MCP Insights

MCP's Lifecycle Management Services Have Come A Long Way in Just Five Years

Posted on October 29, 2020 by David S. Jones

According to the old saying, time flies when one is having fun. The adage also applies when a new business unit is being built.

A little more than five years ago—has it really been that long?—MCP landed its first network monitoring contract, which marked the birth of our Lifecycle Management Services division. The initial concept for MCP to get involved in this business was the brainchild of Dave Boyce, with a helpful push from Brian Bark. It all started when the Pennsylvania Region 13 Task Force decided that once their Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) was complete, the region needed to monitor the ESInet. Because MCP subject matter experts had designed and deployed the network, Region 13 asked us for help in securing a monitoring service. The search didn’t go well. There weren’t many options, and those that were qualified to do the work were seeking fees that were markedly cost prohibitive, or they wanted to monitor only a specific network segment.

That’s when the proverbial lightbulb went on. “Maybe there’s a way that we can do this ourselves,” Dave said.

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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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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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