Posts Tagged ‘check my cctv’
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Remote Video Response (RVR) has launched a new service designed to continuously monitor the health of its customers’ CCTV equipment.
RVR, part of UTC Fire and Security, is to roll out the new service in partnership with CheckMySystems Ltd.
It has been built around software designed to enable cameras, detectors and recorders to be checked hourly.
Colin Walters, RVR general manager, said that the potential weak link in any CCTV installation, monitored or otherwise, is the efficacy of the products installed: “Some believe that once a system has been installed, then they can forget about it because it will always be working. Sadly this is not the case, as our research has shown.
“Now we are able to regularly check each element of a CCTV system to monitor the network connection and ensure the hard disks have not failed or the system has stopped recording,” he said. “All of this can be done remotely, taking the benefits of RVR to those that would not normally use our services.”
Darren Rewston, managing director of CheckMySystems said customers were noticing that despite buying expensively maintained solutions for their premises, their systems could often have a fault for many months without anyone noticing: “Engineers normally only check the equipment once or twice a year as part of a maintenance package,” he said.
“But the RVR service, using CheckMyCCTV software means that the CCTV installation is being constantly monitored and warning when an issue occurs. Installers using this service will be informed exactly what the issue is, so it reduces the need for lengthy on-site diagnostics, and increases the chance of a fix in the first visit. The potential cost reduction for service calls can be huge.”
Get a daily status update of all your CCTV installations
CheckMyCCTV’s new Daily Status Report function allows you to generate automatic ‘snapshot’ status reports for all your sites, every day.
This function is designed for people who do not need the granularity of individual alerts which are generated when as issue is discovered. By receiving the Daily Snapshot Report, they will see the status of their entire estate in a single email at a user defined time each day.
Typical recipients could be Security Managers, Facility Managers, Loss Protection Managers, and even the End-Users. Daily Status Reports can be configured on a Global, Customer, Site, or Unit basis, so group security managers could receive a status report for all sites, and local security managers would only receive a status report for their own sites.
The report can be customised with your logos and layout, and you can choose whether it is exception driven – only sent when issues are discovered, or a complete report with all sites displayed regardless of their current status.
Daily Status Reports give you and your customers an ‘at a glance’ summary of the issues on your sites, and has been optimised for traditional email clients as well as iPhone, Android, and other Smartphones that can display HTML emails.
CheckMyCCTV Camera Tamper Detection launched
A CCTV system is only as good as the images it is recording. So if your cameras have been tampered with, your CCTV system may be as good as useless if the cameras are not recording the intended target area.
The problem is, how do you know when they have been moved? If the cameras are tampered with the system would carry on recording and the user would be blissfully unaware that their CCTV system is severely compromised. A manual check could be done, but this would be a hugely time consuming exercise comparing a ‘reference’ image against the current image.
CheckMyCCTV already monitors for camera faults, but it now goes one step further and monitors for camera tampering.
How does it work?
The Camera Tamper Detection function in CheckMyCCTV works by taking snapshots from each camera every day at user defined times (usually one during the day, and one at night). These are analysed and compared with images from the previous day, if the new image changes its view by more than user defined threshold, an alert is generated.
Camera Tamper Detection is a semi-automatic check, meaning that although CheckMyCCTV will generate an alert when the image has changes above a certain threshold. It is designed to augment manual camera checks, giving the operator an indication that a camera may need to be investigated further.
What can it detect?
Using the Camera Tamper Detection feature, CheckMyCCTV can now monitor and report when cameras are moved, obscured, covered, or sprayed, using existing network connected CCTV recorders without having to purchase additional equipment.
A typical application for Camera Tamper Detection could be in a shop or retail environment, where cameras are trained on the Till areas, or at entrance/exit doorways of buildings. An alert would be triggered if these important cameras are moved or obscured.
We’re not going to claim that camera tamper detection is 100% accurate, it is designed as an automated ‘first pass’ to give the operator a means of quickly checking whether reported cameras have indeed been tampered with.
We’ve all seen the recent stories of pretty much any device or account being hacked for malicious means; phones, bank accounts, email accounts, Twitter, Facebook etc. etc.
But what about CCTV systems? There are more and more systems being connected online to allow remote viewing, but how safe are they from hackers?
Whilst we have been installing CheckMyCCTV on customers’ sites, it’s been astonishing just how many systems either use the manufacturers default password, or no password at all – 8 out of 10 CCTV systems were using the manufacturers default password.
If a CCTV system is connected to a broadband line and is using the default passwords it can be very easy for an unauthorised user to gain access and do some or all of the following:
- View and copy images from the CCTV system.
- Reboot or shutdown the system.
- Stop cameras from recording.
- Disable alarms or connection to a Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC).
- Delete or overwrite recordings.
- Lock out authorised users.
You wouldn’t install a lock and give a key to anyone who happens to knock on the door – which is exactly what you’re doing if you don’t change the default passwords.
Check with the manufacturer regarding how to change the passwords, and put it on your checklist to complete before signing the site off – The integrity of your customers’ CCTV system and your reputation may depend on it.