January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Protecting Public Safety Data

 

There has been a lot of news about cyber-attacks and the effects of major data breeches impacting credit card and identity information, but how does this affect Public Safety? In the past Public Safety systems were segregated from the internet and ran on private networks, but more and more public safety software solutions are utilizing public networks and are hosted at private data centers. Information sharing is also becoming more of a reality between agencies, the state and federal government, and as long as the network connections are private the data is relatively safe, but if only one of the network connections is public it opens the door for hackers, malware, phishing, etc.

 

The FBI has divided crimes into two general categories: crimes made possible by computer networks, and crimes that target computers directly. The former type of crime includes:

  • Phishing scams
  • Malware and viruses
  • Identity theft and fraud
  • Denial-of-Service attacks
  • Information theft
  • Cyberstalking

 

The First Line of Defense - An Effective Firewall

While most agencies have IT professionals that implement firewalls and security measures, many fall short in preventing a hacker from infiltrating their network because the right type of firewall is not in place and/or the right physical device security measures aren't being adhered to. While the correct firewall and physical device security measures can prevent hackers, malware and Trojan-horse viruses from getting onto the network, an agency must implement an overall security policy in order to effectively manage the threat of an attack.

A firewall is essentially a set of software programs that is deployed on a network with a constantly updated set of rules that define the criteria under which a given data packet, or set of data packets in a data stream, can safely be routed forward to the intended recipient device. They also monitor connections to confirm that data packets are coming from trusted sources.

 

There are five types of firewalls in use today:

  1. Packet Filtering Firewall - This is the original firewall and it operates in-line with routers and switches to compare packets.
  2. Circuit-level Gateways - These monitor TCP handshakes between the host and remote systems to determine if the remote system is considered trusted, but they don't inspect the packets themselves.
  3. Stateful Inspection Firewalls - These examine each packet, but also keep track of whether or not that packet is part of an established TCP session. This offers more security than either packet filtering or circuit monitoring alone, but affects network performance.
  4. Application-level Gateways - Sometimes called the Proxy firewall, application-level gateways combine some of the attributes of packet filtering firewalls with those of circuit-level gateways. They filter packets not only according to the service for which they are intended, but also by other characteristics such as the HTTP request string. While gateways that filter at the application layer provide considerable data security, they can dramatically affect network performance
  5. Next-gen Firewalls - These firewalls combine packet inspections with stateful inspections, but also include some variety of deep packet inspections, which looks at the actual data that the packet is carrying. While these firewalls provide a high level of security, they can be costly.

 

Additional Considerations

All of these types of firewalls are designed to stop unlawful entry into the network; but like with most security issues, there are a number of additional considerations involved in the implementation of a firewall including:

  • Cost.
  • Impact on the speed of the network.
  • Compatibility with other internal and external systems.
  • Physical device security considerations such as whether all of the devices on the network have the latest versions of the operating system and are properly identified to the network. Outdated software may have security gaps that hackers can take advantage.
  • Human considerations such as keeping track of which data is accessible to which user and what can be edited by whom.
  • Proper user credentials and password authentication.

 

Finally, agency staff should be periodically trained on the proper use of the network and the devices connected to it, as well as how to spot and report unauthorized use of a device or network connection.

 

Winbourne recommends auditing networks, firewalls, physical devices and security policies and procedures on a periodic basis to ensure that they meet the objectives of securing all agency data. The audit needs to verify that all network connections are secured by the right type of firewall, that all physical devices have the proper version of the operating software, and have the correct network connectivity. A crucial step in evaluating any connectivity to the internet, or other outside networks is that it has an adequate firewall configuration to ensure a safe environment. A misconfigured firewall can provide a false sense of security and leave the agency vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

 

Winbourne Consulting provides consulting services to help agencies evaluate internal security policies and procedures, evaluate training materials and curriculums related to security and determine the level of vulnerability of an agency's network, devices and infrastructure.

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

Chatham County/Savannah, GA Dispatch Center Assessment - Chatham County has engaged Winbourne Consulting to complete a consolidated dispatch center assessment including governance structure, administration, operations, policies/procedures and technology systems.

 

United States Trade & Development Agency and Ho Chi Minh City sign Grant Agreement for Winbourne Consulting to Provide Technical Assistance to Ho Chi Minh City for an Integrated Emergency Communications System.

Winbourne Consulting, LLC congratulates the USTDA and Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Information and Communications on signing the grant agreement for Technical Assistance for Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam for Developing an Integrated and Unified emergency Response Center in Ho Chi Minh City for 2016 - 2020 and after 2020. As the project's Technical Assistance partner, Winbourne Consulting is looking forward to starting the project and assisting the City in implementing an integrated emergency communications solution. The project will bring a unique combination of Smart City and emergency communications technology and improved services to the people of the City and its first responder agencies. Representatives of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications and United States Trade & Development Agency sign the Grant Agreement in Ho Chi Minh City on January 25, 2018.

 

Bossier Sheriff's Office, LA - The Bossier Sheriff's Office has extended their contract with Winbourne Consulting to assist them with the implementation of a CAD/RMS/JMS and Business Intelligence System. We previously assisted the Bossier Sheriff's Office in the development of the CAD/RMS/JMS/BI RFP and the RFP scoring and evaluation process.

 

Winbourne Consulting attended the NENA Standards and Best Practices Conference in Orlando, Florida, January 15-18; where industry leaders gathered to discuss the most critical topics in 9-1-1. For further information on this important conference see NG-9-1-1 Conference below under Public Safety News.

 

Winbourne Consulting will be attending International Wireless Carriers Expo (IWCE) from Mar 5 - 8 in Orlando, FL. Our company booth will be part of the iCERT Pavillion, along the main aisle of the expo floor. Winbourne Consulting will also be part of a panel on NG911 on Monday March 5th.

 

Winbourne Consulting is proud to be attending 9-1-1 Goes to Washington in mid-February, in DC, where the industry will celebrate the advancements in 9-1-1 and recognize the 50th anniversary of the first 9-1-1 call in Haleyville, Alabama.

 

Public Safety News

 

The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to tech entrepreneurs and innovators to develop smart city tools for first responders. For further information see: http://statescoop.com/department-of-homeland-security-launches-smart-city-challenge-for-first-responders

 

There were many informative sessions and a number of the sessions discussed ways to improve the identification of “dispatchable locations” for a 9-1-1 call and examining options for better location accuracy of the caller. Some key take-aways from these sessions include:

  • The National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) is being developed as a source of external data in a NG9-1-1 PSAP, as a national repository of access points, such as WIFI and Bluetooth devices. The NEAD, which is scheduled to begin testing by mid-2018, is designed to better locate in-building 9-1-1 callers, and supplementing Geographic Information System (GIS) as well as Automatic Location Information (ALI) and Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) data.
  • Improvements from Apple and Google’s use of handset based location data is also expected to improve location accuracy for 9-1-1 callers. This “device-based hybrid” approach will fuse many sensors together to create a “fused location” that will blend GPS, cell tower triangulation, WIFI access points, Bluetooth beacon points, barometric pressure, and other available data to deliver highly accurate 9-1-1 caller location.
  • In addition, the NG911 Clearinghouse will make it possible for 9-1-1 to locate callers faster and more accurately, using modern location services from any smartphone and a robust, secure IP-based infrastructure.

 

Industry Events

 

February 14-17 • Grand Hyatt

9-1-1 Goes To Washington is a dynamic forum with educational sessions, keynote speeches and outreach on today's most critical 9-1-1 and emergency communications policy issues. Attendees hear directly from policy makers, Members of Congress, FCC Commissioners and Administration officials and represent their state in meetings on Capitol Hill.

https://www.nena.org/page/gtw

 

 

Conference: March 5-9, 2018 • Exhibits: March 7-8, 2018

Orange County Convention Center • Orlando, Florida

Integrating Technology & Education

IWCE is a venue where people can make the human connections they need to be successful, whether it is connecting to a future client, boss, employee or business partner. It is also where people can connect to information about a technology, product or policy that is crucial to success. See innovation at its best and join us for the premier event for communications technology.

http://iwceexpo.com/iwce18/Public/Enter.aspx

 

 

2018 IACP Division Midyear Conference

March 14, 2018 - March 16, 2018 • Nashville, TN

The Division of State and Provincial Police, Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, and Midsize Agencies Division will hold their joint midyear meeting in Nashville, TN. This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss critical issues facing the law enforcement community, identify best practices, and enhance relationships with your colleagues.

http://www.theiacp.org/Division-Midyear

 

 

Articles of Interest

 

Location Intelligence Powers Next Generation Emergency Response

Hurricane Sandy was the most destructive and deadliest storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, and the third costliest in United States history. As a result of this failure, public safety organizations began exploring the purchase of a new broadband infrastructure. Only this time its exclusive purpose would be to facilitate communication during catastrophic events like Hurricane Sandy, when multiple agencies are exchanging critical data and communications.

https://gcn.com/articles/2017/12/19/firstnet-location-data.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL

 

 

The New Cloud Over Smart Cities

According to a recent report from the National League of Cities, 66 percent of U.S. cities are investing in smart city technologies, and 25 percent of those without smart city systems are exploring how to embrace this new frontier.

http://americancityandcounty.com/cloud-computing/new-cloud-over-smart-cities

 

 

Report Details Results of Mission-Critical Voice over LTE Speech Intelligibility Tests

A new report summarizes the results of speech intelligibility tests on five speech codec operating modes that might be chosen to provide mission-critical voice services to public-safety users over a Long Term Evolution based radio access network. The reported test results will enable those who design RANs and radio access augmentation strategies to make decisions based on speech intelligibility. This is key for public-safety stakeholders because speech intelligibility directly affects first responder operations.

https://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/16391

 

 

All States Opt In To FirstNet

Although some states expressed caution about joining the AT&T provided FirstNet public safety network, 53 states and U.S. territories have officially opted in to the 25-year deployment plan. AT&T to build its nationwide public-safety wireless broadband network, which will be funded with $6.5 billion of government money and a planned $43 million expenditure by AT&T.

https://gcn.com/articles/2018/01/02/firstnet-all-states.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL