New “secure by design, secure by default” standard for surveillance systems’ manufacturers launched on world’s first Surveillance Camera Day

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In conjunction with the world’s first Surveillance Camera Day, Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has announced the launch of a set of minimum standards for the manufacturers of surveillance camera systems and components.

Driven by the need to ensure the UK’s resilience against this and other forms of cyber security vulnerability, as well as to provide the best possible assurance stakeholders, the new secure by default/secure by design minimum requirements are an important step forward for manufacturers, installers and users alike.

The work to develop these standards has been led by Mike Gillespie, cyber security advisor to the Commissioner and developed in consultation with manufacturers. He said:

“If a device comes out of the box in a secure configuration, there’s a good chance it will be installed in a secure configuration. Encouraging manufacturers to ensure they ship their devices in this secure state is the key objective of these minimum requirements for manufacturers. Manufacturers benefit by being able to demonstrate they take cyber seriously and their equipment is designed and built to be resilient. Installers and integrators benefit from the introduction of the requirements by not having to know how to turn dangerous ports or protocols off during the installation. End users benefit because they know they are buying equipment that has demonstrated it has been designed to be resilient to cyber-attack and data theft.”

As mentioned earlier, the announcement has been perfectly timed to coincide with the world’s first National Surveillance Camera day. The event is intended to raise awareness about surveillance cameras and generate a debate about how they are used in society and is being organised by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s office in conjunction with the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP).

Professor Webster, who is Director of the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP) and lead for the public engagement strand of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy, said: “Surveillance cameras have been watching over us for more than 40 years but their rising use, coupled with the development of new technologies like face recognition, drones and body-worn cameras, has resulted in an increased need to ensure that surveillance systems used to uphold public safety also respect our rights and freedoms.

“This event aims to start a vitally important, nationwide conversation about how, why and by whom camera technology is being used, and the risks and benefits this brings to society.”

As part of events, control centres will be publishing key factsheets outlining important information about the equipment they operate, and why and how they are using surveillance cameras.

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