DHS S&T Expands Emergency Communications Center Cybersecurity Pilot
Thursday, April 08, 2021 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure.

S&T funded Odenton, Maryland,-based SecuLore Solutions in the research and development (R&D) of a cybersecurity defense solution based on predictive analytics and cyber data that helps detect and mitigate cybersecurity attacks against legacy emergency communications systems and new next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) and IP-based technologies. The company added the new capability to its existing cybersecurity solutions to provide near-real-time behavioral threat analysis of the traffic hitting an emergency communications center’s (ECC) network and recommend remediation steps that are based on the behavior and/or the type of malware.

Currently, SecuLore is pilot testing its newly developed cybersecurity solution with the Palm Beach County Emergency Services Department in Florida and will expand the pilot testing to five additional ECCs across the country. Each pilot partner will receive at minimum two months of piloting activity, which will include 24-hour oversight of the security operations center network, a weekly vulnerabilities report and immediate notification of any critical vulnerability. These notifications will ensure each pilot partner understands the identified vulnerability and implements initial remediation steps.

During these pilots, SecuLore will capture feedback and insights from frontline users on the solution’s performance and capabilities. The collected information will help the company and DHS better understand how other ECCs would deploy and manage this technology.

“During the next few months, in partnership with the CISA team, we will be piloting R&D projects and investigating leading-edge security controls with our public-safety partners across the country,” said S&T Program Manager Norman Speicher. “We look forward to the feedback and insights gathered during the pilot tests. These critical views will guide the project’s next steps, most importantly the implementation of further refinements to SecuLore’s ECC cybersecurity solution that will maximize its effectiveness in safeguarding the nation’s emergency communications system from cyberthreats.”

The S&T-managed project supports the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which ensures federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources and training to support resilient, operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications.

“We are continuing to improve the resilience of the nation’s critical emergency communications infrastructure,” said Billy Bob Brown Jr., CISA’s executive assistant director for emergency communications. “Enhancements to cybersecurity of evolving NG 9-1-1 systems, collaboration with our stakeholders, and improving access to 911 infrastructure are critical to defending public-safety communications systems.”

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