Cybersecurity Tips from Hikvision to Address Vulnerabilities, Insights for Mobile Device Security

December 26, 2018

Procedures to Manage the Cybersecurity Process

Procedures to Manage the Cybersecurity Process


Hikvision’s director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, together with the Hikvision Security Lab at Hikvision headquarters, is leading the cybersecurity program for Hikvision North America. Here, he offers tips to address vulnerabilities, improve cybersecurity best practices, and insights for mobile device security.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Manufacturers need to have solid cybersecurity built into products, and quickly fix and disclose where there are new vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats. Installers need to understand cybersecurity best practices, and create network architectures and support models that promote those practices. Owners and end users need to understand that they own, and are responsible for, the devices that they put on the Internet or any network.

Davis has written numerous blogs offering tips to reduce security concerns and apply cybersecurity best practices. Below, he offers an overview of how to manage cybersecurity for an organization’s network, and insights for mobile device security.

Six Tips for Managing Organizational Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is all about managing risk. A good cybersecurity program can be very complex for an enterprise and rather simple for a small company. However, understanding your risk is the key. To help understand and manage your risk, here are six tips outlining procedures that you should follow:

  1. Know your inventory. Regularly run discovery scans on your network so you know which devices are on your network.
  2. Understand your internal and external risk. Regularly run vulnerability scans on your internal network and scan your network from the Internet so you know if your systems have known vulnerabilities.
  3. Ensure that vulnerable systems are patched quickly and regularly. If there is no patch, put mitigating controls in place until a patch is available.
  4. Monitor your network for anomalous behavior.
  5. Make sure employees are familiar with ways to identify phishing attacks and have a place to report them.
  6. Segment networks to ensure that access to systems is only granted to those people and systems that need to access them.

Insights for Mobile Device Security

Many years ago, it was much easier to secure an organization’s digital assets because those assets were created on computers in the physical confines of an organization and stored on devices that also stayed within the organization. As laptops and remote work became more prevalent, cybersecurity became more challenging because those digital assets were moving outside of the physical and logical controls of the organization. VPNs and whole disk encryption became the standard way to regain some control, but the added convenience led to added risk.

Today, organizational cybersecurity is challenging as many services and data are stored in third-party cloud environments, and laptops and mobile devices allow employees to work from anywhere in the world, when connected to the Internet. So how does an organization manage cybersecurity on these devices?

Mobile devices are defined as smartphones and tablets that typically run iOS or Android operating systems. While there are other operating systems, these two are by far, the most popular today. Below are a few challenges with mobile device cybersecurity.

  • Companies don’t want to buy a mobile device for every employee and contractor.
  • Many employees and contractors don’t want to have their employer install software on their personal mobile device.
  • Many employees and contractors do not want to carry around two cell phones or mobile devices.
  • Companies should not trust employees and contractors to properly secure data on their personal devices.

So How Do Organizations Manage Mobile Device Security?

The answer is the same as it is with most cybersecurity solutions. It’s defense in depth—applying layers of security. Here is a list of the layers that a typical organization would use:

Allow access to cloud services using strong, multi-factor authentication.

Only allow registered hardware to access cloud services.

Install a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool on employee devices:

  • This creates an encrypted section of storage that is used like a sandbox. The organization cannot see outside of the sandbox (i.e. employee personal photos or text messages) and vice versa. The organization can have business apps installed and stored, and if an employee leaves the employer can delete all company data inside of the MDM sandbox.
  • It enforces strong password access to the device (using a full password instead of a 4-digit pin).
  • It can enforce biometric access where available.
  • It can install a trusted certificate on the device to allow for encryption of storage and communication back to the organization’s intranet.

While this solution doesn’t solve all of the challenges listed above, it does solve most of them and people tend to accept risk over convenience. This means that while many people don’t want company data on their devices (typically because they don’t trust that personal information is secure from the employer) the MDM solution offers a reasonably secure, cost-effective and very convenient solution.

For more cybersecurity tips from Hikvision, click here. For additional resources, visit our online Cybersecurity Center.

IMPORTANT! This model requires non-standard firmware. Do Not Install standard firmware (e.g. v.4.1.xx) on this model. Doing so will permanently damage your system. You must use custom firmware v.4.1.25 from the iDS-9632NXI-I8/16S product page.

View the most updated version of this document here:


The I-series NVR (such as the DS-7716NI-I4) is one of Hikvision's most popular and feature-rich recorders. As such, many firmware revisions have been introduced over the years to continually ensure the product is compatible with the newest technology available. Due to the many revisions, we recommend that the user closely follows the instructions below in order to reduce the amount of time spent as well as the chance of failure.


Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable IP cameras are introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.


After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimized. If you are experiencing issues where playback is expected but not found, make sure "Database Repair" is performed as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.


Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommended that NVR configuration file is exported from the NVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.


Upgrading from v3.4.92 build 170518 or Older

  1. All recorders must reach v3.4.92 before proceeding further. Upgrading from versions before v3.4.92 directly to any version of v4.X will likely cause the recorder to fail.
  2. If the recorder is already at v3.4.92, a full factory default is highly recommended before upgrading to any version of v4.X. There is a high chance of unit failure (requiring RMA) if the unit is not defaulted before upgrade.
  3. After reaching v3.4.92 and performing a full factory default, an upgrade directly to v4.50.00 is acceptable.
  4. After the upgrade is completed and the recorder is reprogrammed, it may be beneficial to perform a Database Repair. For details, refer to the section "Database Optimization and Repair" above.
  5. To verify repair progress, you may refer to the HDD status, or search the recorder log for repair started and stopped entries. Note that while the HDD is repairing, new recordings are still being made, but some existing recordings may not be searchable until repair is complete.
  6. If you continue to observe playback issues after database repair, ensure there are no power, network, or motion detection issues. Should the problem persist, contact technical support.


Upgrading from Any v4.X Build to v4.50.00.

  1. Any v4.X build can be upgraded directly to v4.50.00.
  2. Export configuration is highly recommended before performing the upgrade.
  3. If upgrading from any v4.X version that was not v4.22.005, a Database Repair is recommended. Refer to Step 4 and onwards in the previous section.



Downgrading is not recommended. Due to new features and parameters constantly being added, downgrading may cause the NVR to factory default itself or require a manual default to operate properly.

View the most updated version of this document here:
K-Series DVR upgrade instruction
The Turbo 4 Hybrid DVR K series has multiple models and across different platform and chipset. It also has similar firmware development of other recording product line; DVR K series has also introduced the GUI4.0 to ensure the series to be compatible to the newest technology available. The new database architecture is also brought into the DVR firmware v4.0 to be future proof and for better recording search experience. 

Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable cameras introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.
After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimize. If you are experiencing issues, where playback is expected but not found, please make sure to perform "Database Rebuild" as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.

Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommend exporting DVR configuration file from the DVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.


Action after firmware upgraded 

1. Upgrade the DVR according to the chart above. 

2. Reconfirming Channel's Recording Schedule 

    - Confirm channel's recording schedule is enable. 

    - Check if the channel is on correct recording schedule.

3. Double Check Storage Setting

    - Make sure all channel are assigned to record on its HDD group when the Storage setting is under Group Mode. 

4. Perform Database Rebuild locally. 

    • Some version above support Database Rebuild via web access - K51 and K72

    • Perform Database Rebuild regardless if system is having any database issue symptom. 

    • Database Rebuild process is average ~30 to 60min per TB. The process may still varies depends recording data.

    • After Database Rebuild - Check log to confirm Database Rebuild has went thru properly. 

    • If Database Rebuild Started and Stopped log has been log only within few minutes. Database rebuild may not has been completed properly. It is strongly recommend performing the Database Rebuild again.

    • To check log > System > Log > Information > Database Rebuild Started and Stopped.

    • If the log option is not available - access system via SSH can also obtain similar result.

5. Recording Data is still missing after database rebuild process. 

If the data has not been recorded or has been overwritten, Database rebuild process is not able retrieve those lost data. Have the system upgraded to the latest available firmware version above to prevent any future data lost is strongly recommended for all application.





In light of the global semiconductor shortage, Hikvision has made some hardware changes to the DS-76xxNI-Q1(2)/P NVRs, also known as “Q series.”


These changes do not have any effect on the performance, specifications, or the user interface of the NVRs. For the ease of reference, these modified units are known as “C-Version” units. This is clearly indicated on the NVR label and on the box by the serial number.


The only difference between the “C-Version” and “non-C-Version” is the firmware. The firmware is not interchangeable:


  • The C-Version NVRs must use firmware version v4.31.102 or higher.
  • The non-C-Version (Q series) NVRs must use firmware version v4.30.085 or older.


Please do not be alarmed if a “Firmware Mismatch” message pops up on the screen during the firmware upgrade. This simply means that the firmware does not match the NVR’s hardware. Simply download the correct firmware and the upgrade will go through without any issue.

By downloading and using software and other materials available via this website, you agree to be legally bound by HIKVISION General Terms of Use . If you don’t agree to these terms, you may not download or use any of those materials.

If you are agreeing on behalf of your company, you represent and warrant that you have legal authority to bind your company to the General Terms of Use above. Also you represent and warrant that you are of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which you reside (at least 18 years of age in many countries).