics secure LiveView functionality, that is built from the ground up to allow secure access to your CCTV cameras from any internet connected browser. Easy to setup, requiring no network or firewall changes and fundamentally secure by design. Read more here.