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    • The importance of the information security framework Author: Paul Hill

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:11 PM by Paul Jeffs

      Securing your radio communications network from cyber attacks is essential but there is a common misconception that up-to-date antivirus software and complex passwords result in complete system security. The reality is that information security is an extremely broad subject which encompasses multiple security domains. Of course, updating antivirus is a vital measure, however it is a single link in the information security chain and like any chain; it is only as strong as its weakest link.

      Information security frameworks exist to ensure that every possible link in the chain is considered when implementing the appropriate security measures and controls. ISO27001 is globally recognised, risk based information security management system which covers the following areas.

      • Information security policies
      • Organisation of information security
      • Human resource security
      • Asset management
      • Access control
      • Cryptography
      • Physical and environmental security
      • Operations security
      • Communications security
      • System acquisition, development and maintenance
      • Supplier relationships
      • Information security incident management
      • Information security aspects of Business Continuity Management
      • Compliance

      Failure to consider each of these security domains could result in security holes within your radio network that may be targeted and exploited by potential attackers.

      You do not need to look far to realise that this is a modern reality. Recent high profile cyber attacks provide us with hard evidence that failing to take a layered, holistic approach to information security can severely impact your organisation. If we examine the Target data breach in 2014, we can see that multiple issues within several of the security domains all combined to create the devastating outcome.

      A phishing email was sent to a third party supplier allowing malicious software to obtain privileged user credentials. From here the attackers were able to access the main network and infect point of sales registers with software capable of capturing credit card information. In this particular example there are serious questions that could be asked within the following security domains:

      Access control – Why did the third party supplier have privileged access to the main network?

      Physical and environmental security – Were staff at the third party supplier trained to recognize phishing emails and act accordingly?

      Physical and environmental security – How were the individuals identified at the third party supplier and were they aware of social engineering methods?

      Operations security – Were the POS registers up to date with patches and antivirus signatures?

      Supplier relationships – Is there confidence in the security operations implemented by suppliers?

      Whilst security measures had been implemented in this instance, it is very clear that there could have been increased vigilance to answer and address these questions – a rigid security framework will prompt you to safeguard against one of the most dangerous information security threat sources…complacency! Radio communications networks along with Public safety networks as are no exclusion to this and should be subjected to the same security principles.

      There are several globally recognised information security frameworks which can assist you in establishing your information security posture - ISO27001, NIST and COBIT for example. Many similarities exist between the frameworks and each one is extremely comprehensive establishing risk as the core influence. It is the risk assessment and risk treatment process in conjunction with the security domains which allows an organisation to form their security landscape.

      The world of cyber security can change in a heartbeat. The rate of attacks is ever increasing as is the levels of sophistication. So much so that the security controls you implement on your network today maybe powerless to defend six months later. A commitment to a security framework ensures that you stay at the forefront of information security trends and engage in a continuous cycle of risk assessment and risk treatment. The only way to ensure that your radio communications network is armed against evolving security threats is to rinse and repeat this process.

      At Motorola Solutions we can help you to form a risk posture which will safeguard you radio communications network against emerging cyber threats and trend. By guiding you through the process to adopt an information security framework, we will assess the risks which pose threats to your system and help you to implement the relevant controls to mitigate them.

      Download our new white paper to learn how you can enhance your cyber resiliency - Cyber Resilience - The New Critical Mission for Public Safety

      To see how we have engaged with previous customers on cyber security engagements, please take a look at our case study video:


      Paul Hill is Security Services Delivery Lead

      Paul is on LinkedIn


      Follow #ThinkPublicSafety and @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.

    • Transforming Public Safety Communications in Europe and Africa Author: David Parry

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:11 PM by Paul Jeffs

      The long-awaited results of our 2015 EA Public Safety Survey are now available. It certainly makes interesting reading. Public Safety communications are being transformed. The survey reveals how four key factors are influencing agencies of all sizes, and how the change is being driven by high speed data and a need for communications across multiple networks and devices including radios, smartphones and tablets.

      What are these key factors? What are the highlights around each?

      FACTOR ONE - High Speed Real-Time Data
      Being able to access data in real-time is vital and one of the most important factors identified in the survey. An overwhelming 77% of participants said having instant, reliable information at their fingertips is ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ while working in the field.

      With an increasing amount of data flooding into command and control centres, the challenge is to identify what’s relevant and turn it into actionable intelligence. Over 60% expect targeted real-time data to be available during an incident to help plan and carry out an efficient, safe response.

      Why is high speed real-time data so important? Because it allows responders to quickly get the rich data they need and share intelligence with colleagues and local agencies. The survey highlighted how vital it is to be able to communicate across different networks and devices, from radios and laptops to mobile phones and modems.......

      FACTOR TWO - Community Engagement and Interaction
      The widespread adoption of social media in everyday life opens up worlds of opportunity for public safety. Increasingly, witnesses are capturing incidents using their mobile devices and sharing them with each other and in some cases public safety organisations on social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. This creates an invaluable record of events that agencies can use to prevent and resolve crimes or issues.

      Survey results show social media is well established in public safety. Almost three quarters of participants use it for outbound communications and over half use it to receive information and monitor events as they unfold.

      Social media has become an essential platform for building community engagement and interaction. It encourages open conversation, on familiar platforms, with the public and helps ensure incidents are reported correctly. The survey shows how almost half of emergency call centres can now accept text, photos and social media data in some form from the public, while a third can accept video footage. This is positive but clearly highlights the opportunity call centres have in widening the ways they receive data from the public.

      FACTOR THREE - The Growth of Digital Radio and Broadband
      Public safety responders rely on communications and the move to broadband is seen as a key objective. The survey shows that over 60% of participants are either already on a digital LMR network (TETRA, P25, DMR) or considering a move to digital within the next three years.

      Some agencies are making the transition from analogue radio systems to digital land mobile systems such as TETRA and are introducing broadband systems like LTE. The majority are using a combination of both, installing parallel LTE systems that work alongside existing, new or refreshed LMR solutions.


      FACTOR FOUR - Managing Tools and Technology
      While public safety agencies are taking on the challenge of managing new tools and technologies, they don’t currently have all the answers. The survey shows how the widespread use of smartphones, continuing barriers to video adoption, and a lack of understanding of cybersecurity threatens to hamper the effectiveness of new technology solutions.

      The smartphone effect is an ongoing challenge. Public Safety users expect the same functionality from the tools they use at work as they do when at home. Over 40% of responders are using their own smartphones while on duty with only 26% of agencies reimbursing them. Many agencies continue to provide staff with smartphones despite the potential security risks, durability issues or lack of dedicated safety features.

      The survey shows agencies are using a range of tools to combat cybersecurity threats to their networks and devices. Virus & malware scanners and firewalls are the most popular tools, being used by 77% and 72% of participants respectively. But a surprising 22% either didn’t know what tools they were using or were using no tools at all...

      It’s clear that new tools and technologies require management. Transition to newer digital systems demands more advanced IT skills that can deal with complex networks and ever-present cybersecurity threats. The survey identified three key areas where help is required.

      Our annual survey offers insight into the technology trends in the public safety sector. This research was conducted in late 2015 and reflects input from over 100 public safety professionals across Europe and Africa in a cross-section of agencies of every size. The survey for Europe and Africa is in its first year. It builds on a similar survey conducted in North America, now in its fifth year.

      I've only been able to share highlights from the report - to get a more in-depth view you can download the complete survey report here.





      David Parry is Director, EA Marketing.

      David Parry.jpg

      David is on LinkedIn

      Follow #ThinkPublicSafety and @MotSolsEMEA and look out for #EAPublicSafetySurvey


    • The Video Round-Up - Critical Communications World 2016 Editor: Paul Jeffs

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:11 PM by Paul Jeffs

      What has captured the imagination this year? Broadband push-to-talk for thousands of users, protecting yourself against cybersecurity threats, the Connected Police Officer or a vision of the Command Centre of the Future using augmented reality? These are just a few of the innovations at this year's show that we've managed to film, plus hot-off the video camera a piece filmed by Critical Communications World Series themselves!

      Let's take a look at my pick of the YouTube videos shot at last week's show.

      The Connected Police Officer
      Danielle Doo gives a practical demonstration of how the latest 'Connected Police Officer, improves safety and efficiency for officers in the field and the control room:

      What's New for Public Safety?
      Tunde Williams reports on this year's big theme - data:

      Virtual Command Centre Concept
      How can incident commanders immerse themselves into the field with their front line officers and bring their expertise to bear? Lan Ting Garra shares this CTO concept demonstration:

      Cybesecurity and Security Update Services
      Paul Hill gives some insight into the need for services that can protect your critical communications network against cybersecurity threats:

      Ultra Portable LTE Solutions at CCW2016
      Martin Whitcroft introduces two deployable LTE solutions, one ultra-portable, one full-size:

      WAVE Workgroup Communications
      John Helliwell explains how the new WAVE 7000 bridges the gap between users with smartphones and radios, with new, high performance features:

      The New Small TETRA Radio
      Ross Harvey talks through the features that make this radio ideal for those needing a smaller, more discreet TETRA radio that doesn’t compromise on audio quality.

      Smart Public Safety Solutions at CCW2016
      Steve Beech explains how police forces and agencies can improve incident response and effectiveness using CommandCentral Aware.

      Managed Services
      John Moule introduces our support and services offering and explains how the services are arranged to meet customer needs - from hardware repair through network monitoring up to managed services:

      Closing Highlights
      David Parry closes out the show with his highlights - what has sparked interest?

      And, as promised - this new, very interactive, interview of David Parry by Critical Communications World series:

      Want to catch up with more videos from the show? To watch more videos on the Connected Fire Officer, Managed Services, CommandCentral Connections, ST7000 Product videos, MIBAS provisioning and more, you can watch the complete Mission Critical' playlist here



      Paul Jeffs is Public Safety Editorial Lead for Europe and Africa at Motorola Solutions.

      Paul is on LinkedIn

      Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #CCW2016

    • Whatever the technology it’s still all about the user - insight from Critical Communications World 2016 Author: Peta Spinks

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:11 PM by Paul Jeffs

      What were people saying at the event last week?
      From Body-worn video to the Industrial Internet of Things this year’s CCW featured exciting innovations for critical communication users in both the public safety and commercial worlds. One of the biggest themes was Body Worn Video, and on our stand we were showing for the first time our Si500 body worn camera working with TETRA. Katja Millard, head of our Growth and Device Innovation team spoke in detail about the the development of the Si Series body-worn video camera and radio speaker microphone and the innovative cloud-based content management solution that sits behind it.

      There was an increase in discussion around converged TETRA/LTE devices and tactical LTE systems such as the brief-case sized, ultraportable LTE system being demonstrated on our booth.

      Commercial markets are an increasing focus at CCW with solutions for transportation and utilities featuring prominently in both the exhibition and conference. On the Motorola Solutions booth the business critical zone was packed and as Sean Fitzgerald, Solutions Marketing Manager, a first time visitor to the event explains “I always saw this as a public safety show but we have seen a lot of traffic and interest in our Capacity Max DMR Tier III compliant system and customers have commented that now the additional functionality it offers - above the basic specification - really helps with day to day operations."

      “IIoT is demonstrated on our ACE 1000 where you can experience remote activation and control of equipment and of course we launched our new small TETRA radio the ST7000 which generated a lot of excitement. People like the small and light form factor and love the the simple and intuitve touch user interface . It‘s ideal for discreet use in multiple verticals such as Airports, Hotels and Casinos as well as hospitals, where its size and style and its ability to clean the surface easily make it ideal for use in hygienic environments."

      And the ST7000 is not just for commercial markets, I spoke to a UK public safety customer who commented that “the new ST7000 is an exciting development for potential discreet use."

      Moving into the public safety area the same customer said he was impressed with the developments in converging technology to improve control room experiences for control room operators. He added that “Previously we have seen separate bits of technology developed in different areas, but Motorola showed the potential for merging that technology together in real life scenarios.”

      And looking into the future, we showed a virtual reality concept for incident control which caught visitors‘ imagination. They were easily able to see that once the right analytics solutions are in place to gather and manage data the user interface could take place in a virtual environment.


      Mattias Kolb, Stuttgart Airport commented, “the virtual reality control centre is interesting for the future. Not only for public safety, but also for facility management and processing."

      User interface and operability were key to the event and Eduardo Conrado, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Motorola Solutions, presented a key note address considering how police offers would work in the future and what steps public safety can take today to put them on the right path to the next generation of devices and solutions a police officer will use, saying “Motorola Solutions is looking at adjacent markets for inspiration, whether that is consumer or enterprise."

      "Incremental innovation is something we do today at Motorola Solutions, making solutions, smaller and faster. But the future is built on break-through technology and we are looking at the trends in technology, such as connected everything, real-time information, new modalities, new ways of integration and engaging though context awareness and cognitive computing."

      Whatever the technology is, the aim is to improve the everyday life of the user, whether public safety or business critical. We live in exciting times.

      Catch up - what happened at Critical Communications World 2016.


      Peta Spinks is Director, Customer Engagement, Europe & Africa at Motorola Solutions

      Peta is on LinkedIn

      Follow #ThinkPublicSafety and @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.


    • The Photo Blog - Critical Communications World Editor: Paul Jeffs

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:11 PM by Paul Jeffs

      The show has a real 'buzz' this year. The possibilities for the use of Augmented Reality in Command Centres has been capturing people's imagination, along with exciting new innovations for mobile intelligence.

      Here are just a few of the Public-Safety related highlights in pictures:

      Why we are here:

      Demonstrating the Future Command Centre concept:

      The Connected Patrol Vehicle:

      The Connected Police Officer:

      The Connected Fire Officer:

      The drone in the air:

      WAVE 5000 working with TETRA:

      Resolving incidents:

      And finally - where is the ST7000 - the new really small TETRA radio?


      To keep up-to-date with the event, you can bookmark our event microsite here - we'll be sharing videos, news and more, during and after the show.




      Paul Jeffs is Public Safety Editorial Lead for Europe and Africa at Motorola Solutions.

      Paul is on LinkedIn


      Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #CCW2016