It doesn’t take years of research and voice of customer meetings to identify obvious problems in today’s industries. One in particular that has plagued the public safety community has been the combining and data mining of diverse and disparate data servers of an already existing infrastructure at any agency.
With shrinking budgets and reduced personnel, the term heard over and over is “We have to do more with less.” Well, data aggregation is a key component to leveraging that already existing investment and launching agencies into the 21st century.
Data is becoming more and more important for in-field investigative work, and doing more with less can be transformed to “do more with more.” Agencies have decades of data already sitting on servers just waiting to be data mined, and unlocking patterns that aren’t easily recognizable on a peg board or whiteboard. With today’s analytics and algorithms, these programs and services can easily find patterns, identify alerts and provide actionable items on a moment to moment basis when situations are evolving.
To eliminate the complexity and bring it to the most basic form here’s a couple methods to start this migration.
•The first key to unlocking this now achievable utopia is coordinated and logical aggregation of agency data.
•The second key is leveraging unique business rules, logic and analytics to organize the chaos from decades past data.
•The third key is taking individual data points from multiple data sources and making sense out of it to allow it to become actionable intelligence.
•The fourth key to this process, is now that the data is actionable, use this data as a force multiplier and push it to the edge so that users can consume those new data sets and “do more with more.”
Motorola is making this easy with a new Software as a Service (SaaS), web based application called Intelligent Data Portal. With only a single interface, Intelligent Data Portal combines these data sources into one common operating picture and provides geo-spatial role based access and viewing of active events so responding officers, incident commander and investigators in the field or emergency operation center staff can access critical incident relevant information sourced from multiple data bases in a single, easy to use interface to enhance on scene situational awareness, better coordinated response and improve incident decision making.
With this new application launch, the public safety environment has just evolved. It’s clear that the customer needs for simple integration, simple devices and simple applications is not 5 years down the road…it’s here today. As in field operations become more focused on mobile consumption, and providing key data to the edge, your data no longer needs to remain locked in a closet behind a firewall, when the true power is delivering the right data, to the right person at the right time. It’s your data, is it working for you? Join the revolution and unlock the true potential of your agency.
Ryan Seick is Applications EcoSystem Manager / Product Manager, Motorola Solutions
Get more information and take a virtual tour of the Intelligent Data Portal.
13 Things You Should Know about the NENA 2014 Conference in Nashville
The National Emergency Number Association Conference (NENA 2014) starts this weekend from June 14th- June 19th! With more than 7,000 members in 48 chapters globally, NENA is the only professional organization exclusively focused on 9-1-1 technology, policies and educational programs. It’s no wonder more than 2,400 attendees are expected to travel to the Music City of Nashville to be a guest at this year’s show.
Here are 13 things you should know about the conference:
1. There’s a great theme! “Learn, Connect, Grow and Discover” will be the focus for this year’s show. There will be a spotlight on public safety matters of the present such the Text to 9-1-1 mandate and future strategic planning to educate audiences on E 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 migration.
2. Music City of Nashville is ready to entertain the primary attendees of NENA, including...
• Government Agency/PSAP/Call Centers…………………………………………………….. 46%
• Police Sheriff Department………………………………………………………………………16%
• System/Wireless Providers, Equipment vendors…………………………………………… 16%
• 9-1-1 Board……………………………………………………………………………………… 10%
• Fire/EMS Department, Consultants……………………………………………………………. 8%
• Other……………………………………………………………………………………………… 4%
3. Come visit the Motorola Solutions Booth #509 where we'll be showcasing our end-to-end solutions.
4. We will share our specialized solutions within the dispatch center with demos of the PremierOne™ Suite of applications.
5. We will highlight PremierOne™ NG9-1-1 Call Control showing the text to 9-1-1 capabilities and Intrado call-taking solutions Power 9-1-1.
7. One tune started it all. The Nashville Emergency Communications Center (ECC) was the First Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to deploy PremierOne CAD.
8. Don’t miss our tribute. The Nashville ECC presentation will be displayed in the Motorola booth (Booth #509).
9. We have VIP backstage meetings for a private demo of our end-to-end solutions. Private meetings and demos will be held Monday, June 16 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the booth and also at the Renaissance Hotel 611 Commerce Street, 2nd Level Room 102 Monday & Tuesday June 16 -17 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
10. B-I-N-G-O. There’s Bingo! Motorola is a sponsor of NENA Exhibit Hall Bingo with a chance to win big prizes.
11. March to your own beat and visit an ECC center. Nashville will be providing tours of the emergency communications center – look out for PSAP tour signage at Nashville ECC. Also visit the Motorola Booth #509 to sign up for the tours.
12. Get to know our band of partners. Seven Motorola partners will be at the show. Look for Motorola Solutions partner signage in the booths of Hiplink Software, Intrado, Pictometry, Priority Dispatch, Watson , Xybix Systems Inc and Cassidian.
For more information, please visit the NENA 2014 website.
Josie Slaughter is Global Marketing Manager, Public Safety Solutions for Motorola Solutions.
A fictional conversation between two officers at a local police department…
Lt. Hannah Barry sits across from Information Assurance Officer John Tomczak and passes him coffee. “So, we read an article about Durham, New Hampshire’s police department being forced to shut down their network for days due to a computer virus. Our chief is frantic. He wants to know if the same thing could happen to us.”
Tomczak nods sympathetically. “Scary news. So, what did you tell him?”
“I’m not really sure what to tell him. We do think about security. We just don’t have a lot on paper.”
Frustration flickers across the Lieutenant’s face. “I’ve looked at the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, but I’m not sure if it helps a smaller department like us.”
“Okay. NIST’s framework is a tool to help implement comprehensive information security in an organization of any size,” Tomczak explains. “It divides the basic things we have to do to keep our information secure into five general functions or stages – Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. Each of those functions contains several categories. But, the specifics of those categories can vary based on the organization and what kind of data they’re protecting.”
Lt. Barry considers this. “I think I follow. So what kind of things would an organization like us need to define in each function?”
Tomczak sips his coffee. “Well, for the ‘Identify’ function, we first need to know what is in our environment. This not only includes computers and network architecture, but also how our department functions and what data is important to secure. For example, we store a lot of confidential case data that has special restrictions.”
“Got it. You can’t secure anything without first knowing what you have to secure.”
“Exactly. We also need to bring in our risk management officer at that stage – they have to weigh our level of security and what we stand to lose against the department functioning normally.”
“… The next one, the ‘Protect’ function. I think we’re pretty good at that.” Lt. Barry interjects.
Tomczak nods in agreement. “We have some good information protection processes in place already. We have an intrusion prevention system, a properly configured firewall, and antivirus. We encrypt confidential data. Our department practices good physical and network access control – some of our critical devices are on their own network. IT is also pretty good at keeping all of our computers, radio, and network equipment patched and backed up, which is really important. One area I think we could do better at is user awareness. We only require officers and staff take Information Assurance training once a year, and I think some people click through the slides without reading. A lot of phishing emails don’t get reported, and I’m not sure everybody’s using strong passwords.”
The Lieutenant considers this. “Wow, all of that falls under ‘Protect’. What about ‘Detect’?”
“No matter how carefully an agency secures their network, there will probably be some compromise eventually. The important thing is to know as quickly as possible. I review all of our access logs against our access control list on a regular basis. Motorola Solutions monitors security logs from our internal network and our ASTRO network. When they report an anomaly to me, I make a decision based on whether we need to move to the next function – ‘Respond’.”
“Let me guess - that means ‘Incident Response’? That’s a familiar term for law enforcement.”
“Same concept. We handle a security incident using the same triage and communication skills as first responders. That means we need to develop and document response plans for a few general types of security incidents. For example, denial of service attacks, website defacement, malware outbreaks, or PII leakage. Each process should include who gets notified and how soon they’re notified. We also have to detail processes to mitigate an ongoing incident as rapidly as possible. This could mean bringing infected computers offline and replacing them with spares, adding firewall rules quickly, or retrieving system images for evidence or forensic analysis. Those things can be hard to do quickly in the middle of the night.”
“I guess it could be hard to reach the contractors in an emergency...” Lt. Barry jots some notes down. “Okay, so there was one more function – ‘Recover’. Seems like common sense.”
“Yes and no.” Tomczak considers this for a moment. “Recovery from a security incident doesn’t just include repairing damage done, public relations, or even taking a case to court. It also means identifying and discussing ‘lessons learned’, which are as important for security as they are for any other incident response. We have to figure out what we did right and what we did wrong and modify our processes so we handle the next incident better.”
Lt. Barry nods and closes her notes. “Sure. We always do an after-action report after a major incident; that makes sense. Thanks. I think I have enough here to start drafting a policy. It appears that I’m going to need to bring in quite a few teams as well as yours to do it.”
“No problem, Lieutenant. Following a structured, well-documented information security policy helps us better prevent, detect, and respond to security incidents. It also may decrease our legal liability should a worst case scenario occur. Let me know how I can help.”
Lesley Carhart is the Incident Response Team Lead for 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.
Lesley Carhart will be speaking at CircleCityCon in Indianapolis on June 14th, at 2 p.m. on “Ten Commandments of Incident Response (For Hackers)”.
Read more about how Motorola Solutions offers several solutions for securing and monitoring wireless networks.
Read past blogs by Lesley Carhart here.
Imagine you’re a member of the infantry, “a groundpounder.”
You’re under fire and suddenly separated from your unit. Of all the cutting-edge tools you carry into battle, one crucial piece of equipment is missing: a way to call for help.
Since World War II, the United States Army has used the world’s most innovative battlefield communications technologies. That’s when the handheld, two-way radio was developed. The Army continues to use handheld radios for reliable and dependable communications, like it did when U.S. and Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 70 years ago this month.
But at the squad level, individual soldiers don’t have their own radios. While they count on highly sophisticated technologies to improve their sight, sense, and firepower, the Army’s warfighters go into combat without the ability to communicate with one another.
On the battlefield, voice communication is crucial and radios act as a lifeline. In urban environments and difficult terrain, two-way radios can improve tactical operations by enabling soldiers to talk to each other when they can’t see each other. And they can let friendlies know their exact location.
Simply put, radios can save lives.
As forces are drawing down, our military’s mission is evolving from warfighting to peacekeeping, and soldiers must become more efficient. That requires the ability to communicate quickly and reliably. In combat, and in training, enabling soldiers to talk to each other is a key element to maintaining unit cohesion and a persistent readiness posture.
However, as the Pentagon’s budget is being further constricted – forecasted to shrink by more than $75 billion over the next two years – issuing a radio to a solider is dependent on cost and adaptability. The radio must also be interoperable – on base at home or in the field on a mission abroad – to meet the requirements of today’s Army. And it must be spectrum efficient, allowing soldiers to run many more voice channels over the same amount of spectrum than is consumed by today’s tactical radios.
Motorola Solutions has designed the SRX 2200 Combat Radio to meet the ever-changing role of today’s warfighters. The SRX 2200, which uses a Narrowband Digital Waveform (Project 25) that is integrated into Motorola’s portable radios for law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services, is the ideal grab-and-go device for squads in distributed operations and on-base personnel. The SRX 2200 is the next generation of the model (AN/PRC 153) and the radio is already in use by 53,000 U.S. Marines worldwide for intra-squad communications, so it’s been tested under the harshest conditions.
An easy-to-use, battle-hardened, cost-effective and spectrum-efficient radio is an invaluable tool. For every warfighter in every theater of operation, the ability to talk to the rest of the squad can help accomplish the mission and bring our soldiers back home.
The need for efficient and reliable radio communication was perhaps best conveyed by Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno when he was visiting NATO Land Component Command Headquarters in February: "We will need new technology over the next 10 years to make a leaner and more capable Army. We must have technology to retain mobility, while maintaining survivability across the spectrum [of military operations].”
A two-way, interoperable radio can do just that.
Brett Kitchens is Director of Business Development and Tactical Systems, Motorola Solutions, U.S. Federal Government Marketing Division.