Public Safety Wireless Network: Digital Land Mobile Radio (DLMR) Security Problem Statement   [open pdf - 27KB]

"This problem statement narrative, presented by the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) program, highlights emerging security issues associated with evolving Public Safety radio communications systems. This narrative addresses the vital need for security from an infrastructure protection perspective, explains the cause of new security threats and vulnerabilities, and highlights the security challenges that face the public safety community. National Performance Review (NPR) recommendation IT04, the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) Management Plan, Executive Order 13010, NPR Action Item A06, and the final report from the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP) have brought to the forefront of national efforts the protection of the evolving public safety communications infrastructure. Evolving public safety digital land mobile radio (DLMR) systems are envisioned as operating as large automated information systems (AIS) with open interfaces providing digital-based interconnectivity with other systems and subsystems. While the latest DLMR technology will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public safety communications, a host of security risks could be introduced unless effective mitigating actions are undertaken based on security awareness and understanding. Most importantly, digital radio systems must be configured and managed in a way that will provide adequate protection from computer-based threats. Because the majority of DLMR systems now being rolled out across the country are not undergoing any form of security assurance process, the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) program faces the challenge of investigating and addressing the security issues of the public safety communications infrastructure. The security-related issues facing the PSWN program are the lack of: an understanding of the security threats, vulnerabilities, and risks associated with the evolving DLMR systems; clearly specified communications security needs for public safety organizations; security standards or guidelines applicable to DLMR systems; and an understanding of the tools and techniques available to secure these systems."

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