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3 Strategies to Boost AV Security: Tips from AVI’s Head of IT

Audiovisual March 13, 2024

Our sales, field technician, and support teams often work closely with the IT departments of the clients we serve – especially on large-scale implementations. And, in some cases, we find ourselves alongside workplace, real estate, facilities, and other functional leaders to ensure their audiovisual and unified collaboration solution needs are met.  

No matter who the client is, AVI carefully examines every solution to ensure IT security requirements meet or exceed expectations.    

Recently, we sat down with Josh Braun, AVI’s Vice President of Information Technology, to get his thoughts on what to keep in mind as you implement or manage the networked AV technologies used to support collaboration. Following are Josh’s three primary recommendations.  

av-security-josh-braun-headshot

“I want everyone to know that cybersecurity, network segmentation, and Day 2 support are just as important for AV solutions as they are for your broader IT environment.”

– Josh Braun, Vice President – Information Technology, AVI Systems 

3 Ways to Boost Your AV Security 

These tips may feel like table stakes if you're an IT executive. And they should. This list is aimed at a broad audience with limited experience selecting, implementing, and networked AV solutions.  

 

#1: Proactively plan for potential hacks

You don’t need to be an IT pro to know that hackers and nefarious actors are getting better at their craft and using new tools like AI to find ways to exploit systems. In addition, new equipment with new vulnerabilities and attack vectors constantly emerges that require continuous adaptation and vigilance – including AV tools.

“It's critical to have the governance in place to ensure you stay one step ahead of the bad guys. At AVI Systems, we spend more on information security than most other areas of our IT budget,” says Braun. 

When (not if) you have an exploit or vulnerability, you’ll want to quickly deploy a security update or patch to ensure your environment remains protected. A trusted partner can make this easier by continuously monitoring on your behalf, potentially preventing cyberattacks before they happen.  

 

#2: Segment your AV technology from the network 

Networked AV technologies should be treated with the same level of security as any other critical infrastructure. In other words, you should segment your AV tech on a separate network where it can talk to itself, but other services or devices on your broader network can’t get to it. And vice versa.

“I recommend that you focus on network firewalls and monitoring tools that include features like network intrusion detection and prevention. You always want a clear view into your AV traffic,” cautions Braun.

This strategy is essential because you can’t add antivirus software to most AV peripherals like conference room cameras or interactive whiteboards. So, you want to establish a baseline of what normal traffic looks like to identify anything out of the ordinary quickly.  

For example, AVI offers a remote monitoring tool called AVI Insight that provides visibility into the health of your AV and Unified Collaboration infrastructure. We monitor your systems 24/7 and can proactively assist when anomalies are detected.   

 

#3: Choose your AV vendor carefully  

To maintain consistent and secure configurations across all network devices and applications, it’s important to choose a trusted AV partner. Specifically, you should look for repeatable processes that have been vetted, address security, and yield predictable results. And, of course, a robust Day 2 offering should be non-negotiable.  

“We don’t just sell you a product and install it – we research, test, and engineer it. We choose components from a security mindset and enable strategies like network encryption to ensure no one can eavesdrop on the collaboration taking place,” says Braun.

In addition, it’s critical that any peripherals are certified for the collaboration platforms you use (e.g., Microsoft Teams). This not only improves your security but also makes it easier from a usability perspective.

Finally, ensure your integration partner tests their solution for compatibility with your current hardware, software, security, and network encryption standards.   

Key takeaway: be proactive and stay vigilant 

Many companies had to evolve their AV platforms quickly during the pandemic and may have needed more time to fully consider the security implications of every decision. Now that hybrid arrangements are the norm, it’s essential to address gaps, be proactive about security going forward, and stay vigilant as potential threats evolve. 

Your trusted partner for secure AV solutions  

If you’re a mid-sized company without dedicated AV staff, consider partnering with AVI Systems to ensure your AV solutions are secure today – and tomorrow.  

Our solutions architects, certified design engineers, and professional installation teams help you plan for, implement, and manage a broad range of AV solutions – from building a few conference rooms to implementing a companywide unified collaboration platform. 

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities. 

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©AVI Systems, Inc., 2024

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