What are NDAA Compliant Security Cameras?

Can you purchase any security camera you want when upgrading or replacing your business’s surveillance system? Well, it depends. If you plan to work with any federal agency or want to be extra careful of the brands you choose to integrate into your system, then you need to read this article.

Contrary to popular belief, not all security products in the security camera industry are created equal. Due to heavy regulation, many video surveillance cameras and security systems are currently banned for federal government use. These banned products include components from Chinese manufacturers listed in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

In this article, we will give you an overview of what are NDAA-compliant security cameras and how you can ensure that your surveillance system is compliant.

NDAA Compliant Security Cameras Explained

NDAA compliance revolves around adhering to the regulations outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act. This act prohibits using products and services from companies owned or controlled by the Chinese government.

The primary objective behind this prohibition is to mitigate potential security risks associated with using technology manufactured by entities that may have affiliations with foreign governments.

How Does NDAA Impact Security cameras?

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) restricts the use, procurement, or sale of certain brands of surveillance equipment for federal agencies. Federal agencies are prohibited from purchasing equipment from these brands, but they can’t do business with contractors that use surveillance technology from backlisted products.

The NDAA specifically bans security camera brands, including Huawei, Hikvision, and Dahua. The ban also includes any brands that may function under or as part of these companies, including brands affiliated with these companies.

Security camera NDAA compliant

To Whom Does the National Defense Authorization Act Ban Apply?

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) applies primarily to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and its related federal agencies, as it is an annual federal law that authorizes defense spending and sets policies related to national defense.

The FBI, National Park Services, fire departments, and the military are just a few examples of government entities. Security integrators can’t sell surveillance equipment to government agencies or their contractors under these brands.

According to the regulation, federal agencies are prohibited from working with contractors who use or offer unlawful surveillance equipment. The regulation is far-ranging and encompasses new contracts and renewing or extending existing ones. 

It also applies regardless of whether the contractors utilize the NDAA-compliant cameras for government contract work. While the act focuses on prime contractors, subcontractors also have to comply. 

Also, learn more about NERC CIP Compliance

NDAA security compliant camera.

NDAA impacts companies like Dahua and Hikvision.

How to Make Sure Your Cameras Are NDAA Compliant?

The best way to know if your surveillance technology complies with the NDAA is to get a comprehensive audit with a security integrator experienced in identifying equipment with approved and banned components. Find out your security camera’s OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and verify if they are on the NDAA-compliant list.

Video Surveillance Regulation 

Video surveillance regulation is a vast and often complicated world covering everything from privacy and data protection issues to health and Federal laws. In addition to NDAA compliance, if your business or organization operates security cameras, there are additional video surveillance regulations to be aware of, such as: 

https://getsafeandsound.com/security-camera-installers/

List of NDAA Compliant Brands

Even government agencies need help to ensure NDAA compliance since many brands employ products or components from other manufacturers. On the other hand, some manufacturers have gone above and beyond to ensure that their surveillance systems are NDAA-compliant cameras.

NDAA-Compliant Manufacturers include:

  • Avigilon

  • Axis Communications (Axis Security Cameras-Swedish Company)

  • Bosch

  • BCD International

  • Digital Watchdog

  • FLIR

  • Mobotix

  • Seek Thermal

  • Solink

  • Speco

  • WatchGuard

  • Vivotek

  • 360 Vision Technology

  • SureVision (American Company)

  • ACTi Corporation (Taiwanese Company)

  • Hanwha Techwin America

  • Digital Watchdog

This is not a comprehensive list. There are always new updates and changes in the video surveillance world, so it’s best to review your security camera system and keep up with the latest updates.

NDAA Impact on Cybersecurity

There’s no doubt that cybersecurity is an essential consideration for a video surveillance system. NDAA regulation has many cybersecurity provisions on topics from ransomware to incident response. In addition, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review their security cameras and apply the latest firmware updates.

Specifically, CISA has warned organizations that some cameras made by Chinese video surveillance vendor Hikvision are affected by a critical vulnerability. Securing your video surveillance system is the most crucial step to mitigating risk and yields substantial benefits for protecting your data. Therefore, it is best not to install non-NDAA-approved security cameras.

Secure Equipment Act

In addition to NDAA, another reason you should reconsider purchasing NDAA-compliant cameras that are not NDAA-approved is the Secure Equipment Act. This legislation requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prohibit the agency from reviewing or issuing new equipment authorizations for companies placed on its so-called “Covered List” of organizations whose equipment and services are considered a threat to national security.

Camera PTZ information

What if My Cameras Aren’t NDAA Compliant?

You are not obligated to purchase NDAA-compliant hardware if you’re not a government-funded agency or have contracts with government agencies. It is, however, strongly advised that you use NDAA-compliant hardware.

In addition, if you’re working with a vendor, they should be able to confirm that they exclusively employ surveillance products, security cameras, and recorders from allowed sources for cameras, sensors, and other devices.

How to Find a Security Installer that knows the NDAA regulations?

All the major security camera manufacturers have published information regarding their compliance with NDAA. In addition, some of the most popular security camera manufacturers have statements on their websites. Examples include:

  • Axis Communication: “We are pleased to affirm that our entire product portfolio, which includes solutions marketed to the US government, Department of Defense (DoD) and associated contractors and affiliates, is fully NDAA-compliant.”

  • Avigilon (Motorola Solutions): “We will be manufacturing critical, NDAA-compliant safety and security video solutions on the doorstep of American public safety agencies and businesses.”

  • Flir: “Backed by proven cybersecurity improvements, NDAA compliance, and technology features that optimize performance in harsh weather and environmental conditions, these FLIR security cameras are ideal for cyber-hardened security systems for critical infrastructure and government applications.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8bGuEub1S4&t=26s&ab_channel=AxisCommunications

Lastly, remember that reputable security companies and integrators are forthcoming with compliance information, so don’t hesitate to ask specific questions related to NDAA regulations. Security professionals at Safe and Sound are ready to help you and are well-versed in the NDAA rules.

FAQs

What does the NDAA stand for?

NDAA stands for the “National Defense Authorization Act.” It is an annual federal law passed by the United States Congress that authorizes the budget for the Department of Defense and sets policies related to national defense. 

The NDAA addresses military spending, troop levels, equipment procurement, and strategic objectives.

What are NDAA requirements?

NDAA requirements mandate specific security measures for businesses, including data encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regular risk assessments. 

Brands like Digital Watchdog and Bosch are used widely worldwide (security industry) as they comply with NDAA.

These measures aim to protect such systems and sensitive data, ensuring compliance with stringent National security standards and reducing the risk of cyber threats and breaches, particularly in government contracts or with sensitive data.

Conclusion

NDAA regulation prevents federal agencies from installing cameras made by banned companies and prohibits them from doing business with any organization that uses them. As a security leader, integrator, or facility manager, you must avoid installing non-NDAA-compliant cameras and security systems for compliance and cybersecurity reasons.

If you plan to work with government agencies, educational institutions, or entertainment facilities or install security cameras and recorders, motion detectors, and video recorders on government property, you must ensure that your video surveillance products are NDAA-approved. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that organizations use a security camera system approved by the government as a general best practice and in an abundance of caution.

The best way to ensure your security cameras are NDAA compliant is to get a comprehensive audit with an experienced security integrator. Along with NDAA, there are other security compliance issues and video surveillance challenges that one of our certified security consultants can assist you with moving forward.

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