National Defence Authority Act: The Effects, the Benefits, and the Future of Security
In our ever-changing global economic climate, organisations of all shapes and sizes have prioritised security solutions to ensure their assets are protected – especially for Governments whose assets can hold great significance in terms of sensitivity and overall national security. That’s why governments have established a need to show significant diligence when it comes to selecting the security organisations that they choose to work with. From the overall running and administration of these security organisations to the components that make up the equipment itself - governments need consider everything that can pose a potential threat.
The United States’ National Defence Authority Act (NDAA) has proven to be a hot topic within the industry since its formation in 2019, especially here in the UK.As the impact of the ruling begins to make its way over the Atlantic, it poses a significant change to the industry and how suppliers will operate going forward to ensure that they adhere to the new laws.
What is the National Defence Authority Act?
The NDAA was first implemented in 2019, with Section 889 of the act coming into fruition this year. The legislature was brought in to help prohibit the use of selected video surveillance, telecommunication services, equipment, and components that are manufactured by certain vendors with the overall goal to quash the threat posed to national cyber security. There have been several companies that have been identified by the US government as organisations to avoid – including the likes of Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, and their subsidiary HiSilicon who are all major players in the security industry on a global scale. This list of companies isn’t exclusive, and more could be added to it. Section 889 of the NDAA specifies that no government organisation should install equipment that has been created and supplied by one of the blacklisted organisations and from working with contracted companies that are using equipment from those same manufacturers.
How Does the NDAA Affect Organisations in the UK?
Though the NDAA is a law that has been implemented by the US government, it potentially has serious implications for companies from across all sectors here in the UK and further afield. As both the US government and US businesses are closely aligned with global operations, the regulations outlined in the NDAA will have a greater impact than expected. Businesses based in the UK who are working for US based companies or are in the process of expanding their service to work on a global scale will be affected, as organisations and their operations become increasingly intertwined. These changes set out by the NDAA could be especially important for UK businesses who, after Brexit, are looking away from Europe and over the Atlantic for their new business opportunities.
When looking to invest in new security or telecoms equipment, UK-based companies with the USA in their sights should seriously consider avoiding equipment by blacklisted companies. Section 889 of the NDAA states that US government organisations are banned from working with companies using equipment from blacklisted organisations like Hikvision or Huawei. This means that any companies based in the UK using this technology, unless changed, may find it difficult to create or maintain connections with US businesses. It is also likely that those with connections already or are owned by a US organisation may be forced to adhere to procedures set out by sec 889, which could come a quite a cost if it means changing security set ups at short notice.
What are the Benefits of Using NDAA-Compliant Equipment?
At Videcon, we have been quick to react to the implementation of section 889, recognising the benefits of being able to give companies the option of using NDAA compliant equipment. Videcon are committed to ensuring their entire range of technology is complaint with the NDAA. As well as our own British brand, Concept Pro, we have also partnered with global security manufacturer Uniview, who have been providing compliant equipment that doesn’t use HiSilicon components since 2017.
Beyond building potential partnerships with US-based organisations, there are many benefits that come from utilising NDAA-compliant equipment – it can also provide your customers here in the UK with assurances that none of their data can be accessed, copied, or tampered with – giving them peace of mind and helping you to adhere with GDPR regulations.
Whilst generally complying with the US government and its partners is a substantial argument to avoid the ‘blacklist’ companies in Section 889, the regulations do come from genuine concerns about how data is accessed through technology. GDPR is in place to protect consumer data, and the security industry is under constant scrutiny for the way data is processed. With this in mind, we have invested in key technologies and solutions that help security professions protect data and comply with GDPR and NDAA regulations.
How does the Future Look for the Security Industry with NDAA-Compliant Technology?
The rules and restrictions that have been set out by section 889 and the National Defence Authority Act may only be the start of a security industry that is more restrictive in the technology and components that they can create and distribute – with the global economic climate everchanging and the stakes ever higher. Following the controversial decision by the UK government to continue contracts with Huawei, and having seen the impact of the section 889 in the UK, it certainly can’t be out of the realm of possibility that we could see a similar law implemented by our own government and across Europe. This possibility is even higher now in the UK as the necessity to solidify working relationships with the US following Brexit taking priority as well as our national security.
No matter your industry, it’s incredibly important to have a grasp and an understanding of the ever-changing laws around our data security and to make sure you have the correct security equipment in place to protect your business and your working prospects for the future.
For information on our Videcon range of NDAA-compliant CCTV products, you can simply give us a call on 01924 528000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in the November issue of Professional Security Magazine