Hikvision to open R&D center in Montreal, research institute in Silicon Valley

Jeffrey He shares his plans, responds to industry buzz on cyber issues
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif.—Hikvision USA Inc., based here, and Hikvision Canada Inc. announced last week that Hikvision plans to establish in 2017 an R&D center in Montreal and a Research Institute in California’s Silicon Valley, underscoring the company’s commitment to North American integrator partners, and supporting its presence in the enterprise market.

“This will allow us to be even more in tune with the needs of the North American security market and to engage with the tremendous talent available in the regions,” Hikvision USA president Jeffrey He told Security Systems News. “We have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to expand our presence in North America and to bring dedicated professionals onboard. Our biggest investments have been in engineering, sales, technical and customer service and marketing, to support our move to the enterprise market.” He expects to have more than 400 employees in North America by the end of the year.

These investments are exciting because “Hikvision is developing advanced technology that goes far beyond the standard video surveillance offerings,” said He, who noted that the company will introduce commercial drones on a limited basis in North America by the end of 2017.

In the area of cybersecurity, the recent security system hacking incident in Washington, D.C. “proves that [every] manufacturer in the security industry … should take responsibility for providing really strong cybersecurity systems,” said He, who noted that no Hikvision equipment was involved or affected in the attack. 

“There are a few industry people in the blogosphere who intentionally downplay Hikvision’s engineering capability and capacity,” He said, adding that Hikvision’s engineering “talent and determination” should not be underestimated.  

He pointed out that Hikvision will continue to be vigilant about cybersecurity threats, and “to lead the industry” in terms of cybersecurity best practices.

“We have put those practices in place internally, we do active outreach to educate our partners, and we also work with our competitors and others to help out with industry-wide cybersecurity efforts,” said He. “Resources like our Network and Information Security Lab, the Hikvision Security Response Center, ISO/IEC 27001 certification, and the Hikvision Security Center are testament to our industry-leading practices.”

In 2016, the company launched a Penetration Test Team to ensure application-level security. “We’ve hired cybersecurity experts in China and here in North America to help guarantee product safety throughout the product safety development cycle,” He explained. “Our cyber experts are also working directly with our integrators, helping them with issues, concerns and best practices. Hikvision also works with third-party companies to do penetration testing.”

In response to the Chinese government backdoor allegation, “This is a wild and totally unsubstantiated accusation that comes from irresponsible and unreliable sources,” He said. “Hikvision has sold tens of millions of network-connected devices—IP cameras and NVRs that sit on the Internet. Our equipment has been researched and validated countless times, and no such government backdoor has ever been found in our products and there is no report anywhere in the world that the Chinese government has access through Hikvision equipment. Hikvision never has and never will design ‘backdoors’ in its products.”

The company continues to experience significant growth worldwide and the “North American region is one of the fastest growing regions for us,” said He. “2016 was a tremendous year for Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada, and we look forward to more success for Hikvision and the security industry in 2017.”

Hikvision Canada Inc. also announced the launch of a French language website to better serve its growing customer base in French-speaking Canada and to continually expand its footprint in the North American security market. The French website complements the Hikvision Canada website, which was launched in August 2016.

Based in Hangzhou, China, Hikvision has more than 8,000 R&D engineers, and it dedicates about 7 to 8 percent of its revenues to R&D. The North American R&D center and research institute will be the first established outside of China.