Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to Prevent Phishing Hacks & Vulnerability Exploits

October 12, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article MFA to Reduce Hacking Risk

Hikvision on MFA to Reduce Hacking Risk covered the growth of cyberattacks in healthcare and use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prevent phishing hacks and vulnerability exploits in this article: “How MFA & Identity Security Can Help Prevent Phishing Scams Targeting Healthcare Companies

From the article: “Cyberattacks on entities within the healthcare system are nothing new. But they’ve increased in scale and frequency in recent years. In 2019, ForgeRock’s Consumer Breach Report cited healthcare companies as the most targeted sector in the nation. Almost half of the data breaches in the U.S. in 2019 were in healthcare.”

With ransomware and other cyberattacks likely to rise, the article recommended the use of identity security and MFA to identify vulnerabilities and prevent them from being exploited.

Phishing scams to steal credential information are the most common way that hackers gain access to healthcare data. Using MFA can prevent the ability to use stolen credentials.

How Does MFA Work?
According to the article, “If a hacker somehow manages to steal an employee’s credentials via a phishing scam or other method, to sign in with MFA, they need to verify their identity another way.” This additional identity verification is typically a text message to a person’s smartphone or an email verification.

Hikvision’s senior director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, covered MFA in this Hikvision blog. He overviews authentication, which is typically made up of two things: a username and a password. The username is meant to be the identity of the account. This is not meant to be private or difficult to figure out.

The password is meant to be the secret that is exchanged to allow the user to access the system, service, network, etc. Using just a username and password is known as one-factor authentication because the user is verifying his or her identity with one piece of evidence or one factor.

MFA adds two or more pieces of verifiable evidence or factors to the authentication process to greatly reduce security concerns by lowering the chances of an account being accessed by the wrong person. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a subset of MFA and is a means of authenticating with just two pieces of verifiable evidence or factors. A good real-world example of 2FA is using an ATM. You use something you have, the ATM card, and something you know, your pin number.

Davis recommends enabling MFA on all accounts that have it available.

Read the entire Hikvision blog at this link to learn more about how to use and enable MFA to reduce vulnerability to hacking.

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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