Three Ways Network Security Can Protect AV Systems

Any device visible on the network is at risk of cyberattack, including AV technology, so consult certified AV integrators. An AV system made by a reputable brand and installed by an experienced integrator will provide some degree of security against intrusion, but there is still room for improvement. An experienced AV integrator is essential for your organization because they know the methods hackers use to attack AV technology. While it is essential to have an expert in this field when setting up an AV system for maximum security, it is your IT staff and your AV partner who will be responsible for maintaining the security of the system.

Intruders target AV equipment for many reasons, but the most insidious of these is the infiltration of other network devices, exposing employee personal records and company financial information. Once hackers and intruders are inside AV technology, what can they do? To start:

  • Join conference sessions, including video conferencing, discreetly and anonymously
  • Listen to people by starting a conference session when the system is idle.
  • Configure the system so that other functions and components become visible or vulnerable.
  • Exploit a weakness in network security to gain access to other network devices and systems.

While this list should alarm any network administrator, it barely scratches the surface of the damage that can be done once an attacker is inside.

Network security plays a crucial role in preventing attacks. Since today’s AV systems are quickly merging with organizations’ networks, IT departments must pay due attention when implementing security plans. AV technology cannot exist as an isolated entity – it must be integrated into the organization’s larger network security protocol, or it could soon be compromised.

The following methods can be used to harden AV equipment and the network it depends on:

1. Before integrating any AV technology into the space, a plan should be made to physically secure it when not in use. Attacks can come from inside as well as exposed components, so it’s a good idea to lock all non-operational components behind secure doors and inside secure cabinets as the first line of defense.

2. Audiovisual performances should always be monitored. For years, the IT department has relied on monitoring software to make sure its devices are working properly. System performance changes, such as unexpected activity spikes, can be signs of something malicious.

3. Professional IT teams have a multitude of security tools and techniques at their disposal to protect AV systems from external intrusions. For example, systems can be protected behind a firewall, rely on in-system programming, or be connected to a VLAN. It’s also important to consider a network’s operating system because the most common are the most susceptible to malware.

A secure network requires both AV and information technology to work together, even though they were developed independently. In order to ensure that your AV system is as secure as possible, you will need the advice of a certified AV integrator as well as your IT department.

This post was originally featured on AVIXA Xchange