Supply Chain Attacks


When we think about security risks, we tend to expect the threat to come from shady online sources, perpetrated by “threat actors” and “hackers”. But the truth is that some security threats are waiting for us on our hardware before we even unbox it.

Supply chains today are often quite long and involve many companies and entities. Design, manufacture, logistics and shipping are generally handled by several groups along the chain, and some are more trustworthy than others. In many cases of supply chains being compromised, a worm or rootkit is introduced during the manufacturing process. The attacks can occur in any sector, financial, medical, government, and of course the physical security industry.

This will generally be carried out while the product is with the “weakest link” in the chain. As information is necessarily shared in a supply chain, risk is created. Information compromised in the supply chain can give threat actors time to determine what the best course of action is to deliver their malware.

In 2013, the US watched as retailer Target was hit with one of the largest data breaches in history. It is believed this was accomplished through a third party supplier gaining access to Target’s primary data network using passcode credentials from a company who provides HVAC systems.

Also common is modification of ATM firmware during manufacture, a scheme which has skimmed credit card information of millions on more than one occasion.

Of course, supply chain attacks can be and have been carried out against IP camera products. Having a security system compromised before installation would render it worse than useless, and even dangerous perhaps. In order to protect against these attacks it is recommended to:

. Maintain the smallest possible supplier base

. Impose strict control over what vendors are used. Conducting occasional site audits can help alleviate fears as well.

.Use products with security built into the design. Features such as “check digits” built into the software can help detect any previous unauthorized access to the code.


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Why Thermal Imaging?



Thermal Imaging

Once solely the province of police and military units, thermal imaging technology has seen a rapid adoption by the commercial security industry in the last decade. Thermal cameras give us the ability to see what our eyes cannot, and provide data that would never be available to analytics software with traditional devices.

Through imaging of invisible heat radiation given off by any object absorbing and reflecting light, irrespective of lighting conditions, these cameras allow us to see not just into dark rooms and outdoors at night, but also through foliage and semi-permeable objects such as netting and meshes.

As security cameras have become the staple for protection of property and personnel across every industry, the demand for better and more varied methods to produce high quality imaging in any setting has grown.

Thermal imaging cameras offer the best protection in conditions traditionally considered challenging:

.Work in the darkest of low-light scenarios

.Can see through foliage at night

.Are immune to visual limitations

.Produce fewer false alarms

.Work well in tandem with conventional high definition IP cameras

How Thermography Works

Thermographic or Infrared (IR) cameras create images using IR radiation as apposed to the visible light used in conventional cameras. Basically, what this means is that they are able to “see” heat as it radiates from an object and then display the differences in heat within its picture as various shades of grey in black and white video. Thermal cameras are therefore able to see through objects when a heat source is inside, require no light, and are not affected by things like smoke or dust.

Thermal cameras can be used to great effect in outdoor and low-zero light settings. This makes them particularly easy to camouflage, if desired. In many cases an IR camera could be used entirely in place of a traditional one, especially if it is being used to trigger an alarm and not just for surveillance.
IR is something that can be integrated into existing systems. It is especially helpful in analytics due to its ability to generate high contrast images.

The high-contrast, black and white images provide another metric in an entirely different spectrum of light for the algorithm of the analytics software to perform its operations on.

Analytics is already used to similar effect in systems with conventional cameras only, but being able to match heat signature against already existing video analytics creates a more robust and reliable overall surveillance operation.
Most importantly, a system can be set up to trigger only on the heat signature of a person, whereas the heat signature of an animal would be ignored.

To learn more about how thermal imaging cameras can help protect your commercial facility, please contact:

Security Technology of South Texas, Inc. at 210-446-4863

or email