Solacom Shares Insights on How to Protect Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) From Cyberattacks

APCO 2018 conference panel explained the importance of cybersecurity for NG9-1-1 call handling systems

CHICAGO, Ill., August 16, 2018 — Officials from public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the U.S. gained essential knowledge last week about how to keep their 9-1-1 call handling systems safe from cyberthreats. Led by Solacom, the panel discussion Cybersecurity 101: What Every PSAP Needs to Know, was an educational component of the APCO 2018 Conference in Las Vegas on August 5, 2018.

Gilles Ferland, Solacom’s vice president product management, along with Chris Marsh, principal sales consultant at Oracle, and Chris Tucker, director of Huntsville-Madison County 9-1-1, shared the fundamentals of cybersecurity that are essential for today’s PSAPs.

“While many PSAPs are concerned about cybersecurity, most aren’t aware of what specific kinds of threats to watch out for and how to protect their systems from those threats,” says Ferland. “Our panel provided an overview of the current cyberthreats and offered suggestions about how PSAPs can protect themselves from potential cyberattacks.”

The experts in this interactive session explained how the most common threats work, such as:

  • Telephony Denial-of-Service attacks (TDoS), which overwhelm call takers by flooding PSAPs with bogus calls
  • Unauthorized Data Access attacks, where hackers gain access to a PSAP’s system through password cracking
  • Swatting, where fake 9-1-1 calls result in dispatching SWAT teams to a specific location where no crime is actually taking place
  • Ransomware, where hackers use software to shut down operations until PSAPs pay a ransom

These attacks can lead to system disruptions, crashes, data leakage, and loss of public confidence and reputation, posing serious challenges for PSAPs.

This informative session outlined some simple steps PSAPs can take to protect themselves and to recover if they’ve been targeted, including real-time monitoring, contingency plan development, regular testing and auditing, and informed policy decisions.

Solacom continues to be a leader in research and testing of the latest technologies that can be applied to protect 9-1-1 call handling and management software and hardware from cybersecurity threats. To learn more about how Solacom keeps its Guardian 9-1-1 Solution operating at peak performance, visit the Guardian Managed Services page on the Solacom website.

About Solacom

Solacom 9-1-1 call handling and management solutions are built on more than 30 years of research and innovation in the application of advanced hardware and software technologies for public safety. Today, Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 solutions support thousands of agencies affecting millions of lives annually. From dense urban environments to statewide deployments, Solacom solutions are trusted to streamline 9-1-1 call handling and management processes and enable more efficient collection of critical information in emergency situations. For more information, visit: