MCP Insights

Cybersecurity Threat Advisory: Hackers Still Are Exploiting COVID-19

Posted on April 28, 2020 by Mike Beagles

As part of our effort to inform our clients about potential and serious cybersecurity issues, MCP provides advisories about vulnerabilities and exploits that could threaten the operations of their mission-critical communications networks. Sign up to receive these advisories in your inbox as soon as they are released.

This week, there is a new critical alert that requires the mission-critical community’s immediate attention.

Advisory Summary

Hacking groups still are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to perform cyberattacks. The United States’ Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint alert regarding the threats. To combat these threats, their recommendations are focused on user training and good cyber hygiene. A comprehensive list of recommendations to mitigate the risk can be found on the CISA website.

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Why COOP/DR Plans Need to Consider GIS Data Maintenance

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Robert Horne

A couple of weeks ago, MCP’s Richard Gaston posted about why it is critically important for every public-safety agency, regardless of size and resources, to have continuity-of-operations plans (COOP) and disaster-recovery (DR) plans in place. This post addresses an element that is lacking in many such plans, a gap that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus—geographic information system (GIS) data maintenance.

For decades, location of 911 callers was determined solely by querying the master street address guide (MSAG) and automatic location identification (ALI) tabular databases. About a quarter century ago, GIS-generated data entered the picture—quite literally—as computer-aided dispatch (GIS) system mapping applications began to leverage it to depict 911-caller locations on the map display on telecommunicators’ screens. In the Next Generation 911 (NG911) environment, GIS data will play an even bigger role, because geospatial data will replace MSAG and ALI data as the primary means of locating 911 callers.

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Pandemic Underscores Importance of Public Safety Continuity-Of-Operations and Disaster-Recovery Plans

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Richard Gaston

COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, pandemic is grabbing a lot of attention right now, partly because we don’t see global pandemics in the United States very often, certainly not one of this gravity. But we do see other significant events on a fairly regular basis— e.g., wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills, network outages—that can disrupt or halt public safety operations.

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Security Training: A Key Element of a Strong Cyberrisk Prevention Program

Posted on February 3, 2020 by Mike Beagles

According to a recent report by Crowdstrike, cybersecurity threats to state and local governments increased in sophistication in 2019. While there have been improvements in how government agencies detect attacks, assailants continue to be relentless and inventive in their efforts to find IT infrastructure gaps that can be exploited. In a highly complex digital environment full of cybercriminals looking to exploit your organization’s vulnerability, a self-inflected wound can be especially frustrating.

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DAS and BDA Technology Might Seem the Same—But They’re Not

Posted on January 30, 2020 by Paul Levitsky

As we move about the public safety sector, we often hear a common misconception, which is that distributed antenna systems (DAS) and bidirectional amplifier (BDA) systems are the same. But while they generally serve the same purpose—which is to boost radio frequency (RF) signals to enhance in-building coverage—they are quite different. Let’s explore the basic differences.

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