CCTV Solutions Blog

Having recently noticed a spike in customers using Stream's connectivity services to support rapidly deployable CCTV solutions, I thought it would be worthwhile to write a post outlining some of the key points associated with this service and explain how Stream get customers up and running with connectivity for their CCTV systems.

In the past, CCTV has been regarded as an expensive and complicated product to install monitor and maintain. However, the advent of high bandwidth cellular communications and the development of rapidly deployable CCTV solutions, has removed many of the pain points associated with deploying CCTV systems. Rapidly deployable CCTV systems can be installed on a temporary or permanent basis and they can be rented as a fully managed service. This model is ideal for organisations that do not want to be liable for the costs associated with maintaining the cameras. Rapidly deployable CCTV is ideal for monitoring building sites, roadworks or events and are typically used for applications such as access control, intrusion detection and perimeter monitoring. Fundamentally, these systems provide a security solution which can be up to 75% cheaper than manned guarding.

The Challenge
Security is a critical issue which must be given careful consideration when choosing between connectivity options. This is true for all connected applications and rapidly deployable CCTV is no exception. If the security of the application is not sufficiently robust, it may be exposed to vulnerabilities that could undermine the integrity of the entire system. With 17 years' expertise in the M2M (Machine to Machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) industry, Stream has a wealth of experience in overcoming this challenge.

Selecting a connectivity provider who is unfamiliar with the security vulnerabilities that threaten connected applications, may result in your organisation being exposed to security threats. For example, many connectivity providers recommend the use of fixed public IP SIMs for rapid deployable CCTV solutions. While this does provide connectivity, it also exposes devices to a range of potential security and operational issues. In effect, public IP addressing results in devices being exposed to traffic from the public internet. This means that devices can be the subject of unwanted traffic. This traffic may originate from an innocent source or it may originate from a malicious party. This can result in the device using excessive levels of data and the customer being exposed to overrun charges.

There is a common misconception that configuring firewall rules at the device end will prevent this from happening. However, a firewall cannot prevent data being sent to a device that is using a public IP address. The firewall can protect the device from forwarding the data on but it cannot protect the device from receiving unwarranted data over the mobile network. In this case, the customer is liable for any data usage charges that the device may incur.

Stream's Solution
To prevent this from happening, Stream recommend the use of a solution that incorporates fixed private IP addressing. Fixed private IP addressing provides the benefits of having a fixed IP address with the added security of remaining within a private network. This provides increased levels of security and resilience as devices are not readily accessible by users on the public internet or by devices outside of the private network. Stream provides customers with the option of directly connecting to their devices over a secure encrypted VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnel, utilising IPsec (Internet Protocol Security), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol), and/or OpenVPN standards.

Stream also offer customers with the option of utilising DINA (Direct Inbound Network Access) to customers. DINA, is a proprietary technology designed by Stream to provide a secure and convenient way for customers to establish a direct connection to their devices from any location on the globe. DINA allows customers to temporarily map a public IP address to a SIM card. This enables a direct inbound connection to be established with a device and allows customers to access their SIMs via a web page. To ensure that the connection is secure, DINA devices are not directly exposed to the public internet, and any access attempt must be authenticated using IoT-X, the DINA website or the IoT-X API.

Unlike public IP addressing, DINA provides customers with authenticated access to their device estate and it removes the need to set up complex VPN technologies.

With a depth of knowledge and expertise in the connectivity industry, Stream are expert in deploying solutions that provide high-quality, global, cellular connectivity, backed up by rigorous security practices. Stream's security know-how and suite of cellular connectivity services are pivotal in securing business from rapid deployable CCTV customers across the globe.