Intercom systems provide a convenient way to communicate between different areas of a building or property. However, intercoms also present potential security risks that must be addressed. Proper intercom security is essential for maintaining privacy and preventing unauthorized access.
Physical Security of Intercom Equipment
The intercom exchange unit and wiring should be installed securely and access limited only to authorized personnel. Outdoor intercom stations should be vandal-resistant and tamper-proof to prevent damage or misuse. Indoor stations can be protected in locked utility closets. Consider video surveillance cameras to monitor intercom locations.
Access Codes and Locks
Require access codes to activate intercom stations. Change default factory codes. Log and monitor access attempts. Require codes to unlock doors via intercoms. Install auto-lock timers.
Network and Data Security
Intercom systems increasingly utilize IP networks for connectivity. Apply standard network security best practices:
Use encryption like HTTPS, SSL/TLS to protect communication over networks. Encrypt audio and video if transmitted over networks.
Use firewalls to control network traffic and access. Limit connections to specific IP addresses or domains.
Route intercom traffic through VPN tunnels to provide secure remote access. Restrict VPN access with strong credentials.
Implement intrusion detection systems to identify malicious network activity targeting the intercom system.
Access Control Policies
Formal access control policies for intercom use prevent misuse:
Require unique credentials for each user. Disable inactive credentials promptly. Use multi-factor authentication where possible.
Grant access rights based on user roles. Administrative access should be limited.
Log access attempts, voice and video connections, and lock/door activations. Regularly audit logs for anomalies.
Issue physical door keys only to authorized personnel. Require return of keys from departing employees. Rekey locks periodically.
Robust intercom security allows convenient communication without compromising privacy or control. Proper policies coupled with physical protections, access control, and network security provide multilayered protection against misuse or attacks. Audit systems regularly to identify and address any vulnerabilities or policy violations. With vigilant security, intercom systems can safely enhance communication and access management.
Video Intercom Security
Video intercoms add visual capabilities that require additional security:
Encrypt video feeds to prevent eavesdropping. Consider end-to-end encryption where only authorized endpoints can decrypt the video stream.
Position cameras to only cover necessary areas like building entrances. Avoid views into private residential areas. Inform visitors of camera use.
If storing video, restrict access to authorized personnel. Store minimal footage needed. Have policies for video retention and destruction.
Require PINs or other authentication to view video at intercom stations. Prevent unauthorized video access.
Wireless and Mobile Intercom Security
Wireless intercoms and mobile integration require additional precautions:
Encrypt wireless signals and mobile data connections to prevent eavesdropping of intercom transmissions.
Access Point Security
Secure wireless access points with WPA2 encryption, MAC address filtering, and SSID hiding. Limit access points to only necessary locations.
Mobile Device Policies
Require passwords, encryption, and remote wipe capabilities on mobile devices used to access intercoms. Install mobile device management software.
Implement two-factor or biometric authentication for mobile intercom apps. Restrict apps to company-owned devices.
Intercom Security Audits
Regular audits help identify and address intercom security gaps:
Inspect intercom stations and wiring for damage, wear, or issues needing repair. Document hardware changes or additions.
Scan networks for connected intercom devices. Check for unauthorized connections or missing security controls.
Review policies and procedures to ensure alignment with best practices. Update as needed.
User Access Reviews
Audit user accounts and access rights. Remove outdated accounts and enforce least privilege.
Review logs for anomalies, failed access attempts, or violations. Investigate and address concerns.
Intercom Security Training
User training improves compliance with intercom security policies:
Acceptable Use Policies
Ensure users understand appropriate intercom use and prohibited activities. Have users acknowledge policies.
Train users on proper procedures to gain building access via intercoms. Limit sharing of access codes.
Instruct users to report suspicious intercom activity, breaches, or policy violations.
Regular intercom security reviews and user training help sustain protections and compliance over time. Proactively addressing vulnerabilities and risks allows intercom systems to enhance communication and access control without compromising security.