NENA, CIS Partner on Cybersecurity for NG 9-1-1 Systems
Friday, January 22, 2021 | Comments

In an effort to develop and promote cybersecurity awareness and resources within the 9-1-1 community, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) adopted a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to guide joint initiatives and encourage best practices between the two organizations.

“As we continue to lead the transition from legacy 9-1-1 to NG 9-1-1 technologies, it is imperative that we elevate 9-1-1 professionals’ knowledge of cybersecurity issues,” said NENA President Gary Bell, ENP. “NENA is excited to deepen our collaboration with CIS and we are confident this partnership will help improve public safety in every community.”

As America’s state and local 9-1-1 authorities work to harness the capabilities of broadband and IP networks to improve emergency communications, the cybersecurity posture of 9-1-1 systems is a paramount concern. Currently, the next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) systems that are being deployed across the nation enable faster, more accurate data sharing; increased system resiliency; and improved dispatching capabilities. However, the IP-based nature of NG 9-1-1 also introduces more potential points of cyber vulnerability. Under the MoU, NENA and CIS will develop and distribute cybersecurity guidelines for NG 9-1-1, as well as for legacy 9-1-1 systems. The two groups also plan to cohost a 9-1-1 cybersecurity summit in late 2021 or early 2022.

The partnership brings together NENA, a leading association for 9-1-1 standards development and education with CIS, whose Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is a trusted resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for U.S. state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities.

“We look forward to using all of the CIS and MS-ISAC defense in-depth resources to help strengthen the nation’s broadband and IP networks to improve the nation’s emergency communications,“ said Mike Aliperti, MS-ISAC vice president of stakeholder engagement and MS-ISAC chair.

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