“The week of September 17 was a watershed week for Public Safety,” said Keller Taylor, Infrastructure Operations Manager at Princeton University, Department of Public Safety. Keller and Bob Finney were panelists on the recent NENA webinar, sponsored by Motorola Solutions, in which they shared the impact of the Apple iOS 12 release, Google’s partnership announcement with RapidSOS and the profound impact these events have on saving lives.
Over 80% of the 240 million calls made to 9-1-1 centers across the U.S. are from wireless phones. That’s about 192 million people in need while on the move, making it more critical than ever for PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Point) to know a caller’s exact location. In fact, the FCC estimates 10,000 more lives could be saved every year if 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers had more accurate location information.
“Location accuracy is the #1 priority in being able to effectively and efficiently dispatch resources to those in need,” said Keller. “Today, with the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse, we have an operational solution that utilizes supplemental location information which will speed the identification of the caller’s precise location. This has enormous implications for saving lives.”
“In addition to being able to pinpoint the exact location,” says Bob, “the other big benefit is that 9-1-1 can now dispatch responders to the scene more rapidly.”
Finally, a Solution: RapidSOS Integration with VESTA and CallWorks
The location accuracy solution offers a level of situational awareness not possible until now. Public Safety has had to rely on a network-centric approach to identify a 9-1-1 caller’s location. The reason apps like Uber can identify exactly where we are is because they use device-based hybrid location.
Tests with RapidSOS and Motorola Solutions call handling software have shown that device-based hybrid location indeed provides more accurate location information because it combines the smartphone sensors including: GPS, Wi-Fi access points, Bluetooth beacons, barometric pressure, pedestrian dead reckoning, gyro sensors, accelerometers and more.
The RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse is accessed through the VESTA® and CallWorks platforms. This means VESTA and CallWorks customers now have the technology to receive fast and accurate, life-saving location information for millions of iPhone and Android devices in the U.S.
During the webinar, Keller and Bob shared specific examples of how the RapidSOS functionality with VESTA and CallWorks will make the difference between life and death.
Keller talked about the ability to identify a 9-1-1 caller in Princeton University’s Tiger Stadium, in a crowd of thousands of fans. Bob talked about the ability to pinpoint a 9-1-1 call coming from within a school building. He pointed out, that in Collier County, due to the frequency of hurricanes, school buildings are built to Category 5 standards to withstand the hurricanes, but their construction makes it extremely difficult for wireless reception. “Schools, unfortunately, have become targets, and we need much better coverage. In one of the tests we did with VESTA, RapidSOS and Android ELS (Emergency Location Service), the caller was standing right outside of a classroom, and we were able to pinpoint that exact location. In situations like active shooters, having the exact location is very beneficial.”
How PSAPs Access This Technology
Your PSAP can easily realize the benefits of the RapidSOS technology through the use of RapidSOS, CallWorks CallStation and VESTA 9-1-1 and or VESTA® Map Local.
Once PSAPs are enabled, citizens do not need to install any app. When dialing 9-1-1 from their iOS 12 iPhone or Android device with ELS enabled, their location is automatically sent to the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse and accessed by the appropriate 9-1-1 center. The call taker then sees the caller’s location, sent as supplemental location data, from RapidSOS as well as the ALI (Phase 1 or Phase 2 location).
“With this tremendous capability, citizens can have greater confidence in Public Safety’s ability to know their location when they call 9-1-1 from their mobile devices,” said Keller.
Bob closed the webinar with a reminder why it’s so important to take serious note of this development. “9-1-1 gets its fair share of news stories and some are based on location difficulty. What has occurred with Apple and Google is a positive for Public Safety. But PSAPs have to take action and bring this technology into their centers. Otherwise, there will be someone who will die because we didn’t have an accurate location soon enough and none of us want that to happen.”
The team at Motorola Solutions is ready to help you bring this life-saving location data to your call takers and first responders, who need and deserve the best possible technology.
For more information on Motorola Solutions and our CallWorks and VESTA capabilities, visit motorolasolutions.com/ng911. For information on RapidSOS and how to enable the functionality for your PSAP, go to RapidSOS.com/ng911clearinghouse. You can also listen to the NENA webinar here and view the Motorola Solutions Emergency Call Handling video on YouTube.
Dan Sawicki is Principal Consultant of Business Operations and Planning at Motorola Solutions.
October is officially National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In light of headline grabbing cyber attacks around the globe, governments and businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about their cybersecurity – and with good reason. Cybersecurity Awareness Month provides the opportunity to cut through the typical fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) surrounding cybersecurity and focus on understanding the risks.
At Motorola Solutions, we are working to ensure both our customers and employees fully understand the reality of today’s evolving cybersecurity landscape and generate awareness of both the risks and potential solutions:
Beyond Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Motorola Solutions is committed to growing awareness and enthusiasm around cybersecurity. In today’s increasingly complex digital environment, it’s no longer a matter of if but when an organization will experience a cyber attack. Moving past the FUD and increasing understanding is critical to being prepared.
Troy Mattern is Vice President of Cybersecurity Products and Services at Motorola Solutions.
Cyber crime is on the rise. Recent reports highlight an increase in the number of U.S. data breaches by nearly 45 percent. As reports of cyber attacks continue to make headlines, organizations are increasingly looking at ways to protect themselves. The result is an increased investment in cybersecurity tools and programs. By the year 2021, it is estimated that global spending on cybersecurity products and services will reach a cumulative $1 trillion.
Despite these increased investments, security capabilities have been unable to deliver the desired efficiency and effectiveness. Currently, businesses are investing in a wide variety of cybersecurity tools, including advanced perimeter controls, encryption, automated policy management and threat intelligence systems.
However, spending on cyber tools alone does not ensure security. A truly effective cybersecurity program evaluates risk and then integrates the right technology with people and processes. Understanding your organizational risk is critical to making smart decisions regarding cybersecurity tools and technologies. The most important thing any decision maker does is determine how to allocate their resources towards the success of their organization’s mission. So, how do you know if you are doing that?
Currently, a study by the Ponemon Institute highlights a potential disconnect in organizational spend on cybersecurity technology with actual return on investment (ROI). Many organizations are investing heavily in a few targeted technologies – including compliance and automated policy management – overlooking the need for a more balanced portfolio of technologies.
While these technologies do play a critical role in cybersecurity, they should be augmented with security systems that include risk monitoring, patching and innovations like cyber analytics and machine learning. These technologies have shown a high return on investment with the breakthrough areas of cyber analytics, user behavior analytics, automation and machine learning ranking in the top four cost-saving security technologies. Organizations should also work to ensure they take full advantage of their solution capability – employing, maintaining and operating it properly to achieve success.
As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, investments in cybersecurity need to be closely monitored and adjusted to ensure organizational spend is being allocated appropriately. Organizations need to build an ecosystem that encompasses a diverse portfolio of cyber tools that can be integrated to work together. By balancing a strong foundation of “basics” – such as security intelligence, patching and advanced access management – with innovations like analytics and machine learning, organizations can improve the effectiveness of their security programs.
But technology alone doesn’t ensure security. Organizations need a culture of good security processes and a team of well-trained professionals to drive their cybersecurity efforts. A security team can help guide practices, prioritize activities, respond to threats and inspect potential risks. However, security must live throughout an organization – with processes that safeguard critical communications and proactively monitor for risk. This includes looking at existing vulnerabilities, fixing them, assessing risk and developing a response and recovery plan.
Cybersecurity doesn’t happen by chance. It requires a focus on implementing the right technologies, engaging with knowledgeable people and implementing effective processes. Read the full Motorola Solutions White Paper here for insights into how implementing a holistic, risk based approach can help your organization address the growing cybersecurity challenge.
Troy Mattern is Vice President of Cybersecurity Products and Services at Motorola Solutions.