Cisco: Hikvision Hired Us

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 16, 2017

The day after Hikvision's backdoor was confirmed by the US Department of Homeland Security, Hikvision issued a press release about a 'cybersecurity collaboration' with Cisco inside China, with Hikvision USA touting that Hikvision was 'adding cybersecurity credentials.'

The release was atypical for Cisco, which normally includes their own contact person and quote. The Hikvision release had neither, just statements from Hikvision.

In this note, we share a statement from Cisco about Hikvision and examine the potential impact of this move.

Cisco Statement

Cisco's security public relations team responded to IPVM, making clear that Hikvision was a customer of theirs:

Cisco’s secure product development, lifecycle management and supply chain security practices are all industry-leading examples of our commitment to security. As such, Cisco often works with many global customers to help assess and identify opportunities to reinforce the security of their own business. Our top priority is the satisfaction and support of our customers, and we are supporting Hikvision to provide the support their business requires. That said, we do not publicly disclose confidential customer account information, and have to direct you to Hikvision for further information.

PR Benefit

Given Cisco's overall brand and status as one of America's largest technology companies, Hikvision hiring Cisco is a strong public relations move and money well spent. While Cisco has been unsuccessful inside video surveillance, Cisco is clearly one of the most well-known technology companies worldwide so associating themselves with Cisco helps to counter the damage to Hikvision's reputation from the backdoor.

Engineering Benefit

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Beyond the public relations benefit, depending on what information or help Cisco provides, this could improve Hikvision's software development process, assuming the backdoor was an engineering error, rather than intentionally placed. However, Hikvision's press release is so vague (meeting, phases, collaboration, etc.) that is impossible to assess how much real engineering improvements are being made.

Second Attempt / Also Rapid7

This is not the first time Hikvision has hired outside help for cybersecurity. In 2014, cybersecurity specialist Rapid7 discovered multiple vulnerabilities in Hikvision products. Following Hikvision's first major cybersecurity crisis in 2015, Hikvision hired Rapid7 to "to perform a penetration test and vulnerability assessment of [their] products."

Rapid7's benefits to Hikvision appeared limit. In addition to not being widely known outside of the cybersecurity segment, evidently Rapid7 did not discover the backdoor that was not fixed for more than 18 months after Hikvision said Rapid7 was assessing their products (whether Rapid7 missed it or Hikvision restrained their efforts is unknown).

Hikvision / Cisco Impact

Hikvision hiring Cisco is a smart move, though framing it as a 'collaboration' and/or an endorsement from Cisco is debatable, since Hikvision hired Cisco. The plus side remains that Hikvision can tout the Cisco brand as a rejoinder to their poor cybersecurity track record and may benefit on the development side if they incorporate guidance from Cisco.

6 reports cite this report:

Hikvision Corrects False Cybersecurity Announcement on Jun 18, 2018
Hikvision has corrected a false cybersecurity announcement that claimed a British government-sponsored program endorsed the cybersecurity of...
Genetec CEO: You Cannot Buy Trust on Feb 14, 2018
Genetec's CEO, Pierre Racz, delivered a direct message at their channel partner conference: Racz has become a focal point in the industry debate...
The 2018 Surveillance Industry Guide on Jan 16, 2018
The 300 page, 2018 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Hikvision Admits Backdoor 'PR Issue' on Oct 24, 2017
Hikvision is admitting a problem. The backdoor itself is evidently not the problem for them. The problem, according to Hikvision, is a public...
Hikvision Happy With Bad Security Unless Hit With Bad Press on Aug 28, 2017
Hikvision is happy to have bad cyber security unless they are hit with bad press, as we detail inside. When you look at the pattern of their...
Hikvision Hardening Guide Recommends Port Forwarding on Jun 09, 2017
Hikvision's Network Security Hardening Guide recommends port forwarding as a 'standard configuration', highlighted below: In this note, we...
Comments (34) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
Hikvision Chairman Warns Of AI New Entrants Victimizing Customers on Mar 12, 2019
Hikvision chairman Chen Zongnian has warned that customers will become “victims” of AI hype from new industry entrants, even saying such newcomers...
Congressional Letter Calls Out US Companies Supporting Dahua and Hikvision on Mar 11, 2019
A bipartisan Congressional Letter has called out US companies that 'support' or have 'commercial ties' to Hikvision and Dahua and how they are...
Hanwha Moves Global Manufacturing From China To Vietnam - Factory Visit Report on Mar 05, 2019
In a Vietnamese industrial zone surrounded by rice fields and small countryside towns, Hanwha Techwin has started a factory that produces most of...
Dahua Posts Slowing But Strong Revenue Growth 2018 on Mar 04, 2019
Despite significant job cuts in China, Dahua's revenues grew more than 25% last year hitting a total of ~$3.5 billion USD, according to its latest...
Milestone Adds Anti-Abuse, Anti-China 'Copenhagen Clause' on Feb 26, 2019
Milestone announced, at its annual MIPS Americas partner conference, the addition of a 'Copenhagen clause' that strengthens their human rights...
Axis Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 26, 2019
Despite more product shortages, but strengthened by increasing cybersecurity and China concerns, Axis' favorability, amongst 200+ integrators in...
From The Basement To Buried Behind Chinatown: ISC West Emerging Technology Zone on Feb 22, 2019
What does ISC West think about 'Emerging Technology'? Well, last year, they put those companies in the basement. This year, they moved them up to...
First US State, Vermont, Bans Dahua and Hikvision on Feb 21, 2019
The first US state, Vermont, has issued a ban on a number of Chinese and Russian manufacturers including the world's 2 largest video surveillance...
Massive Leak Of Chinese VMS Provider Exposes Xinjiang Surveillance on Feb 20, 2019
A subsidiary of China’s claimed largest VMS provider is tracking the precise location and ethnicity of millions in China’s Xinjiang region,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Hanwha Tax Evasion Probe, Camera Division Implicated on Mar 19, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact