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Mar 01, 2023

Chinese-Made Cameras Pose a Threat to National Security

Recent news reports have highlighted concerns about Chinese-made cameras installed in Leinster House, which may be reporting back to China and pose a significant national security risk to the parliament of Ireland. This is not the first time that Chinese-made telecommunications equipment has come under scrutiny for potential security threats, as the US government banned the use of certain brands of cameras and other telecom equipment via the FAR Section 889 Ban in 2020.

As a leading cybersecurity provider in the UKI region, Armis wants to raise awareness of the risks associated with these devices and offer our assistance in protecting our customers from these threats. The security risks associated with Chinese-made cameras include data breaches, espionage, and surveillance. These cameras could be used to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information, steal intellectual property, or engage in espionage activities.

The Potential Risks are Real

The use of Chinese-made cameras, particularly those produced by Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, poses a significant threat to national security if proper security measures are not put into place. Even though these cameras have been banned in several jurisdictions, some government institutions and businesses still use them. This represents a major threat to organizations, as hostile actors could exploit these devices to access sensitive systems and data.

According to data from the Armis platform, 10% of all IP cameras installed in our global customer base are from Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company. This alarming figure shows that the use of these cameras is still widespread, particularly in the manufacturing and healthcare sectors where they account for 9% and 1% of installations respectively.

The fact that many organizations lack visibility into these devices means that they are at a higher risk of being exploited. To avoid such incidents, organizations must improve their visibility over their networks to understand if they have these cameras installed and assess what level of risk they pose. This involves the need to have risk-based mechanisms in place that can detect any banned equipment in use.

Armis is Here to Provide Assistance and Support

At Armis, we understand the criticality of such security threats, and we have a platform that can help organizations identify the presence of these cameras in their networks. Our platform provides real-time visibility into all connected devices on the network, including IoT and unmanaged devices like cameras. We can identify the specific make and model of the camera and provide our customers with recommendations on how to best protect their networks. You can also build policies based on what devices Armis finds in your environment to alert you if any of this equipment is being used in a suspicious or malicious manner. And you can also build policies in Armis that automatically block, quarantine, or sanction devices.

To mitigate the risks posed by these devices, it is crucial that organizations take proactive steps to address them. They should conduct regular security assessments and audits to identify any vulnerabilities and ensure that they have the necessary controls in place to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches. This includes enforcing strict access controls, using encryption to protect data, and implementing security monitoring and incident response procedures.

In conclusion, the use of Chinese-made cameras represents a major threat to national security, and organizations must take proactive steps to address these risks. By improving their visibility over their networks and implementing the necessary security measures, they can protect their systems and data from exploitation by hostile actors. Armis is committed to helping our customers in this endeavor and providing them with the necessary tools to secure their networks against such threats.

To learn more about how Armis can help protect you from these risks, schedule a live demonstration today.

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