Expertise, vigilance and responsiveness in managing your mission critical communication system can give people back the time and peace of mind they need to be their best.
Ever had a leaky faucet? A broken toilet? It happens in our homes, often at an inconvenient time. You have two ways to fix the problem, do-it-yourself or call an expert. Doing it yourself often requires multiple trips to the hardware store, reading a few manuals, searching on line, giving up a few hours of your time and experiencing a lot of frustration. Calling in an expert you trust means the job gets done right, you can go about your daily activities and you eliminate irritations; staying calm.
Do-It-Yourself Can Lead to Worry and Frustration
Much like a leaky faucet but on a grander scale, a mission critical communications system is a complex set of technologies woven together. Managing all the complexity can cause your work teams to constantly need to develop new skill sets, worry about what might happen next, address fire drills and become frustrated and exhausted keeping everything working right.
Use Experts to Manage the Complexity
When a natural disaster strikes such as a tornado, flood or hurricane, you’ve purposely designed your communication network to be always available keeping your workforce mobilized end-to-end.
But even with all of the best plans, natural disasters can tax a system as complex as a public safety communication system. Off-loading the seamless deployment and management of your communication system to a trusted, capable partner can leave your team free to focus, on your operations, the mission and not the systems you use. A team of specialists will work side-by-side with your team, anticipating problems before they are problems and putting corrective actions into place. Now you can simplify the complexity of deploying and managing technology with support from mission-critical communication experts, who deliver an always on, resilient, private and secure communication network.
Let Calm Prevail
Having a comprehensive service plan is not just about managing the technology; it is about giving your organization back time and peace of mind. Allowing your personnel to feel calm and confident that the right plans are in place, the right people with the right skills are on the job and peace of mind that everything will work. It’s what it feels like when you trust your technology partner and move forward with minimal second guesses or what if’s.
Free your teams to move faster and think further ahead with mission critical communications that maximize your operational efficiencies. Watch Manage the Complexity. Calm Prevails.
Josie Slaughter is Head of Services Marketing at Motorola Solutions.
Check out our Managed and Support Service offerings and get peace of mind from a company you trust.
From Equifax and Uber to Meltdown and Spectre, cyber attacks and data breaches are making headlines globally. As cyber crime continues to proliferate throughout both the public and private spheres, governments and businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about their cybersecurity – and with good reason.
While the total number of data breaches and record exposures often fluctuates, organizations are seeing a continued upward trend. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2017 hit a new record high, increasing from the previous high established in 2016 by nearly 45 percent and compromising more than 174 million records.
In addition, the cost of cyber crime is accelerating. The Center for Strategic and International Studies now estimates that the annual cost of cybercrime to the global economy is more than $400 billion USD. Rapid digitalization is expected to increase the cost of data breaches to more than $2 trillion globally by 2019.
Cyber threats have evolved rapidly in recent years and are no longer relegated to a limited number of skilled individuals. New threats such as “cyber hurricanes” – a single attack where hackers disrupt large numbers of companies through common internet infrastructure dependencies – mean businesses are more concerned than ever before. In addition, malware-for-hire, bot net, exploit kits and ransomware packages have lowered the bar for cybercriminals and created new vulnerabilities. Cyber risk has now moved into the top two global business risks, according to the seventh annual Allianz Risk Barometer Survey.
It is clear that cyber is becoming a critical threat to both governments – faced with a potential for undermined national security – and businesses – tasked with storing confidential customer and client information. The result is a growing focus on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity products and services are fueling the global market, with spending expected to reach $170 billion by 2020.
Despite the attention cyber attacks continue to garner and despite the growing calls for increased cybersecurity, many organizations struggle to comprehend and manage emerging cyber risks in today’s increasingly complex digital society. This is compounded by an emerging cybersecurity workforce gap. According to the Global Information Security Workforce Study, this gap is on pace to reach nearly 2 million by 2022. Already, 51 percent of agencies report that they could use at least one more employee to cover necessary data security tasks.
In a world which is increasingly dependent on digital technology and interconnectedness – developing resilience to withstand cyber attacks is critical to future success. Advanced cyber attack techniques, new attack vectors from open networks, an industry-wide lack of security expertise and a disconnect between spending on cyber tools and increased security are challenging the implementation of a holistic cyber strategy. Read the full Motorola White Paper here to learn more about the evolving cybersecurity landscape.
Troy Mattern is the Vice President for Product and Services Cybersecurity at Motorola Solutions.
When lives are on the line, you need reliable, secure, unbroken communications. From the most extreme moments to the day-to-day, emergency personnel depend on mission critical communications to do their jobs effectively and keep our communities safe – it is their lifeline.
Today, mission critical communication plays a vital role in enabling emergency personnel to stay connected and protect communities around the world. Public safety organizations and agencies – including national, local, state and regional police, fire, and emergency medical services – have long turned to narrowband, two-way radio for their mission critical communication needs. These land mobile radio (LMR) networks have long served to deliver proven, reliable voice communication in life-and-death situations.
However, public safety needs are evolving – and that evolution requires new forms of communication. The past fifteen years have seen advances in mobile broadband technology drive the growing demand for real time data. Within public safety, agencies are leveraging this advanced mobile intelligence to access video, pictures and location data to resolve incidents and make informed decisions in real time. As organizations continue to incorporate data into their workflow and mobile broadband plays a larger role in the mission critical communications mix, agencies may find themselves struggling to navigate the complex and ever-evolving mission critical public safety communications landscape.
More than 20 years ago, Motorola Solutions recognized the need for an efficient, easy-to-understand benchmark for evaluating technology choices. In response, we introduced the five Cs of critical communication – coverage, capacity, cost, control and capability. Today’s environment requires you to consider a sixth C – cybersecurity.
Together, these six Cs play an important role in effectively assessing mission critical communications. You want to make sure you make the best decisions for the people on the front lines. With a multitude of information discussing the pros and cons of both LMR and mobile broadband, making the right choice can seem like a daunting task.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be! In fact, many industry leaders argue that the right solution for public safety is to leverage both options in order to achieve mission critical communication success. Today, and in the near future, there is no one system that can successfully provide both mission critical voice and broadband data communications. As public safety agencies around the world explore different ways to address their needs for reliable communications, the solution is to leverage both LMR and mobile broadband. These serve as complementary technologies – with LMR providing essential mission critical voice communications and mobile broadband providing additional data-driven capabilities. Together, they provide a collaborative solution that is able to respond effectively and efficiently to today’s public safety communication needs.
By bridging these two technologies and connecting LMR and mobile broadband networks together, public safety agencies are creating forward-thinking, collaborative networks that address all of the six Cs of mission critical communications – coverage, capacity, cost, control, capabilities and cybersecurity.
Capacity: Are your communications systems capable of supporting everything and everyone they need to during times of crisis? Will calls be prioritized so the most important information gets through first? A successful mission critical communication system seamlessly handles mass call volumes, prioritizes important calls and ensures necessary agencies are able to access the network. It must be engineered to address peak usage and right-sized to your organization’s specific needs to ensure calls always get through – regardless of the circumstances. Current LMR networks are designed for emergencies with capacity calibrated for maximum usage. By including mobile broadband, your agency is able to extend your user base and ensure that all critical individuals are able to access the communications network.
Coverage: Does your system meet your unique geographical and performance requirements? No one can predict where the next incident will occur. You need a robust communication system with superior coverage across your entire jurisdiction and sufficient back-up and redundancies to prevent communication gaps and losses. Infrastructure should be easily supported and serviced to ensure your network stays up and running when it’s needed the most. As LMR devices transmit with more power, LMR networks often require less infrastructure to provide the same level of coverage. This streamlined infrastructure is easier to support. In addition, LMR devices also work in Direct Mode Operation (DMO) if the network does goes down, allowing them to communicate device-to-device. Running collaborative LMR and mobile broadband networks means you can have the mission critical voice and data coverage you really need. The resiliency of P25 LMR networks in Florida and Texas was proven during recent events – including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey – where the systems continued to operate with minimal disruption of coverage.
Control: How much control do you want over system requirements, design, features and operations? Is it important for your organization that your system is configured for a specific use case? Many public safety agencies want a high degree of authority over their systems. They want control over the coverage and capacity of the network. But they also want to control who has access to the system and who has priority, monitor what changes need to be made and when, and track the status of all users. In addition, these controlled networks streamline management and provide network health visibility at all times. Bridging your LMR and mobile broadband networks, giving you unified fleet maps, access rights and prioritizations means you have the control of your network you need.
Costs: How would your return on investment improve if your system supported both voice and data? Your agency doesn’t want to have to compromise mission critical features because of budgetary concerns. Analyzing the cost of both LMR and mobile broadband networks highlights two very unique, divergent financial structures. Traditionally, implementing an LMR network requires a larger one-time initial financial output to develop infrastructure, followed by ongoing, set monthly fees for upkeep and services. Conversely, subscribing to a commercial mobile broadband network is less expensive at the outset, but recurring airtime fees and other data charges can be unpredictable. Determining if the expense scales appropriately with the size of you fleet will be something you need to consider. In addition, mobile broadband requires more bandwidth than narrowband LMR systems, meaning additional sites may be needed to provide the same level of coverage. Building a plan based on collaboration between LMR and mobile broadband networks can provide your organization access to the most up-to-date communications technology for both voice and data and give you access to the capabilities you need while reducing your implementation and operational costs.
Capability: Voice is critical, but does your organization also need data capabilities? Through multiple generations of development and user experiences, LMR systems provide a number of functions essential to mission critical operations. Push-to-talk, intuitive design, rugged construction, unique ergonomics, advanced noise cancellation and high-capacity batteries are all features that have been incorporated into LMR devices with the customer’s environment in mind. Robust priority and pre-emption, dynamic grouping, even low-latency call setup are all inherent to LMR technology, ensuring that a critical call gets through. In addition, LMR technology is decentralized and built for resilience – if part of a network goes down or is disconnected from the rest, LMR continues to operate. Multiple levels of redundancy and fallback modes are built into the networks to minimize service disruptions under even the harshest of conditions. With a design philosophy born in delivering mission critical audio, LMR is unable to support the wide diversity of data-driven applications provided by mobile broadband. Today, 70 percent of agencies believe access to real-time date in the field is ‘critical.’ Mobile broadband continues to open up the world of video streaming and data applications, providing emergency personnel with access to real-time surveillance video, high-resolution photos, bi-directional vehicular video, and dynamic mapping and routing. This, in turn, is improving operational efficiency and promoting intelligent decision making. With LMR and mobile broadband providing their own set of unique capabilities, choosing between the two can be a challenge. By bridging both technologies, your organization is able to take advantage of the robust offerings provided by LMR and mobile broadband - mission critical voice and mission critical data. This synergy between voice and data is the future of mission critical communications.
Cybersecurity: Are your mission critical communications secure? Globally, the number of cybersecurity breaches has increased by nearly 30 percent annually. It is clear that security is a real concern for public safety agencies. As communication evolves to include voice, data and video capabilities, the risk of cyber attacks for both LMR and mobile broadband networks is expanding. Mobile broadbands’ variety of applications and internet connectivity introduces new opportunities for breaches. With LMR voice communications, the movement away from self-contained, proprietary technology toward IP-based infrastructure and broadband interconnectivity is increasing network “attack surfaces.”So whether you are utilising LMR, mobile broadband or both you need to be aware of cyber security threats. Fortunately, both LMR and mobile broadband networks continue to adapt to emerging cyber threats, including additional security measures, continued updates and innovative encryption services. Looking ahead, those networks that utilize security best practices and open standards will be better positioned to protect against cyber attacks.
When it comes to mission critical communications, having the right technology for the right operations is key. As data continues to proliferate and networks become increasingly complex, bridging LMR and mobile broadband enables your organization to combine their unique strengths into a blended network that best meets the complex demands of public safety. Leveraging the best of both LMR and mobile broadband ensures your organization has all of the six Cs of mission critical communications – coverage, capacity, cost, control, capabilities and cybersecurity.
John Kedzierski is Corporate Vice President of Systems and Infrastructure Solutions at Motorola Solutions.
(1) “5 Trends Transforming Public Safety Communications,” Motorola Solutions, 2015.
(2) “Cost of Cyber Crime Study,” Ponemon Institute and Accenture, 2017.
In a new whitepaper, we explain how agencies can shift to a holistic, risk-based approach to security and why it matters now more than ever.
Cyber “resilience” is a term you may have heard in the news lately. While most agencies acknowledge the importance of protecting their networks and are actively creating and refining policies to do so, they still tend to lag behind other industries in terms of overall security scores. So, what exactly is meant by cyber resilience and how can agencies use resilience principles to more effectively defend their infrastructure?
That’s the topic of our new whitepaper Cyber Resilience: Implementing A Holistic, Risk-Based Approach to Security and it’s well worth a read for anyone charged with protecting their agency’s data.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, resilience is “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. Resilience includes the ability to withstand and recover from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally occurring threats or incidents.”
Cyber resilience is a perspective that marries information security, business continuity, and resilience. It aims to help government and business prepare, prevent, respond and recover from cyber breaches. It is also a wholesale shift in thinking from earlier, individual cybersecurity efforts such as anti-virus programs, firewalls, and perimeter security that were touted as cure-alls that could be bought, installed, and essentially forgot. Cyber resilience counsels that security is an integral part of an organization’s core business, its processes embedded in every level of day-to-day operations with complete buy-in from IT departments, all staff, and the most senior executives and board members.
Compare this to many security strategies in place today that are often driven by the response to specific attacks or the need to meet compliance requirements and deadlines—not by a holistic approach to risk-based security.
The whitepaper lays out four serious challenges to implementing a holistic, risk-based strategy including the advancement of cyber-attack techniques, the fact that spending on cyber tools alone doesn’t ensure security, new attack vectors from open, interconnected networks, and the industry-wide lack of security expertise to tackle the problem. It then argues that The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, is the best guide to help meet these challenges and manage cyber planning.
The whitepaper demonstrates how this framework can be simplified and adapted to meet your agency’s need. It then provides a realistic example of a public sector breach to explain how the framework can help agencies in all phases of resilience including Identify, protect, respond and recover.
Read the full Motorola Whitepaper here and learn why forward-looking agencies are shifting to a risk mindset, focusing on mitigation options, continuous monitoring, diagnosis and remediation to evolve security practices.
Troy Mattern is the Vice President for Product and Services Cybersecurity at Motorola Solutions.
It was a nightmare scenario: John Smith (name is changed) the director of a mid-size Midwest PSAP (Public-Safety Access Point), got a call in the middle of the night. His IT manager said there was a possible DDoS attack. Workstations and mobile data began to lock up quickly as the attack spread.
John’s first thought: we just invested in a bunch of anti-virus software and bought new, state of the art firewall and hardware solutions. How did this happen?
John’s experience is one faced by PSAP directors around the country and serves as a cautionary tale from a recent article authored by Motorola Solutions: An Introduction to Cybersecurity for the PSAP.
The article argues that too many PSAPs, like John’s, focus solely on software and hardware solutions instead of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. While technology is important, so are well-defined processes and fully trained staff. A thorough understanding and implementation of best practices from standards bodies such as APCO, NENA, CJIS, NIST, and others are also critical.
The article serves a high-level guide to help readers implement an end-to-end cybersecurity solution based on the NIST Cybersecurity framework, including technology, processes, and people.
One of the most important aspects of an end-to-end cyber strategy, according to the article, is getting a handle on its overall scope. PSAPs must define the systems and data to protect, looking at systems such as CAD, reporting, and telecom and especially often overlooked systems such as radio, mobile data applications and devices, access control systems, and IIoT devices. Once the full cybersecurity scope is defined, along with a full understanding of risks and threats, cybersecurity processes can be developed and put into place.
Well-run PSAPs closely adhere to a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Cybersecurity should be no different. A well-constructed SOP ensures smooth operations, especially during times of crisis, while helping to manage risk and liability. The SOPs also form the foundation for an employee training program, creating a written record that ensures everyone is clear on their responsibilities and roles within the cyber strategy.
People are the most important element in any cybersecurity strategy. That’s why it’s so important for all employees, not just the IT department, to understand their roles and be able to carry out their responsibilities according to the cyber SOP. Ongoing employee training and testing as well as continuously refreshed risk assessments are critical pieces of the SOP and integral to a successful cybersecurity strategy.
NIST Security Framework
Fortunately, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) designed a framework to help agencies create cybersecurity strategies. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework defines the technologies, processes, and people necessary to create a PSAP SOP and provides guidance on five key areas: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.
For PSAP Director John Smith, and other men and women throughout the country facing the same challenges, a detailed and complete end-to-end cybersecurity solution based on the NIST Framework is the best defense against cyber threats. By integrating technology with processes and people, PSAPs can take a proactive approach to cyber security and will never have to wonder how a devastating breach could have threatened their operations.
Read the full article, An Introduction to Cybersecurity for the PSAP.
Marilyn Barrios is the Senior Cybersecurity Training Specialist at Motorola Solutions.
April 8 – 14 is designated as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week to honor 9-1-1 Emergency Call Takers and Dispatchers who serve as the lifeline to thousands each day who need help. 9-1-1 service has been a part of our lives for 50 years, and this is the one week each year dedicated to recognizing the importance of the work these men and women do. However, the role they play in our communities is critical to remember and appreciate every day.
It takes a special kind of person who is expert at facing a workshift full of unpredictability, having tremendous patience and dealing with tons of stress. The role requires being detail oriented, quick, courteous and calm during the chaos of emergencies…and, their actions may mean the difference of life and death.
The dedicated service of these hidden heroes, who are the essential link between law enforcement and emergency response personnel, is priceless and vitally important. At Motorola Solutions, we are humbled and proud to work alongside thousands of PSAPs and Emergency Communications Centers and to equip Call Takers and Dispatchers with the tools to successfully answer calls for service including CallWorks, VESTA, PremierOne and Spillman Flex.
Thank you, First, First Responders for all that you do!Dan Twohig is the Vice President of Software Enterprise at Motorola Solutions.