Although many organizations are concerned with their audiovisual systems' overall appearance and functionality, the security system in place is equally important. A study from the University of Maryland has shown that a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, meaning the likelihood of data breaches has increased dramatically. As such, an aesthetically pleasing audiovisual system that lacks the proper network security features poses a considerable risk for any company.
While many companies choose technology based purely on performance, it is critical that the solutions they select can integrate securely into the organization's system. All devices connected over a network are at risk of corruption, which is why it pays to entrust integration to AV professionals. As modern, cloud-based audiovisual systems are becoming more popular as a primary tool for messaging and communication, it is more important than ever that all devices in use are secure.
How Audiovisual Integrators Can Protect Your Network
As data breaches increase across the nation and security takes precedence over appearance, security-savvy organizations know to work with a team of highly qualified audiovisual integrators. Given that 23% of data breaches are caused by human error, it doesn’t pay to cut corners in AV design or installation. Instead, organizations must allow knowledgeable professionals to implement systems to prevent issues before they occur. Fortunately, audiovisual integration specialists have the experience and expertise to ensure that the systems used throughout your network meet your needs while remaining secure. AV integrators can use the following techniques to keep your data private and protected.
Despite the focus on the visual aspects of audiovisual technology, the proper audio tools are a critical component of a secure network. Sound masking equipment reduces extraneous noises within the workplace and masks human speech. If you have conference rooms near one another, audiovisual integrators may implement sound masking technology inside the room to prevent people outside of the conference rooms from overhearing sensitive discussions.
Encrypted Signal Transmission
If your company network typically transmits a sensitive signal locally or across the LAN, you must consider which encryption level best meets your needs. For example, many organizations neglect to encrypt their wireless microphone system, which can cost them significantly in the long run. Traditional non-encrypted wireless microphones allow anyone who possesses the correct receiver and is within the RF range of your organization's system to eavesdrop upon your confidential conversations. Modern software-defined radio technology has only increased the likelihood of a sound system data breach. If you are highly concerned about security, your network should utilize wireless microphones with encryption or a wired microphone system.
For further protection, audiovisual integrators can install an AV Virtual LAN to decrease the likelihood of a security breach by separating each component of your audiovisual setup onto its own network. A VLAN is valid for compartmentalizing content that does not require access to your primary network. If it is necessary for your staff to stream content, a VLAN operation can provide a bandwidth that can be isolated without disrupting the primary network traffic.
It is of the utmost importance that your video conferencing systems are not programmed to answer video calls because this can leave your system highly vulnerable to attackers. Companies with traditional hardware are particularly at risk, given that users may not recognize that their system has connected, depending on the settings in your conference rooms. If you are using a pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera for video conferencing, ensure that the primary camera faces the floor or a blank wall when it is not in use. If it is possible, use a lens cover for your default camera. If you prefer a higher-end appearance for your conference room, audiovisual integrators can also install the camera recessed into the wall.
One of the benefits of working with professional audiovisual integrators is their ability to maintain and update the firmware for your organization's AV equipment as needed. If your firmware is not up to date, it may expose the vulnerabilities in your system. However, many companies fail to update their firmware due to complex incompatibilities. Here, AV professionals can bring their knowledge to bear. It is highly recommended that companies establish yearly system reviews from their team of audiovisual integrators to ensure maximum security.
Implement Drapes and Shades
Sleek, modern offices with glass meeting rooms and open layouts are currently trending throughout the corporate world. While these choices may be stylish, they decrease the quality of acoustics and provide undue access for everyone in the environment. The easy implementation of drapes and shades can address both issues. The use of drapes and shades will offer a sound dampening effect while ensuring that all participants have adequate privacy. Audiovisual integrators can even install automated systems that close when the conference room's audiovisual system turns on.
Locked Equipment Racks
When your systems are in the process of being outfitted with the necessary security precautions, it is crucial to remember that audiovisual equipment racks also hold routing equipment, which makes them vulnerable to attacks. Hackers can duplicate and record signals from audio or video equipment without your knowledge. It is most common for rack door locks to use keys that anyone could duplicate. However, many do not have a lock at all. Keep your audiovisual infrastructure in a secured IDF or a locked closet specifically for your AV equipment for optimal security. Furthermore, it is recommended that the equipment is regularly reviewed to ensure that no data breaches have occurred.
Enforce User Controls
Data from Varonis has concluded that 53% of companies have over 1,000 sensitive files accessible for every employee. For optimal security, everyone who accesses your network must have a secure user profile, complete with limited permissions. In addition, the only people who are permitted access to your network's configuration options should be audiovisual or IT personnel. Your network's passwords should be updated regularly, and you can also implement a second authentication measure for added protection, such as hardware tokens or a confirmation code sent by text message. These authentication measures decrease the likelihood that intruders will gain access to your network.
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