Hikvision Senior Cybersecurity Director Offers Tips to Stay Safe & Reduce Vulnerabilities for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

October 7, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Cybersecurity Director Offers Tips to Stay Safe

The 17th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) kicked off last week on October 1, aiming to help raise awareness and help Americans stay cybersecure. To facilitate the goal of raising awareness, Hikvision senior director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, provides insights below on vulnerabilities and tips to stay safe.

The 2020 NCSAM theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” and “encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity,” according to the website.

Read below to learn more about vulnerabilities.

What are Vulnerabilities?
“Vulnerabilities are a topic that I speak about frequently and that is often misunderstood. I thought it would make for an easy and informative blog, explaining vulnerabilities at a level where the average computer user can understand the topic,” said Davis, in this Hikvision blog.

A cybersecurity vulnerability is a weakness in software that, when exploited, can give an attacker the means to do something malicious or unauthorized.

Vulnerabilities affect our everyday lives, even though most of us don’t think about them on a daily basis. In part two of Davis’ vulnerability blog, he said “We are all using unpatched, vulnerable computers. It’s just not part of our daily concerns, and it shouldn’t be. However, we need to be aware that vulnerabilities exist in all computers and take defensive action.” He added that: “All computers have vulnerabilities. With very few exceptions, this is a reasonable assumption. Additionally, all IoT devices are computers so all IoT devices have vulnerabilities.”

Automatic updates are routine for our smartphone and home computers. Apple, Microsoft and Google routinely push software updates to these devices every month. Automatic updates are an essential part of good security hygiene to keep your systems and network secure.

Some devices, many on your home network, do not automatically update. For example, if you find your home router does not update automatically, find one that will.

In his vulnerabilities part two blog, Davis said: “Unlike your smartphone and personal computer, many home routers do not have the ability to receive automatic updates and patches for known vulnerabilities. It is certainly inconvenient that this is the one device that is protecting your home network from regular Internet attacks and the only way that it will be patched is if you, the owner, checks the website of the manufacturer of the router to see if there is an update. If so, you have to manually download and install that update. Did anyone tell you this? No, and as a result, there are countless numbers of vulnerable routers that are directly connected to the Internet and vulnerable to an attack. Check if your router updates automatically, if not, it’s probably time to get a new router.”

Hikvision has an extensive catalog of blogs on trending cybersecurity topics. Simply visit our cybersecurity blog link here and learn more tips to help you stay cybersecure.  

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.

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