Along with the implementation of a nationwide public safety broadband network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, the network’s cybersecurity capabilities and features will be unique compared to traditional commercial mobile carriers due to public safety’s operational environment and requirements. The public safety community captured their initial requirements, including those for cybersecurity, in the December 2012 Public Safety High-Level Requirements document from National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) and continues to refine and develop their requirements. PSCR and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) partnered with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to conduct cybersecurity research to advance and secure wireless public safety communication. Although the cybersecurity capabilities and features of the nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network are important, they must complement and not impede the ability of public safety to complete its mission.
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH
By leveraging NIST ITL’s cybersecurity expertise from the Computer Security, Applied Cybersecurity, System and Software, and Information Access Divisions, PSCR identifies and addresses cybersecurity gaps relevant to public safety with the following approach:
- Understanding public safety requirements through interacting directly with the public safety community at workshops, conferences, and meetings
- Applying existing cybersecurity standards, best practices, guidelines, and methodologies for mobile communication networks, when appropriate
- Participating in SDO’s security related working groups to ensure standards impacting public safety communications are secured
- Conducting cybersecurity research into mobile communication and LTE technologies
VALUE TO PUBLIC SAFETY
PSCR is conducting research to provide the public safety community and FirstNet with practical and usable cybersecurity tools and information, including standards, best practices, guidelines, and methodologies to meet the unique requirements of public safety community.