As an expert in network infrastructure monitoring and management, Paessler has analysed changes in the physical surveillance world and digitalisation to make some suggestions on how to prevent system blocks through careful network monitoring.

Surveillance, anti-intrusion systems, alarms for reporting violations and anomalies have long been the basis of security installations. Although physical systems have remained almost unchanged over time, the advance of technology has introduced changes that have modified the bossing.

According to Paessler, digital transformation in the TVCC system sector (Television at Closed Circuit, or Closed Circuit Television, CCTV) affects four aspects: digitalisation of security, coexistence of heterogeneous technologies, increased network vulnerability, convergence with the

The basis of all the most widespread technologies that cambathe the face of physical security is undoubtedly digital, so much so that today we talk about digitalized security. From the first cameras that, in the late 1990s, inaugurated the transition of video surveillance from analogue to digital, we switched to IP cameras with Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology and various types of video compression that IP technology revolutionized not only the cameras but also access control systems, introducing direct connection to the network without the need for a dedicated server to lean on.

Data storage modes, such as video recordings, have also changed dramatically and today everything is stored entirely digitally on hard drives or in the cloud. Not to mention the many other devices that can be put on the network in the IoT era: emergency-demand devices, motion detectors, Hvac systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and smoke detectors are just a few

For Chiara Ornigotti, Business Development Manager, Southern Europe by Paessler, with a network monitoring solution you can get an overview of the entire network on a single dashboard. In addition, information obtained from network monitoring can provide essential support to make the necessary corrections to prevent loss of data or critical failures. One of the advantages of network monitoring is that the type of systems that can be monitored is very diverse, provided that connected devices offer standard technologies (SNMP, NetFlow, WMI). The approach remains the same: configure a sensor for a device and receive data from that sensor. But the network can be very different between one installation and the other and, in fact, following the same principles, it is possible to monitor indifferently a hospital, an intelligent house, a smart city or a security system.

Differentiated technologies together

According to the experts of Paessler, the Swedish term smorgasbord, used figuratively to indicate a ‘great assortment’, describes well the modern security systems. Indeed, with the progressive digitization of individual components, these systems are often a patchwork of technologies, protocols and devices from multiple manufacturers.

The first challenge that security system integrators face is the configuration and optimisation of the network, which can take place following the inclusion of all these heterogeneous systems within the network itself. But putting together and configuring the environment is the first step.

The digitised nature of modern security systems adds new possible points of failure to traditional ones. Data loss, for example, is a problem of some importance: if video data is digitally stored and something is wrong as it should all this information could be lost.

The main weakness of modern security systems can be identified in the network itself. Bottle collars, bandwidth or routing problems may prevent data from being sent or received correctly and the security system may be compromised. If a cyber-criminal were to succeed in gaining access to the network or devices, the risks to the security of the entire system could be very high, in terms of blocking certain aspects of the system or misuse of devices.

These risks represent a real danger that cannot be totally excluded: electronic devices can suffer from malfunctions, networks can have bandwidth problems, storage systems can be damaged. The solution is prevention through careful network monitoring.

Convergence with l’IT

Today, security-related devices work on the same infrastructure as classic IT devices such as switches, servers and routers.

All this, while contributing to increasing complexity, offers the opportunity to monitor everything from one point, despite the heterogeneity of the technologies involved.

The same general principles that apply to the monitoring of traditional IT environments are therefore also applicable to networks that operate security systems. So it is necessary to establish precise metrics that indicate when a system is in good health: for example, how much band do particular devices use when they work normally? How does traffic appear at different points on the network at different times? What is the normal level of CPU usage for servers?

Based on the metrics obtained, define alert thresholds and alarms: when a value goes above or below the parameters defined as……, a potential problem is highlighted.

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