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Security Analysis of First Responder Mobile and Wearable Devices



Joshua M. Franklin, Gema Howell, Scott Ledgerwood, Jaydee Griffith


Public safety practitioners utilizing the forthcoming Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) will have smartphones, tablets and wearables at their disposal. Although these devices should enable first responders to complete their missions, any influx of new technologies will introduce new security vulnerabilities. This document analyzes the needs of public safety mobile devices and wearables from a cybersecurity perspective, specifically for the fire service, emergency medical service (EMS), and law enforcement. To accomplish this goal, cybersecurity use cases were analyzed, previously known attacks against related systems were reviewed, and a threat model was created. The overarching goal of this work is to identify security objectives for these devices, enabling jurisdictions to more easily select and purchase secure devices and industry to design and build more secure public safety devices.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8196
Report Number


cybersecurity, first responders, internet of things, IoT, mobile security, public safety, wearables


Franklin, J. , Howell, G. , Ledgerwood, S. and Griffith, J. (2020), Security Analysis of First Responder Mobile and Wearable Devices, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created May 10, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021