June 09, 2020

Chinese Camera Threat And Solution

Security is all about transparency and China is anything, but transparent. Hence, it’s no surprise that authorities across the globe are concerned about Chinese surveillance brands like Hikvision, Dahua and their dominance in their respective local market. The recent concerns by US Congress , UK Parliament and Indian Government highlights the penitential threat, such Chinese brands put to any nation’s security and privacy. While US Congress has passed a resolution to remove all the Chinese brands from sensitive installations, it’s almost impossible to identify these brands. Apart from this, unearthing the interlinks and interdependence of varied established brands on these Chinese opaque firms is practically impossible too.

"Given that many other Dahua products contain this exact same backdoor, we strongly recommend against connecting any Dahua products to critical or sensitive networks.

ReFirm - Maryland-based cybersecurity company

In the present state of affairs, a lot of the business, for these brands, comes as an OEM or part supplier for other cssamera companies. Therefore, the potential threat that brand like Sony, Panasonic carry components from such OEMs cannot be ignored. This leaves the end user with virtually no options, but to remove the whole network and start from scratch.

A complete overhaul of the networks is practically impossible and financially improbable to achieve. Apart from financial impact the time frame to accomplish such a task will be too high, as most of the systems have evolved over the years and cannot be replaced overnight. And the means to guarantee that the new hardware will not have the compromised chips or components are inexistent.

In such a scenario the users seem to have just one option and that is to put the system offline and take it as a standby installation. This will practically slaughter the benefits of the surveillance networks, and throw the whole system backward, by decades. Larger installations, which are under higher threat of such compromised products cannot ever take this route as a lot of monitoring and management depends on remote access.

"“Video surveillance and security equipment sold by Chinese companies exposes the U.S. government to significant vulnerabilities.Removing the cameras will “ensure that China cannot create a video surveillance network within federal agencies,” "

Vicky Hartzler - Republican from Missouri, USA to US Congress

At such a stage, technology can be the only solution to the technological threat. Getting rid of the system is not an option, but controlling the system is. A network security approach cannot only restrict any unwanted remote access but also ensure that all the data accesses are logged and user controlled. Honestly, as the hardware itself, is in question, the best approach would be to block the complete network access to it. A parallel cloud-based solution can be used to create hardware access with the limitations. This approach can guarantee that there is no data breach and system remains intact. It also gives a scope to slowly start taking care of compromised parts, while blocking the access immediately.

Camncloud’s cloud-based system is already well-settled to do it at the spur of the moment, as smoothly as the breeze flows. With complete user-controlled platform, the data access to cameras can be managed individually. Through On-Demand system larger organizations can even gauge the minute details like who has accessed the cameras, when has it been accessed and for how long the viewers observed. The sensitive installation can retain complete control over their video feeds. In layman terminology, Camncloud’s technology and brand agnostic approach mean the camera of all brand can be integrated into a single cloud network, making integration easy and reliable.

Security is the concern of the hour and a compromised system is worse than no system. The need of the hour is to adopt a holistic approach towards surveillance networks, as only 10% compromised devices, can defeat the purpose of all the systems.