MCP Insights

Subscribe to Newsletter

9/11 Two Decades Later — Much Done, Much Still to Do

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, as well as the hijacking of a third commercial airliner that day, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers confronted the terrorists. The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities and more than 25,000 injuries. It is the deadliest single incident for firefighters and police officers in the U.S., who respectively lost 340 and 72 members that day. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack our history.

Implementing a Cybersecurity Training Program is the First Line of Defense

Cybersecurity has become a huge problem for any organization that is operating networks and/or systems, but especially so for those in the government sector, particularly public-safety and justice agencies.

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right for Your Agency?

A lot of people in the public safety/justice/public sector sectors are talking about cloud-based solutions these days. It is easy to understand why there is so much chatter because solutions that live in the cloud offer some impressive benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Cloud-based solutions typically offer best-of-breed technologies and services
  • Cloud-based solutions remove the maintenance and upgrade burden from the end user from a technology perspective
  • Cloud-based solutions often make it easier to share resources regionally or even broader compared with siloed, on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions typically offer enhanced resiliency and redundancy compared with on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions often make it easier for agencies to transfer operations to another location in “bug out” scenarios
  • Cloud-based solutions are easier and faster to scale —both up and down, based on the agency’s needs at any given juncture — compared with on-premises solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions typically are more secure, because providers often have greater information technology and cybersecurity resources and assets to draw upon

MCP Has a Lot Going On at Next Week’s NENA Conference

Things are starting to feel more normal, if not completely normal, as the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be winding down and various restrictions are being lifted, or at least lessened. Strong evidence of this can be found next week in Columbus, Ohio, where the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) will host its annual trade show and conference. This is the first brick-and-mortar event to be staged in the public safety communications sector in roughly a year and a half.

Data Integration Infographic Brings a Vast Technology Ecosystem Into Perspective

The technology ecosystem that exists in the public-safety/justice community is vast, complex and powerful. Because of its vastness and complexity, we developed an infographic to help clients more easily grasp it. Here’s what it looks like:

Next Week’s CAPS Explores Public-Safety Opportunities & Challenges

Having attended dozens of educational conferences over the decade that I served as editor-in-chief of Urgent Communications and Fire Chief magazines, I know an excellent one when I see it—and I can report without fear of contradiction that the second-annual Conference for Advancing Public Safety (CAPS)—being presented by Mission Critical Partners (MCP) on June 15-16—is shaping up to be an excellent educational event.

Liability Is Another Critical Reason to Be Prudent About Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks should be on the radar of every agency in the public-safety/justice community. One of the most prevalent attacks involves ransomware, which is a specific type of malware that cyberattackers use to exploit a system vulnerability and then launch a program that encrypts the organization’s data files, essentially locking them and rendering them unusable. The cyberattacker then demands a ransom—hence the name—to provide the key that unlocks the files.

Cybersecurity Threat Advisory: FortiOS Vulnerabilities

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 critical communications networks. Sign up to receive these advisories in your inbox as soon as they are released.

Exploring the Basics of Crisis Communications for Public Safety

A constant in the public safety community is that agencies, no matter where they are located, inevitably will encounter a crisis that will affect, or even disrupt, their operations. Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, cyberattacks, network outages and system failures—even a pandemic every century or so—can wreak havoc on an agency’s mission-critical operations. Consequently, it is imperative that every public safety agency has a crisis preparedness plan. This is particularly true of emergency communications centers that field 911 calls from the public and then dispatch the appropriate emergency response.

2020—Year in Review

The year 2020 was fraught with challenges, most notably those generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Public safety and justice agencies from coast to coast were forced to implement, virtually overnight, new operational strategies that became necessary because employees were unable to work in their brick-and-mortar facilities, either due to illness or various shelter-in-place orders. In some cases, agencies had to rapidly execute protective measures for those employees who could arrive at work, driven by social-distancing mandates.

Leading by Example—T-Mobile Steps Up for Public Safety

This year was plagued by much hardship and sorrow, yet heartwarming stories and demonstrations of great leadership abound. From the heroic frontline workers battling the coronavirus to the pharmaceutical companies’ development of life-changing vaccines in record time, leaders are rising to the challenges. Similarly, the public safety community has had its fair share of challenges in 2020, especially those related to implementing Next Generation 911 and its life-saving capabilities, but now, as we wind down the year, an unsuspecting leader in public safety has emerged—T‑Mobile.

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

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.