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Security Magazine Outlines Examples of Password Vulnerabilities, Security Breaches; Hikvision Cybersecurity Director Offers Six Steps to Reduce the Threat of Password Hack

July 18, 2018

Six Tips to Improve Password Strength, Reduce Vulnerabilities

Six Tips to Improve Password Strength, Reduce Vulnerabilities

 

In the Security magazine article, “The Plight of the Password,” the author outlined various examples of password vulnerabilities and how they can influence an organizational security breach. Hikvision has longstanding commitment to cybersecurity awareness and Hikvision’s director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, offers several steps to help reduce the threat of a password hack and improve password strength.

From the Security article: “Some of the largest public breaches have occurred in the past few years, revealing security vulnerabilities that exposed billions of pieces of personal data users assumed were protected behind the veil of their passwords.”

The author, Ted Ross, referenced a few recent cybersecurity breaches in the piece, including Twitter and Equifax. Ross also cited a high-profile incident of weak password usage by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, whose Twitter and Pinterest accounts had been hacked. Zuckerberg had been using the same password for LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Re-use of the same password across multiple accounts invites hackers to attempt to hack passwords, according to the article.

Educating Employees on Types of Risks and How to Avoid Them
Employees pose the greatest risk of introducing malware or other security breaches into organizations, but typically do not understand the mistakes they are making. Ross refers to them as “the unaware employees.” It’s important to educate them on phishing, use of strong passwords, and other precautions to avoid viruses and malware. Ross recommends that  “organizations turn to automating their tracking and breach detection, and strengthening their login and authentication,” as examples of proactive corporate cybersecurity policies.

Helping employees understand what constitutes complex passwords and how to manage them across multiple sites is a good starting point. Below, Davis provides an overview of password basics to advise employees.

Six Steps to Improve Passwords and Reduce the Threat of Hack
The following are six tips from Hikvision’s cybersecurity director to improve passwords and reduce threat of a hack or cyberattack:

  1. Create a long, strong password: Develop a strong password, which includes multiple character sets such as uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters. Make it long—eight characters or more. Davis added: the longer the password, the better.
     
  2. Change default passwords: It’s critically important to change default passwords on all devices, and set a complex password (see tip number one).
     
  3. Use a password management tool: As you create more complex passwords that differ from site to site, you may find it difficult to remember them. A best practice is to use a “password management tool,” which can help you generate and retrieve complex passwords.
     
  4. Where possible, enable the lock-out feature: Enable the password lock-out feature after a certain number of invalid login attempts, and receive notifications of those attempts. This prevents brute-force password attacks.
     
  5. Where possible, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): Enable MFA, especially where you have only a username and password protecting sensitive data. Many sites support MFA but not many people are aware that they have the option to enable MFA. The following site lists popular sites and shows how to enable MFA on those sites. https://twofactorauth.org/
     
  6. Assign unique, individual usernames: Ensure individual accountability by assigning everyone their own unique username and password, with no sharing of accounts allowed.

Some of these password tips were shared recently by Davis in a video interview with Campus Safety magazine, “How to Keep Your Physical Security Systems from Getting Hacked.” In the video, Davis said: “Hackers love to focus on defaults because they realize a lot of people don’t change defaults, whether it’s default passwords or ports or different configurations. So, always make sure you’re changing those defaults."

For more Hikvision cybersecurity tips to improve passwords, reduce hacks, and minimize security concerns and potential breaches, click here. To read the entire Security magazine article,  click this link.

 

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:

https://techsupportca.freshdesk.com/en/support/solutions/articles/17000113531-i-series-nvr-firmware-upgrade-instructions

 

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

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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