David Simpson, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, is urging public safety answering points (PSAPs) today to take steps to address cyber vulnerabilities.
“America’s 911 call centers handle thousands of emergency calls each day, often involving life-or-death situations where every second counts. Now imagine how disruptive it would be for a 911 call center (known as a Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP) to deal with a cyberattack on its information systems while performing its lifesaving mission,” Mr. Simpson said in a blog posting. “Unfortunately, this is a very real threat facing PSAPs today – and one that will grow over time. For example, the press has reported on several local law enforcement agencies that were locked out of their computer networks by hackers who demanded ransom to restore access. The good news, however, is that there are resources available and steps that PSAPs of all sizes can take to protect themselves.”