Survey: Public Safety Agencies Worried About Cybersecurity

LAS VEGAS — More than one-third of public safety respondents to a nationwide survey say that cybersecurity incidents have impacted communications over the past five years, but nearly half of respondents haven’t implemented best practices.

The results are from a nationwide SAFECOM survey of public safety parties at all levels of government and in all public safety disciplines. The survey closed in March, and the full results may be released next week, according to Ron Hewitt, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications.

Mr. Hewitt discussed the survey results and other OEC activities yesterday afternoon at the APCO 2018 show here. “Over a third (37%) of …  respondents indicated that cybersecurity incidents have had an impact on the ability of their emergency response providers and government officials’ ability to communicate over the past five years,” according to Mr. Hewitt’s presentation. “Yet, almost half (46%) of respondents had not instituted cybersecurity best practices, such as risk assessment, continuous monitoring, and identity management.  In fact, only one in five (20%) respondents indicated having cybersecurity incident response plans, policies and capabilities.”

The presentation also said that “75% of local organizations report now having a planning process in place with other disciplines and 78% report having one in place with other jurisdictions.” That compares to 24% in 2006.

The survey also found that the use of Internet protocol-based systems for interoperability has nearly tripled since 2006 to 14%.

According to the presentation, “10% of organizations indicate their primary voice is insufficient for day-to-day situations” while more than “40% of organizations indicated that both their interoperable data and backup data capacity is insufficient for day-to-day situations[.]” —Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily