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How to Secure an IP Camera System from Hacking

Security systems are jumping aboard the technology train. Therefore, configuring these systems are starting to get more difficult. Keeping your IP camera system safe from accidental or malicious misconfiguration might seem like a large headache. There are a few layers of protection you can take to make sure no one can access something they aren’t supposed to. The last thing you want after installing your system is to have it ravaged by someone on the back-end rendering it useless.

Secure Your IP Camera

First and foremost change all of your cameras' passwords. This will prevent users from logging in directly to the camera. If you haven't enabled ActiveX and added the camera to a trusted site, follow this guide:

Enabling ActiveX to View Your IP Cameras and DVR Over the Web

When you've finished above follow the steps below:

1. Log in to each camera via its IP address using IE11 (Internet Explorer 11)

2. Navigate to SYSTEM -> ACCOUNT

3. Delete all the users except for admin

4. Change the password for admin to a unique password that is no more than 6 characters long. Do not forget this password, as resetting the camera may require sending it back to our RMA department for a reset.

Secure Your NVR Recorder or DVR

The next step to take is to set User Groups to assign different roles to different Users you may want to have. This way you can limit certain Users to specific functions.

These Users will then be connected to the DVR or NVR with their username and password when using SmartPSS. Each User will only be able to access the content allowed by the settings configured in the NVR/DVR for that User and its Group.

1. Using IE11 navigate to the IP address of your NVR/DVR and log in as the administrator. The default is admin/admin.

2. Select the “Setup” tab at the top of the screen.
NVR Setup Tab

3. Now select “System” > “Account” from the left side
4. Select “Modify” on the admin account then check the “Modify Password” box. 5. Change your admin password to a six character string.

Completing this will help prevent unauthorized people from accessing your NVR/DVR.

Creating User Roles on the NVR/DVR

Now create a new user by selecting add user at the bottom.

These users will be generic rights templates for the users that will have access to monitor, playback, record etc on the recorder.

1. Create a name

2. Select Reusable (very important)

3. Create a password no more than 6 alphanumeric characters long

4. Select user from the group dropdown box

5. Adjust System Manager, Playback, and Monitor privileges as needed

6. You can create more than one user if you have roles that need to be filled separately. (ie: Someone who monitors live feeds vs. someone who views old footage)

Configuring SmartPSS for One or More Users

After you have your User and Groups created on the NVR/DVR, you will be able to set up SmartPSS easily. You can also create accounts in SmartPSS to limit user access on the local machine to only certain functions on SmartPSS so they are not able to scan your network for IP cameras and NVRs using SmartPSS's built-in network search feature.

In a given scenario if one machine views live footage and another machine reviews stored footage, you would create an account on the viewing machine and apply the role when setting up the software. The same will go for the second machine, only with the separate role you created.

Add Your NVR/DVR to SmartPSS

Before you create user groups on SmartPSS add your NVR/DVR using the admin account.

1. Go to 20160126-09on the bottom left of the home screen.

2. Select the NVR/DVR you’d like to view and click “add” below it.

3. Double-click the device you just added in the lower panel.

4. Change the username and password to the proper User/Password that you created on the NVR.

Create User Specific Roles on SmartPSS

1. Click on 20160126-01 at the bottom of the screen.

2. Create “roles” for your new user groups by selecting the role tab at the top left.

3. Add a role by naming it, adding any remarks, select channel Rights, and menu rights.

• Repeat step 3 for as many roles as you need.
4. Create your users by selecting USER > [add], Name the user, give the user a password, select a role from the drop-down box, customize the specific users role by removing permissions as needed from the rights.

5. In our example, after logging in with “test user” given the rights granted, the only available option to access is Liveview.

After completing these tasks you will have added up to three layers of security to your system, and you are ready to start monitoring.

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.


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