Hikvision Banned for U.S. Government Use: Find Out Why

    Recently, the U.S. Government banned certain camera manufacturers from being installed at government buildings.  The two companies currently banned are Hikvision and Dahua, with more likely to follow. Manufacturers in China are often pressured or required by – or are owned by – the government to install backdoors into systems.  Backdoors are ways for outside sources to log in without the knowledge of the user. The back doors on certain manufacturers from China could allow foreign governments to gain access to U.S. city, state, and federal building information.  Firewalls, access control lists, and other security features are not equipped or capable enough to thwart any malicious activity that could be had.

 

         A bill has passed in the House stating that the two companies listed above are banned.  Currently, only two are banned, but other foreign companies could be added to the list. While the U.S. enjoys a myriad of technologies from around the world, countries with less than stellar reputations of spying could be examined for truthfulness.  Currently, some of the top companies in China are used in the U.S. – such as Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE, among others. While not all companies from China (or foreign nations in general) are banned in the U.S., government and private sector companies may wish to be proactive in their approach to choosing security solutions for their facilities.

 

    If you’re a governmental building, then choosing Hikvision or Dahua to operate within the building will not be allowed.  With other security manufacturers possibly being added to the list, companies and government departments should seek out U.S.-owned or highly trusted foreign producers such as Vicon, Samsung, or Sony.  While this ban currently only applies to government buildings, private businesses using these brands are still at risk of being taken advantage of by espionage from these backdoors.

 

      Keeping people safe should be the primary focus of security cameras.  This can be done in a variety of manners: real-time monitoring, cameras with analytics, and environment-specific cameras.  These cameras should be placed in specifically identified locations best suited for maximum performance of the system. Should the cameras become compromised from a hijacker or (in the case of Hikvision and Dahua) a backdoor access method, sensitive information could become public knowledge and/or be used in a way that was not intended.  Do you want traffic patterns of employees and patron to be public knowledge? Do you want prying eyes looking at the new piece of technology your company just created? Do you want sensitive client information viewable outside of your building? These are the questions one should ask when considering a camera solution.

 

   Some towns, cities, states, and other government buildings have been forced into making a painful purchase of more cameras – as prior purchases were of manufacturers are now banned.  This could have been avoided with proper consulting and design. Trendset Communications Group is one of the leading installers of trusted and safe cameras. Only after carefully vetting, analyzing, and testing, will TCG install a customized solution for a client.  TCG wants its clients to be satisfied and happy with their solution to avoid having to re-purchase any proposed solutions in the future and instead save money for other projects that need attention.

About the author: william elias

William Elias is a member of the TCG Engineering Department.
Currently he is into all things technology.
CCNA Route & Switch, BS in Information Technology and BBA in Business Management

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