A network video recorder (NVR) is a software program that allows for the recording and storage of footage for surveillance purposes. They rely on IP cameras to record footage, and these systems were meant to be a significant advancement over analog security options.
There are some positives and negatives about both NVR and analog (CCTV) security systems, but neither can offer the best security solution in today’s world. IP cameras may be superior to analog in the way that they record footage, but they fall short in how they store their data. Analog cameras would transfer their feeds to VCRs, but IP cameras require an NVR system, which is not an insignificant investment, and they’re left open to more security vulnerabilities. These hardware solutions come from decades past, and they’re particularly vulnerable to hackers.
In the modern world, the best solution for business security cameras is a combination of smarter cameras and a hybrid cloud-based solution. The following are just a few reasons to upgrade from an NVR system.
No one wants to pay more for something than they need to, and depending on your budget, an NVR system may be difficult to install and maintain. It may be less of an issue for smaller organizations that won’t need many cameras installed, but for larger businesses, particularly those with multiple stories, paying for all the necessary cameras can get pricey. There’s also the fact that multiple NVR systems may need to be installed. IP cameras are not particularly efficient when it comes to data storage, and the more you have, the more places you’ll need to store their footage.
NVR systems can also be difficult, particularly for larger companies, because they require significant planning in advance as to where cameras need to be deployed and how much storage will be needed. This can easily result in inadequate storage, poor camera deployment, or both.
The last thing anyone wants for their security camera system is for it to be vulnerable to outside forces, which NVR systems often are. NVR systems already run outdated software, and they often go long periods without updates. This can make it easy for hackers to find their way into the network, and once there, they might steal important data or compromise finances.
In 2018, the vulnerability aptly dubbed “Peekaboo” allowed hackers to hijack cameras on NVR systems to steal and even alter video footage. It also enabled them to gain access to security keys for other cameras and spread their influence throughout the network.
Moving away from NVRs is a good move for companies that want more reliable, secure, and efficient security camera systems. Cloud-based solutions can offer encryption on their cameras and remove any single point of failure that could result in a network breach. Updates to the system are also installed automatically, which frees up personnel for other tasks.
Restrictive data access
While one would think that an NVR system would make it easy to review footage remotely, this actually isn’t the case at all. Accessing NVR footage from outside the network requires configuring often complex VPN settings, and all computers meant for remote access will need to be installed with a video management service. Most companies relying on NVR systems simply access their video locally, and this means there can be a significant time gap between when footage is captured and when it can be reviewed.
NVR camera systems also pose a high risk for data loss. If footage from a camera can’t be sent to the NVR for any reason, the footage gets lost. Anything from a storm to a network error could cause a camera to go down, which can result in the loss of critical footage. With no cloud backup, there is no way to recover the data.