What Schools and Government Facilities Can Learn from Louisiana Cyberattacks and State of Emergency

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Homeland Safety Systems Vice President Mike Elliott comments on the importance of utilizing HR5515-compliant surveillance equipment to protect Louisiana schools

Homeland Safety Systems

Homeland Safety Systems

Any institution or entity that receives federal funding and chooses not to comply with this directive by August of 2020 will be at risk for losing their federal funding. This includes schools and universities.

Homeland Safety Systems VP, Mike Elliott speaks out today on the importance of compliance of security cameras and computer networks as it relates to the HR5515 - John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA).

“We all need to do our part to ensure that any and all surveillance equipment in a public facility such as Government buildings, Schools, Prisons, or Municipalities are safe from malware and network attacks and in compliance with NDAA.”

Commenting just days after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an emergency declaration in response to cyberattacks on multiple Louisiana school districts, Homeland Safety Systems reminds the public to start adhering to compliance with the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA).

The NDAA prohibits any institution that receives federal funding from utilizing Chinese video surveillance and telecommunications equipment that could be vulnerable to attack by foreign governments.

The State of Louisiana learned first hand the dangers of using vulnerable security equipment, in late July 2019 when multiple Louisiana school districts were attacked by hackers.

This attack occurred only a month after a city in Florida agreed to pay a group of hackers $600,000 to return control of their city's computer network, and was the first test of Louisiana’s emergency support functions related to cybersecurity. The emergency declaration will remain in effect until August 23, unless terminated earlier.

This is only the very latest in a rash of bold attacks on cities, businesses, and institutions in the United States. Two Iranians were indicted in 2018 for Cyberattacks in Atlanta and Newark, as well as nearly 200 more. As such, it only makes sense that the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 would address this vulnerability. “These hackers and foreign governments are getting bolder,” says Mike Elliott today, “and if we don’t take action and get these systems out of our schools, prisons and government infrastructures, we’re leaving ourselves wide open.”

The NDAA prohibits the use of surveillance or telecommunications equipment made by companies like Dahua and Hikvision for any government facility or government-funded organization. These products are proven to be vulnerable to spyware, and attack by foreign hackers with malicious intent. Any institution or entity that receives federal funding and chooses not to comply with this directive by August of 2020 will be at risk for losing their federal funding. This includes schools and universities.

“Even if you don’t receive federal funding now, why would you spend money on something dangerous to your consumers and to your family that will be obsolete in a few years anyway?” Elliott says. “If we as a country can get rid of these security systems that these hackers can break into and encrypt and steal or control, we can stop relying on foreign governments to provide security for ourselves and our children.”

Homeland Safety Systems is a GSA Schedule 84 approved United States-based security infrastructure solutions company who currently operates in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, with anticipated growth into Texas within the next year.

Homeland Safety Systems manufactures, sells and services NDAA-compliant cameras and uses a security solution to keep government facilities, prisons and school systems safe. All of their surveillance, security and telecommunications, and networking equipment are NDAA-compliant.

To speak with someone at Homeland Safety Systems, please visit their website homelandsafetysystems.com.

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Seth Winterer
Digital Logic
+1 (318) 678-5020 Ext: 1
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Homeland Safety Systems, Inc.
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