Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
Cybercrime is at the top of everyone’s mind across all levels of government. Because cybercrime tends to be more technically complex, demand a ransom, attack very complicated networks and data platforms. Cyber-attacks on government networks are growing exponentially and in some instances with detrimental consequences. Public Safety networks are under cyber-attack because they are a high value/high vulnerability target to hackers.
First responders increasingly rely on complex systems that support all aspects of emergency management, from mitigation and preparedness to response and recovery. Failure of these systems, whether accidental or because of malicious action, can have severe implications for public safety. Cyber threats can impose harm to communications, sensing, information management and vehicular technologies by totally shutting down public safety. Cyber-attacks can directly cause physical damage or indirectly aggravate a physical incident by impeding the work of first responders. Public Safety utilizes several private and public communications systems from satellite communications to wireless sensor networks, cellular networks and the Internet, a security breach in one or more of these systems can have an impact on all of them.
To mitigate the likelihood that an emergency will occur and reduce its impact, the department is taking proactive steps to identify areas of high risk. Specifically, through the purchase of computer hardware, network switches and cybersecurity software, data vaults as well as building security improvements that will be upgraded to include additional internal and external security cameras, door access pads and HVAC sustainability to protect vital IT equipment at both the primary and redundant data sites.