Cybersecurity Takes Center Stage at ASIS 2017

Sept. 26, 2017
Newly released products and features at the show focus on network and cyber features

DALLAS - With ASIS coming right on the heels of the Equifax breach and the continuing fallout, there is little doubt that cybersecurity will be top-of-mind for both attendees and exhibitors on the show floor.

In fact, the cybersecurity theme can be found across the technology spectrum, with many companies – especially in the video surveillance space – promoting educational materials, product features and even dedicated cybersecurity products in Dallas.

While many companies are touting their timely firmware updates and general cybersecurity posture when it comes to their video surveillance products, I came across three companies that actually launched dedicated, cybersecurity-focused products and product-specific features at the show (Did I miss something? See the end of the article to submit your ASIS show findings!)   

Port Guardian from ComNet (booth #1509): Port Guardian is a firmware-based feature that comes standard with the company’s newest self-managed switches. Since it is embedded firmware-based, it can be retrofitted to select older managed switches as well. “Unauthorized network access is a very credible threat,” explains ComNet VP of Marketing Skip Haight. “Preventing that access or cybersecurity is a very important consideration and should be an important product category.”

Through any external network TX port, an experienced hacker can gain access to a network and control the devices connecting to it – including IP cameras, but also IP-addressable intrusion, access, fire, intercom and other potential points of network access. Port Guardian physically disconnects a cyber-attacked port when it detects tampering.

“As we all know, edge IP devices are physically connected to the network by typically a UTP cable through a standard electrical TX port. If that connection is tampered with by disconnecting the cable from the TX port, Port Guardian physically locks out that port’s connection to the network,” Haight explains. “In simpler terms, if someone has plans to disconnect an external IP camera and hack into the network through that camera’s network port with a computer, as soon as that cable is disconnected, Port Guardian physically disconnects that port from the network preventing access. At that point, an SNMP message is sent to the head-end/ADMIN notifying of the attempted access/port lockout so that it can be reset when the threat has been eliminated.”

Haight adds that the product is immune to IP address spoofing.

CyberVigilant from IndigoVision (booth #1023): CyberVigilant monitors and detects network cybersecurity anomalies specifically for IP cameras and NVRs. It is integrated with the company’s Control Center VMS and can detect and report illegal configuration access attempts, network reconnaissance, device access from unauthorized clients, shell access, use of unauthorized DNS and NTP servers, and Denial Of Service (DOS) attacks.

Launched here at ASIS, the product is literally a physical box that a user or integrator plugs onto a network. Senior Product Manager Ivor Eathorne says the company will unveil future products with the CyberVigilant technology built-in.  

The technology monitors all network traffic coming into security cameras and NVRs using port mirroring technology built into network switches. “As soon as suspicious network activity is detected – such as a hacker trying to load malware onto it or disrupt its operation – an alarm with contextual information about the attack is sent to the VMS with accompanying email, sound or light alerts based on the nature of the attack,” Eathorne explains.

Dahua Cybersecurity Initiative (booth #4145): Dahua has announced it will be implement new cybersecurity initiatives incorporated into its products on a global basis. “Cybercriminals have evolved into a major source of disruption for individuals, businesses and governments world-wide,” says Janet Fenner, Head of Marketing, North America, Dahua Technology USA. “By investing in the development of improved cybersecurity initiatives and new systems products with higher resistance to cyber-attacks, Dahua’s efforts will help to better protect their customers against cyber attacks and help further harden protection for the entire global networked community.”

According to a press release, the cybersecurity initiative from Dahua includes a range of activities designed to improve the security of video surveillance products themselves, as well as to improve the security of broader processes, including installation, deployment, and ongoing management. For example, one initiative focuses on authentication for administrative access. As a result, default accounts are no longer included in new devices, with changes implemented in the installation, admin access, and ongoing management processes. Other initiatives resulted in similar broad impacts, including better management of identities, session security, data security, and more.

Razberi CameraDefense (booth #3870): This new software product will be embedded in all Razberi ServerSwitchIQ appliances. “With CameraDefense integrated into our appliances, our video surveillance platform acts as a watchdog to protect the camera ecosystem with automated camera hardening, a secure appliance architecture and real-time security alerts,” CEO Tom Galvin said in a statement. “Our solution enables integrators to consistently implement best practices without requiring additional firewall products and special expertise.”

Upon attack detection, the software can block unauthorized Internet of Things (IoT) devices from using Ethernet ports; restrict camera access to whitelisted IP addresses; and includes a firewall.

What did you see on the show floor? Drop me a line at if you saw (or demonstrated) some new and interesting cybersecurity-related products and features at ASIS – they may be included in the post-show edition of this article.  


Paul Rothman is Editor in Chief of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine. Access SD&I's current issue, archives and subscribe at Pick up a free copy of SD&I at ASIS booth #2125 or in the publication bins outside the show floor. 

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