"Secure by design" isn't just a marketing slogan

Monica Nascimento, November 11 2020
3 mins

Cyber risks abound whether or not NDAA-889 banning video surveillance products with Chinese chips apply to your organization

Yes, I’m in marketing. And yes, it’s for Ava, a unified security company that helps organizations and businesses protect themselves from both cyber breaches and damaging physical security incidents. But when I say the term “Secure by Design” isn’t an empty marketing slogan, I assure you, it isn’t. In fact, it means just about everything to our customersboth federal and commercialthese days.

At least it should.

Video surveillance products containing Chinese-manufactured chips are now on a banned list and must be removed by U.S. government agencies and replaced by August 12, 2021, under the NDAA-889 mandate. Many commercial businesses and enterprises, as well as agencies, as it turns out, deployed video camera equipment that unknowingly contained chips made in China that could compromise their security. Not to mention our entire national security.

It’s not unusual for federal agencies to be given stricter security mandates ahead of their peers in the commercial space because of their complex roles and the heightened security risks they pose as part of our nation’s critical infrastructure. You don’t have to be working in the intelligence field to know this makes our federal agencies preferred targets of aggressors. It is especially worrisome in today’s video security environment where so many cameras are connected to the Internet.

Often, security mandates imposed on U.S. agencies find their way into the commercial sectors. And for good reason. Everyone gets to benefit from the proven upgrade to better, smarter, and stronger security. In fact, the commercial sector is already abuzz with the implications of NDAA-889. Many are doubling back to be sure they don’t have any banned chips in their video security products.

Addressing this issue is a “must”, but it’s far better and less costly to pay attention to critical security issues from the get-go to prevent unintended compromises or the need for future fixes. Video products that are built to be “Secure by Design” take these important cyber security risks into account to provide the utmost data protection and privacy.  

The fact that Ava is a unified security provider with a cyber security portfolio means we make everything in our video security business “cyber-secure” by design.

  • Ava’s video cameras are TAA (Trade Agreement Act) Compliant, meaning there are no banned chips – there is nothing made in China. I believe that video security companies that truly care about security would insist on TAA compliance.
  • Plus, our solution – whether the video is at rest or in transit -- is cyber-hardened with always-on end-to-end encryption, factory-installed certificates, and GDPR-compliance. It also provides audit trails of both operator and administrator actions, which are automatically recorded to address the full spectrum of compliance requirements.

Can you see that baking “Secure by Design” into your security thinking and standards from the start puts your entire organization ahead of the curve? It’s not just rhetoric. Mandate or not, the cyber-security of your video hardware really should be at the top of your video security checklist.

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