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Blog with right sidebar

Jul 19

The United Kingdom & Ireland have strict regulations regarding the use of Closed-Circuit Television, especially when it comes to covert surveillance. Covert CCTV refers to the use of hidden or discreet cameras to monitor individuals without their knowledge or consent. These regulations are in place to balance security and privacy concerns. Please note that regulations and laws can change over time, so it’s essential to verify this information with your own research, using up-to-date reliable sources or consulting with legal professionals. Here are some general rules regarding covert CCTV in the UK:

  • Lawful Basis: Covert CCTV must have a valid legal basis for its use. This can be achieved by demonstrating that the use of covert surveillance is necessary for specific lawful purposes. Such as the prevention or detection of crime, safeguarding national security, or protecting the public.
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA): The RIPA governs the use of covert surveillance by public authorities. This includes government agencies and law enforcement. It sets out the legal framework and requirements for using covert CCTV for certain purposes.
  • Human Rights Act 1998: The Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. Under this Act, individuals have the right to privacy (Article 8), and the use of covert CCTV must not infringe upon this right without a legitimate reason.
  • Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA): The DPA governs the processing of personal data, including data obtained through CCTV cameras. If Covert Closed-Circuit Television captures images of individuals, it falls under the scope of the DPA, and data controllers must comply with the data protection principles.
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Guidelines: The ICO provides guidelines on the use of CCTV, including covert surveillance. Organizations and individuals using covert CCTV should familiarize themselves with the ICO’s guidance. This will ensure compliance with data protection and privacy laws.
  • Proportionality and Necessity: Covert surveillance should be proportionate to the purpose it aims to achieve and should not be used unless other less intrusive methods are not feasible or adequate.
  • Signage and Notification: In most cases, the use of overt CCTV requires signs to be displayed. Therefore, notifying individuals that they are being recorded. However, for covert CCTV, there may be exceptional circumstances where such signs are not required. But the necessity for covert surveillance must be justified.
  • Confidentiality and Access Controls: Access to the recordings obtained through covert CCTV should be limited to authorized personnel. They should also be kept confidential to protect individuals’ privacy.
  • Retention and Deletion: Recorded footage should be retained only for as long as necessary for the purpose for which it was collected and should be securely deleted once no longer required.
  • Consultation with Legal Professionals: Given the complexity of data protection and surveillance laws, it is advisable for organizations and individuals considering the use of covert CCTV to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

These regulations and guidelines are essential to ensure that the use of covert CCTV respects individuals’ rights to privacy while still allowing for necessary security and surveillance measures.

Covert Closed-Circuit Television Smoke Detector
Covert Closed-Circuit Television Smoke Detector
Jan 24

Setting up a CCTV system in a remote location couldn’t be easier. So you can view cows which are cavling for example. When a barn is located a few kilometres away, and CCTV is required, setting up a wireless bridge is a simple solution. This will save you time and money if it is a site that requires checks regularly.

Cows cavling, shown via CCTV image

Using a pair of our wireless access points to create a wireless bridge is as simple as the flick of a switch to pair the two devices, once the CCTV cameras are in place at the remote location and the recording unit is set up locally in your home or business.

Wireless Bridge Setup for transmitting IP Cameras from a remote location

This is just one example of where as wireless bridge can be utilized to save time and money for somewhere that may need constant attention or regular attention to make sure there are no problems on site.

For further information on this application feel free to contact our experienced sales team on 02890 329480

Jan 14

Today, more and more people begin to appreciate the need for integrated housing protection. Reliable door and window grating represents the first barrier. A security system that provides control over the environment and informs about events represents the second barrier. If an incident occurs, it needs to be responded to immediately and as effective as possible. Professional monitoring service is unchallenged in this field.

Demand breeds supply — the number of new security and service companies that ensure protection of a specific area of a city, residential compound or cottage estate is growing. They rely on new technologies, and efficiency, quality of service, and reliability represent the key success factors of their business. People are willing to pay for such security services.

Ajax fits perfectly into the new security business model — users love it and it has proven its reliability to professionals. Because of such advantages as quick installation, remote administration, simple service, and ultra-high reliability, more and more security companies choose Ajax as its standard equipment. The Ajax applications for smartphones and computers have already saved thousands of hours for installers and engineers.

Ajaxs’ aim is to offer a comprehensive solution to ensure the protection of a residential area — hundreds of private houses or thousands of apartments with professional monitoring and effective response around the clock. The updated Ajax PRO Desktop application is the right solution.

New features

Starting a monitoring service based on a standard console software requires careful preparation. A new company needs to set up equipment, adapt the application, and train its staff. However, these are not all the difficulties — every facility will have to be connected to the console manually, and this procedure cannot be automated in any way.

In October 2017, Ajax released a mobile application: Ajax PRO: Tool for Engineers, and half a year later, they released a version for computers — Ajax PRO Desktop. The programs are accompanying the Central Monitoring Station (CMS) simplifying the management of the Ajax security systems for installers and engineers.

Today, Ajax present the monitoring feature in Ajax PRO Desktop. The application allows the operator to process alarms arriving from up to 2500 facilities, configure security systems remotely, perform detector adjustment at the customers’ requests, and manage access rights. Facilities are connected automatically in just a few minutes and no additional settings are required, and there is nothing superfluous in Ajax PRO Desktop — a short briefing is enough to get started.

Ajax PRO Desktop is a free alternative to the Central Monitoring Station for security and service companies that ensure safety of residential compounds and cottage estates.

Implementation of monitoring
is a simple task

Having chosen the Ajax PRO Desktop as a monitoring solution, you do not need to spend time setting up the application and security systems as well as transfer information manually. You can just log into the administrator account, request access to the hubs, and specify the addresses of the facilities.

Thanks to the Ajax Cloud server, all Ajax applications contain up-to-date information about the security systems: composition of devices, settings, user rights, and events.

Connecting the security system featuring 5
detectors to the monitoring program

Central Monitoring Station (CMS) applicationAjax PRO Desktop featuring monitoring function
Connection procedure14 minutes 1. Set up monitoring at the central monitoring station.
2. Create a facility card at the CMS.
3. Describe the detectors.
3 minutes 1. Invite the PRO user.
2. Fill in the facility address and description.
Employees involved2 persons Engineer at the site and CMS operator.1 person Ajax PRO Desktop operator.
Error probabilityHigh The facility profile in the CMS is filled in manually.Excluded Data is synchronized between the Ajax applications.

What can Ajax PRO Desktop do?

Using the Ajax PRO Desktop application, a single operator of security or service company can manage up to 2500 Ajax security systems.

The monitoring functions are opened in a separate window and do not block other features of the Ajax PRO Desktop application. By monitoring security system events, you can change their settings, manage access rights, and view the statuses of the guarded facilities.

The event window is as informative as possible and provides filtration by types of alarms, malfunctions, general events, and security events. Each type of event is assigned a specific color, which simplifies navigation:

How does the system respond to alarms?

When a guarded facility is trespassed, caught on fire or is flooded, the operator receives an audible notification of an event in Ajax PRO Desktop. All the necessary information is available in the Alarm handling menu:

  • Where exactly the incident occurred.
  • What caused the alarm: entrance door opening detector and subsequent movement in the hallway detected trespass; smoke detected in the kitchen; alarm button is pressed in the application or on the keyfob; the user was forced to enter the code, etc.
  • The real-time update of the facility security system event history.
  • Who are the users of this security system and their contacts.

The operator sends an alarm to the rapid response teams by radio or other means adopted by the company. He/she reports on the nature of the event — this affects how exactly the security guards will act. If there is reason to believe that residents are in danger, it is crucial to get to the apartment (house) as fast as possible. In the event of a robbery, it makes sense to cordon off the building first and check for suspicious vehicles nearby. The best way to prevent flooding is to shut off the water supply to the floor or the building.

Having notified the rapid response team, the operator contacts the security system users and reports on the measures taken.

When the problem is resolved, the alarm is marked as processed in the Ajax PRO Desktop and is supplemented with comments of the operator and the security guards. Comments, together with the information about the time of alarm reading and processing stored in the event history, will be useful in the case of client’s complaints.

The Ajax PRO Desktop application is designed for macOS, Windows 7/8/10. Minimum computer requirements:

CPUIntel / AMD 1.2 GHz
GPU3D accelerator
RAM2 GB
ROM400 MB
Jan 08

Updating the Operating System is vital to keep the Ajax wireless alarm system up to date with all new features, firmwares and fixes. The updating procedure is an integral part of the product development and product improvement. Updates for Ajax Hubs increase the stability and security of the system, optimise the systems performance, ensure it’s compatability with new devices and expand the systems capability list.

  • The firmware updates only when the security system is disarmed.
  • The file size of the firmware does not exceed 0.5 MB.
  • The firmware downloading process runs in the background without affecting the functioning of the system.
  • The update installation takes less than 10 seconds.
  • The OS Malevich update is optional and can be disabled in the settings, although this is not advised.

Hub Operating System Update

1. The Hub determines if there is an update for operating system on the server

Firmware files for the Hub are stored in the encryted form on the Ajax Cloud Server, and the server does not know the keys or the encryption method of the update files. All access to the firmware database is provided to only a select set of people in the company from the internal network of Ajax Systems, and have different levels of access. No one can make critical changes and sabotage the system. All actions are logged and monitored, and Ajax know exactly who made the changes and when. Internal safety reulations prohibit the use of passwords to access the firmware database. SSH or Secure Shell keys are used instead, which are a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services.

Protection technologies:

  • Access to the firmware database by SSH keys only.
  • Access privileges and logging of changes to the server.
  • Server authentication and verification systems.
  • Using the proprietary encrypted communication protocol.

2. Transferring the update file from the server to the Hub

Once an update file has been detected, the Hub will download the firmware to the external flash memory using any available communication channel with the server, whether it be via ethernet, GSM or WiFi. The update is downlaoded in the background and will not effect system operation. Protection of the transmitted data between the Hub and the Ajax server is provided by Transport Layer Security (TLS), combined with the security methods within the closed binary protocol.

Protection technologies:

  • TLS.
  • Using the proprietary encrypted communication protocol.

3. Checking the update file

The Hub firmware is encrypted and signed with a checksum. If the firmware file has been corrupted, either intentionally or due to a transmission error, it is ignored, since the checksums will not match. If an intruder corrupts the encrypted firmware file and substitutes the checksum, the checksum inside the decrypted firmware file will still not match the signature, and the Hub will reject the update.

At most the firmware file can be read from the external flash memory of the Hub, however the decryption of this file, even with the capabilities of modern computers, would take thousands of years.

The firmware file includes a system of markers and properties that are checked before the install. Information about them in available to a limited set of people to exclude any possibilty of a sabotage attempt. If any marker or property fails validation, the update is canceled.

Protection technologies:

  • Verification of checksums, markers and properties.
  • Encryption.

4. Hub firmware update

During the update, the encrypted firmware file is read from the external flash memory of the Hub by the bootloader, stored in the device microcontroller’s ROM.

The firmware is decrypted only inside the microcontroller, which cannot be accessed from the outside, therefore there is no possibility to read or substitute the firmware. Having decrypted the firmware file, the checksums are verified once more in order to make sure that no data was corrupted during the decryption process.

The bootloader inside the Hub also controls the correct operation of the Hub with a new firmware. If critical errors or malfunctions are detected, the Hub deletes the corrupted firmware version and reflashes the latest stable release.

Only a limited set of people know how the stable firmware is selected and how the correct operation is controlled, which complicates any attempt to sabotage. The bootloader itself is not updated, thereby excluding the possibility of sabotage of the firmware rollback mechanism.

Protection technologies:

  • Checksum verification after decryption.
  • Critical error control.
  • Control of correct operation of the Hub with a new firmware.

5. After firmware update

The firmware update and the subsequent reboot of the Hub takes less than 10 seconds. After that, the Hub will reconnect to the server. The connection time depends on the number of active communication channels and does not exceed 30 seconds. Notifications about alarms and events are stored in the events feed even during the Hub update.

The Ajax APP will display notifications when there is an update available, when the system is updating the firmware and when the firmware has been successfully updated.

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