The 2019 NDAA and Power Substation Security: Are Your Camera Systems in Compliance?

Electrical Substation

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) banned the purchase and use of certain video surveillance cameras manufactured in China, and requires all federal government agencies, contractors, and critical infrastructure to remove, or have a plan to remove these cameras effective August 13, 2019. Based on Congressional testimony, the purpose for the ban mainly stems from cybersecurity concerns and the potential for mass espionage by the Chinese government. The ban includes some major camera manufacturers and their OEM partners.

In July 2019 the NERC issued a Level 2 Alert that identified the following manufacturers as subjects of the NDAA ban: Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company. The NERC also issued a list of recommendations to identify and mitigate the risks posed by these products.

However, identifying which cameras are subject to the ban is more difficult than you would think. If your cameras do not have the Hikvision or Dahua logo on them it doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. That’s because Hikvision and Dahua are the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for many big-name surveillance camera companies and dozens of smaller ones. Companies like Honeywell, Bosch, Panasonic, Lorex, Stanley, and Tyco have used, and may continue to use components and cameras manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua and rebrand them as their own through a process called “white labeling”.

How Do You Know if Your Security Camera System is in Compliance with the NDAA?

Ask your security integrator/installer. If they do not know the answer right away they can contact their supplier. Also, IPVM.com offers a directory that lists the OEM partner companies that use Hikvision and Dahua components.

“After NERC issued their alert, we received several calls from our power co-op customers to inquire whether our video surveillance systems included cameras that were banned by the NDAA. Because we exclusively use Axis Communications IP cameras for our power substation security camera systems, I was pleased to tell our customers that their systems were in compliance.” said Jeff Doak, CEO of i2c Technologies.

i2c Technologies designs deployable video surveillance units for power substation security. Axis Communications, headquartered in Lund, Sweden, is the market leader in IP camera technology and their cameras are not included in the ban.

i2c Technologies has partnered with the Cooperative Response Center (CRC) to provide video verified monitoring for their customers. We offer covert and overt video surveillance units which feature high-definition cameras and thermal imaging for superior detection. Request a quote online and ask about our special pricing for CRC customers.

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