IoT based devices are expanding at a rapid rate as it connects everything from a camera to smart-enabled vehicles. Connection of the IoT devices is revolutionizing people lives by bringing higher efficiency, enhanced customer services, and many others. Security of devices, which are connected to the IoT, such as Internet Protocol (IP) cameras have become a target for hackers because of their constant connectivity, high computing power, and good Internet traffic. Unlike CCTV, IP cameras, which are connected to a network allow the users to have remote access, in turn aiding the hackers to check in these security cameras.

How hackers attack

Attackers usually follow a 3-step attack chain; in the initial infection stage, the attacker uses default credentials or exploits a vulnerability. In the next command and control stage, the server instructs IP camera to perform malicious activity. In the third stage, the hacker scans the network and employs the infection methods to propagate itself to other vulnerable devices.

Some of the Ongoing Trends

  • To overcome the cybersecurity threats, the IP camera manufacturers are now planning to introduce patches and firmware updates in the camera. With this implementation in IP camera, it is expected to reduce the cyber security threats. 
  • Recently, over 120,000 Internet protocol cameras where prone to cyber attacks in a global cybersecurity solution provider company named ‘Trend Micro Incorporated’. This cyber attack is caused by an Internet of Things (IoT) malware named ‘Persirai’. With this, companies are changing the simple to rigorous passwords to avoid easy entries by hackers. 
  • New High Definition Composite Video Interface technology developed by a company named Dahua captures images of 720p and 4MP. It can even capture images of 4K resolution and enables distance video transmission of up to 1200 meters. 
  • Arecont Vision, a manufacturer of high-performance megapixel IP cameras, raised the funding amount of $80,000 in 2014 for the development of IP cameras.

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One of the critical factors faced by IP camera includes system vulnerability, which is helping the hackers penetrate into IP cameras. With its huge bandwidth based design and constant connectivity for video communications, these are becoming a suitable target for hackers.
At the enterprise level, installing of IP cameras range from 50 and can go beyond hundreds and thousands. This may degrade the network quality because of the heavy video traffic. This is a major concern for enterprises to scale the large camera system.
Internet penetration and its speed is also an issue that blocks the roads for IP camera. Good reliability and adequate upload and download speed are the primary check factors for incorporating IP cameras. Regions such as Africa is still suffering from low Internet penetration.

Key Developments

Some of the players in the industry include Axis Communication, Bosch Security Systems, FLIR Systems Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., Pelco Corporation, and Panasonic Corporation.
Some of the developments include: in 2017, Pelco Corporation launched panoramic multi-sensor cameras that integrate leading 20VMS and provide panomersive HD imaging. Major acquisitions include: in 2016, FLIR Systems acquired DVTEL for advanced video surveillance to expand its product portfolio in security systems. In 2016, Avigilon Corporation acquired VideoIQ, a leader in real-time intelligent video analytics solution to expand its product portfolio.

IP cameras are most widely used in both commercial and industrial surveillance, due to its advanced features. With its scalability and decline in cost for ownership, it is quickly becoming a standard for video surveillance. Considering the technological developments and related market drivers such as increased scalability and real-time analysis, replacement of traditional analogue cameras, and others is changing the landscape of security. With its cost, performance, and reliability it has proven to be a great security solution.

Information flown through IP cameras is a long chain, hence, cybersecurity concerns is a big challenge in the industry. Compared to other IoT devices, information flown through an IP camera is high, which is paving the way for malicious attacks. With continuous firmware updating, and by managing the network segmentation, companies can help avoid IP cameras from becoming an open-door for hackers. Several actions such as changing of default passwords, updating the software, choosing a virtual private network, and others are being taken by companies to prevent cyberattacks.

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