This is part three of a multi-part blog series.
The topic of password security has been spoken about continually for the past two decades. However, passwords continue to be a problem for almost every organization, and "password" and "qwerty" are still among the most common passwords in the world. Let's go through seven basic facts about authentication and see if your accounts are as secure as they should be.
Over the next decade, it is very likely we will see more methods of authenticating users without passwords. Organizations are moving in the right direction. The Bank of Utah is monitoring the way users type, while Motorola Mobility has gone so far as to imagine a world where we take pills or use tattoos to log into computers. Unfortunately, it is also likely we will still see passwords in use at work and at home for many years to come. Good password practices and awareness can help decrease the risk associated with them.
Lesley Carhart is a Senior Information Security Specialist in the Motorola Solutions Security Operations Center. She has 13 years of experience in information technology, including computer networking and tactical communications. For the past five years, she has focused on security, specializing in digital forensics.
Read past blogs by Lesley Carhart here:
The APCO 2013 conference was held in Anaheim California last week, and it was an exciting week full of great discussions with our customers. If you were not able to join us at APCO this year, I thought I would share with you some of the highlights from Motorola Solutions' presenters in our booth at the show.
Rachael O'Connor from our ASTRO 25 team talks about the latest enhancements to the powerful ASTRO 25 Mission critical system which helps public safety agencies around the world.
Citizen text to 9-1-1 is an issue facing PSAPs everywhere. Brian Frommelt from our command center team talks about new capabilities that can allow citizens to text to their 9-1-1 center.
Aggregating information and sharing it in real time with officers in the field is a challenge agencies face. New technology is making it possible and Ryan Seick from our Public Safety applications business is going to explain a new application for tablets or laptops that simplifies data aggregation, Intelligent Data Portal.
Motorola is constantly innovating new public safety concepts and part of that process is asking for customer feedback. At APCO Julie Folden from our Public Safety Application business was demonstrating a new thought leadership concept using Google® Glass to enhance information access for the officer on the street. Check it out as we look into the future to see what's next.
This is an exciting time in public safety communications, as new capabilities become available to connect citizens and officers in the field with the right information at the right time. This is just a slice of some of the new and exciting offerings to help agencies respond more effectively.
Please take a moment to visit our Public safety web site or check back to our blog site where we will continue to address the challenges that public safety faces with new and innovative thought leadership solutions.
Liz Matz is a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager for Motorola Solutions.
This blog features the following Motorola Solutions employees:
Rachael O'Connor, Motorola Solutions - ASTRO 25 Systems & Infrastructure Operations, Strategic Marketing Manager
Brian Frommelt, Motorola solutions – NG 9-1-1, Senior Product Manager
Ryan Seick, Motorola Solutions, Lead Applications Manager
Julie Folden, Motorola Solutions, Public Safety Mobility Applications Product Manager
Today, public safety has access to a lot of information sources that might be relevant to an incident, but the challenge they face is making the information usable in mid-incident. This week at the APCO conference in Anaheim, I was talking to conference attendees about Motorola's Real Time Crime Center Solution and how we can help them to take information such as video camera inputs, CAD, voice and make it usable in real time to improve incident response. If you were not able to attend the show and would like to hear about this aggregation platform, I encourage you to watch my video.
Check back to this blog site where you will find additional discussions around the topic of Real-Time Crime Centers and how setting up a center in your town can help you to provide better situational awareness. If you would like more information today drop me a comment and I will get back to you.
Steve Beach is a Motorola Global Solutions Engagement Manager focused on helping police departments unify existing information sources, aggregate them on a single platform and then deliver that intelligence to first responders.
It's often said that what you don't know can't hurt you. But in public safety, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, perhaps the biggest challenge first responders face is being forced to deal with the unknown.
Public safety CIOs are tasked with the important job of making sure the right information gets to the right people, in the right way, at the right time. Over the years, the quality of information and the ways it can be collected and communicated have improved substantially. And more recently, we entered the era of “collective intelligence,” where everybody and an ever-increasing number of “things” can produce and consume information. It's not simply pushed out to individuals in the field, but is shared among team members and disparate teams via two-way broadband communication technology to increase situational awareness.
For example, each individual or team at an incident scene has a unique perspective and can collect information that may be unknown to others. Next generation public safety wireless communication networks will make it possible for everyone on the team – from dispatch to command to individual first responders – to access, contribute and share critical information in real-time.
The collective intelligence era correlates with the advent of the ubiquitous broadband wireless internet, smart devices, cloud computing and social networking. Essentially, we are taking the social networking phenomenon and applying it to public safety in a structured way. Agencies are communicating and collaborating in a social, interactive way over land mobile radio (LMR) and broadband networks. Public safety professionals are able to interactively collaborate over a variety of communication technologies and portable devices to bring up-to-the-instant knowledge to response teams as events evolve and are resolved.
For example, a SWAT team dealing with a hostage situation can use two-way streaming video for communications and collaboration. High performance bi-directional communications allow the “feet on the street” to not just access the collective, but dynamically contribute content to it. Video is captured on the scene by officers on the ground, in vehicles or in helicopters, by the general population, or it may be filmed by robots or drones.
Constant feeds of images and information from different perspectives are streamed to the on-scene mobile command unit. The team leader then directs the video feeds to provide responders with the most relevant information, and disseminates the video to whoever needs it to enhance safety with improved situational awareness.
Collective intelligence is just as critical on a fire scene, for example, at a chemical plant. Incident command centers and individual firefighters can access a wealth of real-time information on wireless broadband devices such as ruggedized handheld computers. Each team member can gain immediate access to building details such as floor plans, sensor inputs, location of hazardous materials and more. They can also get streaming video from various angles and perspectives. When the incident commander in the mobile command center views live footage from a helicopter or drone, he sees what the team on the ground can't see: that the cut they're about to make to vent the roof is being made in a less than optimal place. The commander annotates the video to the team leader, who then moves the venting operation to a more effective location.
Public Safety LTE will be essential to deliver exceptional real-time situational awareness and allow managers to prioritize and pre-empt traffic whenever necessary in emergency situations. Although still in the planning process, FirstNet – the nation's proposed coast-to-coast interoperable public safety broadband network – will ultimately enable first responders in every part of the U.S. to communicate and collaborate with others in times of statewide, regional or national emergencies like hurricanes, major floods or acts of terrorism.
Bottom line – collective intelligence systems help save first responders and the public from the dangers of the unknown. It's also a future paradigm enabled by technology. We can only imagine how it will play out based on advancements in broadband networks, portable devices and public safety applications.
Learn more about collective intelligence.
Paul Steinberg is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Read additional blogs by Paul Steinberg here.
Over the course of my career, I have had the unique opportunity to meet with public safety customers around the world. What’s interesting is that no matter the size of their organizations or their location, they face the same challenges. And I hear the same question again and again, "How will technology help keep my citizens safer?"
To answer this question, we need to consider the rapidly changing operational landscape for public safety agencies. Two of the biggest new realities are the ever-increasing volume of data and the growing complexity of devices and networks available.
Big data is changing how government and public safety works. It drives decisions and helps allocate resources. But almost daily, there are new kinds of big data to contend with. Police departments understand that fixed and mobile video are critical to the evidentiary process; however, an agency may have only one analyst watching 1,500 camera feeds and may struggle with effective ways to store and share all of the data. Social media has transformed citizen expectations, but emergency call centers are not prepared to handle the flood of new information, let alone process texts, photos and videos. Data is important – 89 percent of public safety decision makers agree that mission critical data is as important as voice communications – but so is managing it.
The Need for Mission Critical Networks
Every agency should have a plan for public and private network communications. The weight given to each network depends on agency requirements. The disasters over the last few years have proven that public carrier networks are not designed to be mission critical. You need to find a balanced approach that will give you the reliable, always-on connectivity required to keep citizens and cities safe. A mission-critical architecture provides that, along with the security to keep networks, devices and data access secure.
The Right Plan
Today, you have all this data, volumes and volumes of it, much of it unstructured. You also have a wide range of network issues to deal with as a result. You may be thinking: "I need a plan, what’s my plan? What will my needs be five years from now? How will I connect the dots and get where I need to be?" It’s important to have a plan in place to figure out how to get there. That plan needs to answer a few key questions:
Mission critical technology plays an important role in architecting that plan. It should be tailored to your agency needs, flexible enough to adapt and evolve with you as those needs change, easy and cost-effective to migrate over time, and intuitive to how public safety works – both in the command center and out in the field. At the end of the day, it really comes down to using the data you have to do your job better, be more proactive and work more efficiently.
My development team at Motorola continues to look for ways to use technology to keep responders and citizens safe. With our VALR™ Mission Critical Architecture, we enable agencies to collect, correlate and share data between existing sy
stems, responders in the field and other agencies – helping to improve response and keep cities safer.
Bob Schassler is Motorola's Senior Vice President for Government Solutions.
To learn more about how our VALR Architecture can help your organization, click here.
APCO 2013 is almost here! More than 5,000 attendees are expected to attend this major trade show for public safety communicators, which kicks off on August 18th in Anaheim, California. This year's theme is "Connect, Innovate and Accelerate" – with a focus on the newest advances in public safety communications technology.
I wanted to highlight a few of the interesting seminars you might want to attend while you are at APCO:
Monday Aug.19 - 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., Presentation Theater
Alf Fordham, the assistant Commissioner of Intelligence and Communications, Western Australia Police, and Tom Gross from Motorola Solutions, will talk about technology advancements that can enhance your operations, whether responding to or preventing crime and protecting the community. These senior leaders will share their experience and vision blending systems like CAD and Real-Time Crime Centers to drive enhanced intelligence practices.)
Tuesday, Aug. 20, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., Anaheim Marriott Platinum Ballroom
The 2012 film "Argo", which starred Ben Affleck as CIA operative Tony Mendez, told the story of how Mendez engineered and oversaw the extraction of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis. At this keynote breakfast, Mendez and his wife, Jonna, both former CIA Chiefs of Disguise, will talk about the experience and share lessons learned.
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., Presentation Theater
Public safety is a heavy user of the T-Band (470-512 MHz) spectrum in the top 11 urban areas. Congress passed legislation that requires the FCC to auction that spectrum for commercial use by 2021 with public safety clearing out of the band by 2023. Come and listen to a panel of experts and users, including Stu Overby from Motorola Solutions, as they address potential spectrum options, relocation costs and timing, and recommended next steps.
Partnerships with Utilities for the 700 MHz National Broadband Public Safety Broadband Network
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 3:45 p.m.
As potential partners are considered for the construction, maintenance and operation of the 700 MHz public safety broadband network (PSBN), utilities are among those under consideration. Mike Koch of Motorola Solutions participates in a panel discussion on the concept, where utilities could provide access to infrastructure and other resources, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Partnering with utilities can also promote opportunities for improving interoperability during emergency response, such as hurricanes and other disasters.
And don't forget to stop by the Motorola booth, where we will be demonstrating some of the most advanced solutions for public safety, from the Real-time Crime Center to the latest in in-vehicle and on-the-officer communications. Learn how we are creating a mission critical architecture that will help you to unify your data and provide dynamic intelligence to officers in the field.
I am really looking forward to the show this year, and we hope you are too. Learn more about the show on the APCO 2013 site and follow @MotPublicSafety and hashtag #APCO2013 on Twitter to keep up with event happenings. If you are not able to attend APCO, check out the latest in public safety communications from Motorola here.
Alan Lopez is Director of Government Solutions Marketing for Motorola Solutions.