Cybersecurity – Are Your E-911 Systems Prepared?

When it comes to Cybersecurity, the latest plague for all organizations—including emergency 911 response—has been ransomware. Just how bad a problem exists depends on the source and the time period, with statistics ranging from a rise of 600% in cybercrime during the pandemic, to a report finding that in 2021, ransomware attacks affected a total of 2,323 local governments, schools, and healthcare providers, with a similar trend for 2022. 

Realities of Ransomware

As of a few years ago, dozens of E-911 centers have been targeted, taking many emergency services offline, putting public safety at risk. In the 2020 case of the Lawrence County, TN 911 center, fortunately the ransomware attack did not take down its phone or radio systems, but dispatchers were forced to operate by hand due to the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) being out of commission for over five days until the system could be replaced at a cost of $20,000. Municipal threats have not abated, including a ransomware attack on Linn County, Oregon, on 1/24/22

Last year, the FBI compared ransomware attacks to 9/11 for its similarity in scale, and are treating this explosion of cyber crime as terrorist attacks. reported nearly one-third of cities and counties would be unable to tell if they were under attack in cyberspace. Unfortunately, even though interoperability efforts are increasing, the burden is still on municipalities to protect their own two-way radio and related dispatch systems. 

Cyberthreats are expected to continue in creativity and cost, and the expectation should be when, not if your organization will be targeted. 

How Can Emergency Response Avoid Cyber Attacks?

The digital landscape is rapidly changing, with ever-increasing complexity in technology and problems, and a challenge of resources from budgets to skilled cyber security talent. The leading option for protection is contracting with a trusted, experienced source for an expert security plan and implementation. As your organization contemplates outsourcing, it’s critical to consider a service provider who can provide unified security management and visibility across networks, devices, ensuring mission-critical responsiveness, resiliency and availability while providing a predictable cost. 

Motorola is a leader in cybersecurity, most recently announcing the establishment of Public Safety Threat Alliance (PSTA), the first information sharing and analysis organization (ISAO) dedicated to public safety recognized by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Public safety members of PSTA will be able to share and analyze public safety cyberthreat information from multiple sources. This alignment more completely positions Motorola solutions as a leader in security trends and responses. 

A cybersecurity provider like Motorola, with the right people, technology, and proven processes, can proactively monitor and manage your E-911 department’s security needs to prevent or stop issues before they progress to major headaches. 

Managed Security Services

Managed services means your organization can receive the expert trained and dedicated security assistance you need while easily controlling costs throughout budgetary cycles. Three main security services are recommended for Emergency teams to deliver 24/7 threat management and data protection across all networks, endpoints, cloud infrastructure and applications. 

Security Patching

Security patching provides your first line of defense against cyber attacks. All software needs to be patched–whether it sits on a desk or runs on a server, resides on a chip or in an app. We help streamline your organization’s patch management by identifying and validating required updates, conducting extensive testing to ensure the system is ready and implementing installations on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly cadence.

Security Monitoring

Proactive security monitoring helps you stay one step ahead. Our team of experienced, highly-trained and certified security professionals are staffed 24/7 at our Security Operations Center (SOC) and are dedicated to monitoring the secure state of your LMR and emergency call handling networks. We provide reporting services to ensure real-time visibility in your system’s security performance as well as data analysis to improve ongoing security health. 

Advanced Threat Detection and Response

With resources in high demand, we can help your organization perform threat investigation and incident response around the clock. Our advanced security orchestration and automation platform reduces noise and prioritizes threats for your enterprise IT team. We offer a co-managed solution to give you the flexibility you need. You can be assured that your organization has 25/7 monitoring for cloud, network, and endpoint security—including ongoing threat and vulnerability insights. 

At Day Wireless Systems, not only do we have decades of experience with two-way radio and supporting systems and software, we’re a Software and Solutions Authorized State & Local Manufacturer’s Representative for Motorola Solutions. Contact us to start a discussion about your customized E-911 cybersecurity solution.

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