MCP Insights

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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The Case for Private Long-Term Evolution Networks for Power Utilities

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Scott Neal

Next month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on reconfiguring the 900 MHz band for the deployment of broadband services and technologies. This is an important issue that Mission Critical Partners (MCP) has been tracking for some time, and we are encouraged to see a conclusion on the horizon. 

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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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The Role of LTE in the Utilities Sector

Posted on February 21, 2020 by Darek Wieczorek

Southern Company is one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the United States, covering a large portion of the southeast. The company is known for being an early adopter of telecommunications technologies. Its subsidiaries include Southern Telecom and Southern Linc, companies dedicated to serving the telecommunications needs of power subsidiaries and charged with reselling any surplus capacity to outside entities. The Southern-owned, multistate, Motorola Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) primarily was used by energy companies, but also by other commercial enterprises and even by some public safety entities.

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2020 Public Safety Industry Outlook

Posted on February 13, 2020 by Morgan Sava

We’re six weeks into a new year and a new decade, and public safety leaders are focused on pursuing more funding, implementing unconventional approaches related to staffing, recruiting and retention, and implementing innovative strategies to modernize their public safety communications technologies and networks—all while keeping them secure from cyberattacks, which are increasing in frequency and complexity.

Recently, we hosted our first webinar of 2020, during which more than 100 public safety professionals shared their top budget priorities and marketing challenges. Upgrading public safety technology, such as legacy computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records-management systems (RMS) was a prominent theme, with more than half of participants citing this as a key priority in their organization for the coming year. Transitioning to Next Generation 911 (NG911) and staffing, retention and organizational planning also were reemerging topics from previous years.

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