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CCTV, IP Surveillance & Unified Communications

Many CCTV, Closed Circuit TV, solutions operate using a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) box connected to cameras using coaxial cable.  External access to the cameras was via the DVR which in turn would be connected to the internet.  The DVR is a controller for the cameras for motion detection, recording, PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) and so on.
Most new CCTV installations use an NVR (Network Video Recorder) box connected to cameras using the same network cable as your PC, Cat5 & fibre.  The NVR has all the features of a DVR.  This allows for direct access to the cameras and NVR both internally and externally.
One thing you can't do on a DVR system is access your cameras from your VoIP phone system.
Why would you want to?  Because by making a camera, for instance, that includes a keypad you have a video door entry system that can be managed from any telephone handset, and that includes a smartphone app.
So, you're outside your office and forgotten the entry code, press the button on th…
Recent posts

Say No to 0870

Internet Telephony & Call-Bundles
Many of us have already moved over to Internet Telephony, VoIP, and probably bought into a call bundle.
Call bundles are great for landline numbers beginning with 01,02,03 and 07 for mobiles.  But what happens when you go out of bundle, for instance if you dial an 0870 number, or for that matter, or any other premium rate number?
You pay.  How much depends on the tariff set by the 'owner' of the number plus any charge the service provider decides to add on.  This link to Ofcom explains the call charges in more detail.

Illegal use of premium rate numbers
In June 2014 calls to help desks, complaints etc. could only be charged at the national call rate, and you are entitled to a refund of the difference if you were charged more.  In addition, all premium rate numbers should give the charges in advance of the charges starting.
This doesn't address any charge put on by the service provider, but does explain why calls to 0800 numbers are not fre…

DBS (formerly CRB) checks

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012 to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Following this merger, CRB checks are now called DBS checks. The aim of DBS checks is to reduce the risk to children and vulnerable adults by providing safer recruitment practices.

You can learn more about DBS checks here.

All P&L engineers must now obtain a DBS certificate upon commencing employment.

Backups & GDPR - why this could be the end of OnPrem backups

Continuing the trend of information security and the responsibility of companies to safeguard personal information the subject of backups often gets ignored.

The following comes directly from the GDPR act;
(c) the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;
(d) a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.

Backup types
There are 2 main types of backup scenarios, cloud and on-premise (OnPrem), or both.

Whatever the method one thing is common to both and that is preventing unauthorised access to the data in the event of theft or hack.
This is done by encrypting the data using an encryption key so that it cannot be read by anyone who doesn't have the decryption key to unlock the data allowing it to be read.
Don't worry about encryption keys because all backup systems incl…