MCP Insights

Looking Beyond the Brick and Mortar

Posted on June 22, 2020 by Chad Brothers

Profound challenges often spur great progress. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Not only is the public safety community staring an enormous challenge in the face, but also is looking at a tremendous opportunity to move the community forward.

Traditionally, public safety has been slow to adopt new technologies and embrace new strategies. However, the pandemic has forced agencies to do things they likely would not have contemplated before. The collection of new concepts not only will enable public safety to handle the pandemics and mega-disasters of the future, but also will enhance day-to-day operations personnel performance. Public safety is up to the challenge, as long as officials can get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a while.

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What the Public Safety Community Can Learn From the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on June 17, 2020 by Darrin Reilly

In a recent post, I touched upon some of the novel ways that the public safety community has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post I’ll explore some of the most important lessons that have been learned.

First and foremost, all public safety agencies need continuity-of-operations (COOP) and disaster-recovery (DR) plans. We have roughly 150 subject-matter experts, and as they travel the country supporting clients, they often discover the complete lack of such plans and/or they come to realize that they haven’t been updated for quite some time. This always amazes me. Every agency should have such plans. As Benjamin Franklin said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” While the pandemic has brought this need into sharp focus, there are many events—tornados, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, hazmat incidents—that could render an emergency communications center inoperable, inaccessible or uninhabitable.

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COVID-19 Has Brought Out Public Safety's Resolve, Ingenuity

Posted on June 4, 2020 by Darrin Reilly

Sometimes you don’t have a choice—an event occurs that is so cataclysmic that you are forced to do things you had no idea you were capable of doing, and certainly no desire to do them. Here’s a for instance. On December 6, 1941, the United States continued on its slow but steady recovery from the Great Depression, content in the cocoon of its isolationism. Things were getting better, fueled in part by the New Deal. And then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor the next day. In an instant, the U.S., its citizens, and their way of life were turned upside down—and a lot of things changed very quickly as a result.

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What’s Next? Conducting an Incident Response Review

Posted on May 29, 2020 by Chris Kelly

As states begin to reopen and communities slowly return to normalcy, organizations, including mission-critical agencies, must evaluate their responses to the COVID-19 public-health crisis and leverage their experiences to prepare for future crises. Conducting an incident-response review, also called a hot wash, enables agencies to identify areas in which they performed well, as well as where their responses could use improvement. When conducted as part of an agency’s after-action reporting activities, this review can help build a better incident-response plan moving forward.

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If You Do Nothing Else, Implement Multifactor Authentication to Head Off Cyberattacks

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Mike Beagles

MCP’s NetInform solution leverages a variety of tools that enable our subject-matter experts to assess our clients’ communications network security postures. That assessment includes looking for vulnerabilities that could allow a bad actor to gain access to the network and then navigate through it, seeking opportunities to perform cyberattacks. Typically, a lot of vulnerabilities exist, and they’re not always easy to see. It can be something as simple as a network port being left open by a service technician after the work is done, or a former employee’s account is still active long after they left. This is problematic because numerous, easy-to-use scanning programs are readily available to hackers that enable them to probe an organization’s network to discover every open port, i.e., breach point, and attempt access.

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