What’s the point of a security system that isn’t secure itself?
Outdated alarm systems pose a significant risk but unfortunately, many organisations are still using equipment and software that belong in a museum.
It can be easy to overlook the importance of replacing old hardware when it appears to be working as it should. However, looks can be deceiving – and as each day goes by, cybercriminals develop more advanced methods.
Aside from hacking, there’s also the risk of the hardware simply failing as any electrical equipment will with time, meaning that you cannot respond to life-threatening incidents.
This article reviews the types of vulnerabilities organisations may have when using outdated hardware. We’ll also go over a few points to consider when deciding if it’s time to upgrade.
What Are the Security Risks of Using Old Alarm Monitoring Hardware?
Old Systems Are Easy to Hack
First and foremost, outdated alarm systems are easier to bypass than their modern counterparts. Criminals have become increasingly skilled at hacking into alarm systems and disabling them, which leaves your organisation vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and other security breaches.
In the past, manufacturers didn’t consider cyber threats in their designs simply because attacks were rare. These days, however, things are very different.
According to Check Point Research, cyberattacks increased by 38% worldwide in 2022 compared to 2021. In addition, the NSCC Annual Review of 2022 states that 31% of businesses and 26% of charities experience breaches or attacks at least once per week.
Not only may your old system be vulnerable to the types of threats that have been around for a while, they certainly will not be equipped to handle newly developed threats.
Any criminal that wants to gain access to your property will have no problem tampering with an archaic, on-premise solution. As time goes on, manufacturers provide less and less support for their older hardware and software, leaving you vulnerable. As well as the physical dangers, there is also a greater chance of data breaches, leading to all manner of problems such as reputation damage and legal action.
As well as the cybersecurity risks, there is the possibility of the old-school phone line-cutting scenario. Some very old systems that use phone lines for communication are extremely vulnerable – not just to malicious agents but to weather events or telephone pole damage. Can you afford to miss incidents given the huge amount of downtime you can expect in such scenarios?
Other Problems with Outdated Hardware
Excessive False Alarms
As the electrical circuits wear out, you can expect faults that cause false alarms with increasing frequency. Spending time looking into those non-existent incidents is a waste of time – time that could be spent responding to real threats.
In addition, old systems are not equipped with Machine Learning capabilities that can detect false alarms with accuracy.
Limited Monitoring Options
While you may currently employ CCTV monitoring and intruder alarm systems, the security industry has a lot more to offer these days. New technology has advanced motion sensing capabilities and can monitor many environmental parameters. More things are monitorable than ever before and unfortunately, with old alarms monitoring software and hardware, the opportunity is missed.
Depending on your region, there may be scenarios in which your existing hardware is unable to ensure compliance with regulations. Given how quickly data protection regulations are changing these days, having a system that is centrally managed on the cloud will make sure there are no loose ends.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Alarm Monitoring Hardware
Aside from avoiding security risks, here are a few more benefits to upgrading:
- Reduced costs: There is a lower cost of ownership with new, cloud based software. You also won’t need to spend money on constant maintenance – maintenance that is expensive due to the small number of technicians available to work with near-obsolete systems.
- Quick, regular updates: With cloud based systems, it’s easy to keep your system updated when new features are released.
- Flexibility: New systems can support diverse range of working scenarios through remote access, lone worker solutions, and other features.
- More advanced features: As mentioned, you can monitor endless variables with newer systems, and you’ll benefit from more advanced technology across the board.
- Energy efficiency: Old technology was not designed with energy efficiency in mind, while in modern hardware, it’s a priority.
- Keeping up with changes to the property: When modifications are made to a property (such as adding new windows or building an extension), it’s important that the security system is updated along with it. Old technology is harder to scale but for a modern, cloud based system, it’s a walk in the park.
- Save time: There will be no need to waste time on constant maintenance or responding to false alarms. Instead, you can focus on what matters – responding to genuine incidents, fast.
Choosing the Right Alarm Monitoring System
It’s important to choose the right alarm monitoring system for your organisation. Consider the capabilities you’ll need, such as the ability to monitor multiple locations and the type of variables you need to track. You’ll also want to consider features such as lone worker protection if your security staff work alone in dangerous situations.
Upgrading your alarm monitoring hardware is an important step in ensuring the safety and security of your organisation and its stakeholders. Outdated systems leave you vulnerable to a wide array of cyber and physical threats that are not worth the risk, given what’s at stake – your assets, reputation, and human life itself.
By upgrading your alarm monitoring system, you can avoid these risks and take advantage of the many benefits that newer systems offer, including better energy efficiency, greater safety for lone workers, and a range of advanced features.
We are the UK’s leading provider of alarm and incident monitoring software – if you feel that relying on your legacy system is no longer worth the risk, contact us to see how we can bulletproof your organisation.