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.

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