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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

CHICAGO, Ill. – MissionMode Solutions has released three new mobile applications that revolutionize how organizations respond to crises and operations issues. The apps put the power and versatility of MissionMode’s emergency notification and incident management software on a tablet or smartphone. They extend the capabilities of the company’s web-based applications.

Mobile applications are becoming more important as our society becomes increasingly mobile. Global shipments of tablets will eclipse laptop computers this year, according to research firm IDC. And eMarketer reports that in major world markets, smartphone adoption is higher than 50%.

During a crisis, responders are typically away from their desks. They can’t use traditional crisis management software since they are not in front of a computer. MissionMode’s new mobile apps enable responders and other team members to drive the incident response from the palm of their hands.

Situation Center Mobile is MissionMode’s app for incident and crisis management. It enables teams to work together as if they are in the same room, no matter where they are located. Using tablets and smartphones, team members share information, collaborate, manage tasks, access plans and other important documents, send mass alerts, and more. The Situation Center Mobile app reduces the time, cost and risk of a response by streamlining communication and providing a centralized status of a response at a glance.

Notification Center Mobile is a mass emergency notification app that enables communication with any number of people within minutes. Using a tablet or smartphone, team members can quickly launch alerts with just a few taps on the screen. Customized templates ensure that the right message is sent to the right people. Alerts are sent by voice, email, SMS text message, fax and pager. The app also receives push notifications, even when voice and SMS channels are not operating.

These apps work in concert with EarShot, MissionMode’s app for true 2-way communication. An EarShot message can contain unlimited text, photos, forms and GPS location. Documents and links can be pushed to devices from the web-based control console. No other app on the market offers these capabilities. Among EarShot’s many uses is crowdsourcing eyewitness reports from staff members or students.

“MissionMode pioneered web-based crisis management and notification apps for enterprises. We have always led the way thanks largely to our 100% focus on real-world customer needs,” says Malcolm Hafner, CEO of MissionMode. “Mobile working is a game-changer. It's not just about creating the same features on a different platform. Developed in conjunction with our customers, our mobile apps continue to deliver the market-leading yet practical capabilities for which we’re renowned.”

For more information on these apps, visit www.missionmode.com or email info@missionmode.com.

About MissionMode

MissionMode Solutions, Inc. is a technology services provider dedicated to streamlining communications and facilitating team collaboration for crises and operational incidents. Their emergency notification, incident management and mobile communications applications are used by industry leaders across the globe. They reduce the time between knowing about a mission-critical issue and resolving it. MissionMode is a portfolio company of SilkRoad Equity LLC (www.silkroadequity.com), which specializes in public safety technologies, amongst other high growth sectors. For more information, visit www.missionmode.com.

TEMECULA, Calif. – Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, has completed the installation of its VESTA®/Sentinel® 4 Next Generation 9-1-1
(NG9-1-1) call taking system for eight counties surrounding the Indianapolis, Ind. metropolitan area. The new IP-based system streamlines emergency and administrative communications for the 13 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that serve the region, which is commonly referred to as the “Indy Donut”.

By combining resources and implementing state-of-the-art 9-1-1 communications technology, we have created the path forward to increase the protection of our communities,” said Steve Cooke, 9-1-1 director for Hendricks County.

The VESTA/Sentinel 4 system supports the Indy Donut Consortium across 13 PSAPs and 88 call taking positions. Through its newly designed and highly intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), telecommunicators within the consortium have immediate access to incident-related information, including caller location details and approach instructions, which are essential to emergency dispatch and response.

The Indy Donut consortium encompasses Boone County; Hamilton County, which includes the Noblesville Police Department; Hendricks County; Johnson County, which includes the Franklin Police Department, the Edinburgh Police Department, the Greenwood Police Department and the New Whiteland Police Department; Madison County; Hancock County; Shelby County, which includes the Shelbyville Police Department; and Morgan County, which includes the Mooresville Police Department and the Martinsville Police Department.

Equally beneficial to the Indy Donut PSAPs and the communities they serve is the geo-diverse design of the VESTA/Sentinel 4 NG9-1-1 call taking system. Establishing a single regional network designed to provide true interoperability and greater collaboration, all eight counties are now able to better communicate and act as one when responding to emergencies such as natural disasters and hazardous materials incidents.

The fault-tolerant design of the Indy Donut’s VESTA/Sentinel 4 system includes two host sites. For maximum redundancy, each is capable of running the entire network in the event that the other is unavailable.

The Indy Donut counties funded the system through an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant, which is part of the Homeland Security Grant Program.

Fortunately for us, UASI typically allocates more dollars to grant applicants that support regionalized programs,” said Cooke. “Responsible for upholding public safety in eight counties, we were lucky enough to receive the funds to help support the purchase of the VESTA/Sentinel 4 system for all our PSAPs.”

Several Indy Donut counties have also implemented other products and services from Cassidian Communications, including the Aurora® Management Information System (MIS) and the ORION Vela® mapping solution to further expand their 9-1-1 operations and capabilities.

Later this year, consortium members Indianapolis Marion County (IMC) and Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD)—which includes Indianapolis Airport, Speedway Police Department, Lawrence Police Department and the Perry Back-Up Center—are scheduled to transition to the VESTA/Sentinel4 system. Collectively, the total number of 9-1-1 call taking positions for the entire consortium will rise to 169.

This powerful network places the counties associated with the Indy Donut Consortium at the forefront for regionalization in public safety communications in Indiana,” said Mike Pavick, vice president of sales for Cassidian Communications. “We are honored to be involved in this project and feel confident that our VESTA/Sentinel 4 system fully supports the continued public safety efforts of these progressive counties.”

About Cassidian Communications (www.CassidianCommunications.com)

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is a global leader and trusted source for mission-critical communications technologies, including NG9-1-1 call-taking systems, emergency notification solutions and services, and P25 land mobile radio networks and LTE. For over four decades, Cassidian Communications has upheld its promise to keep people connected when it matters most, consistently designing solutions with an open mind and creating smarter, more effective ways to ensure communities are safe. For Cassidian Communications, CRITICAL MATTERS. The company is headquartered in Temecula, Calif., with facilities located in Richardson, Texas, Franklin, Tenn. and Gatineau, Quebec.

About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)

EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $14 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.

·         Licensing agreement allows Direct Technology’s Emergency Call Tracking System (ECaTS) to gather and analyze data from Cassidian Communications’ call-taking systems

·         ECaTS gives administrators ability to study effectiveness of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) within a multi-vendor 9-1-1 environment in a region, county or state

 

TEMECULA, Calif. – Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, today signed a license agreement with Direct Technology, developer of the Emergency Call Tracking System (ECaTS), to resell licenses for Cassidian Communications’ Call Detail Record (CDR) interface. This agreement allows ECaTS to collect call detail information from Cassidian Communications’ Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems for reporting and analysis. The agreement will also provide a more homogeneous ordering process for the companies’ mutual customers.

 

ECaTS delivers centralized reporting analytics for multi-vendor 9-1-1 operations by using a variety of interfaces to extract data from the call processing equipment at each PSAP across the United States. With ECaTS, emergency communications managers can log in to a secure web site to access data such as number of calls, time of day, hold times and answering times, and generate near real-time reports.

 

“Cassidian Communications has a long tradition of providing its customers the tools they need to find smarter ways to keep their communities safe,” said Fred Michanie, founder and president of Sacramento-based Direct Technology, developer of ECaTS. “Making it possible for their NG9-1-1 customers to use ECaTS to gather near real-time statistics for an entire jurisdiction with a click of a button certainly continues that tradition.”

 

“This agreement will make it easier for our customers to use the ECaTS Management Information System (MIS) solution to access data, especially in multi-vendor enterprise deployments,” said Jeff Wittek, chief strategic officer for Cassidian Communications. “It also demonstrates our willingness to continue to explore integration opportunities that increase the value of our solutions and ultimately benefit our customers.”  

 

About ECaTS (www.ecats911.com)

ECaTS is a Business Intelligence and analytics platform developed exclusively for the
9-1-1 industry. A number of states, counties and individual PSAPs have adopted ECaTS to provide secure, real-time analytics and Public Safety Intelligence with one simple click. ECaTS is proud to be the catalyst of change in the adoption of this technology and continues to pursue the utilization of methodologies and tools that will make 9-1-1 more streamlined, effective, and cohesive.

 

About Cassidian Communications (www.CassidianCommunications.com)

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is a global leader and trusted source for mission-critical communications technologies, including NG9-1-1 call taking systems, emergency notification solutions and services, and P25 land mobile radio networks and LTE. For over four decades, Cassidian Communications has upheld its promise to keep people connected when it matters most, consistently designing solutions with an open mind and creating smarter, more effective ways to ensure communities are safe. For Cassidian Communications, CRITICAL MATTERS. The company is headquartered in Temecula, Calif., with facilities located in Richardson, Texas, Franklin, Tenn. and Gatineau, Quebec.

 

About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)

EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $14 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop a Postal Service worker. But a hurricane will stop the mail truck.

Hurricane Sandy, the massive super-storm that pounded the East Coast in 2012 and caused billions of dollars worth of damage, also managed to destroy or damage 110 delivery vehicles used by the U.S. Postal Service. Most of vehicles were damaged by flooding, but one got hit by a falling tree.

The damaged vehicles are a small segment of the fleet affected by the hurricane. Postal Service employees managed to save 16,157 vehicles unscathed, which the USPS Inspector General credits to good emergency planning before the hurricane.

According to its 2012 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, USPS instructed employees to move mail vehicles to higher ground.

By Danny Bradbury

The world and its dog has been shocked by the Prism news story. Early in June, we found out that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had developed a secret data-gathering mechanism to steal all our data and store it in a large data warehouse.

We are outraged that it is being mined, searched and otherwise prodded. But do we really think that big data security problems stop at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Fort Meade?

The private sector has been collecting data on all of us for ages. It is stored in massive data sets, often spread between multiple sources. What makes us think this is any more secure? At least the NSA is well trained in keeping it all under lock and key.

Social trend

What does “big data” mean, anyway? Some describe it – wrongly – as simply a lot of data in a relational database. But if that were the case, then the security challenges would be the same as for conventional databases. And they aren’t.

Others view it as data sets so large that they cannot be handled by traditional relational tools. But we have had that kind of thing for years, in the form of data warehouses.

...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/19/big_data_security_considerations/

By Lockwood Lyon

As summer (in the northern hemisphere) comes to an end and summer vacations wrap up, it's time to prepare for the upcoming end-of-year rush. The months of November and December are characterized by a significant increase in consumer transactions including holiday-related purchases of food and gifts, travel, bank transactions, and winter clothing.

Many retail organizations call this period the Peak Season, and for good reasons: not only are transaction rates higher during this time of year, but a significant amount of a company's profit (sometimes as much as 40%) is realized.

To meet the upcoming demands on IT systems database administrators (DBAs) need to prepare the database and its supporting infrastructure for increased resource demands. Being proactive now can pay big dividends by maintaining service level agreements (SLAs), avoiding outages and resource shortages, and ensuring a positive overall customer experience.

...

http://www.databasejournal.com/features/db2/the-database-administrators-back-to-school-checklist.html

Monday, 19 August 2013 17:27

Policies & Procedures

Create BEFORE need

 

Lack of relevant policies and procedures is likely to cost the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) at least US$25,000.

According to Lawyers and Settlements.com, a 30-year veteran nurse at UTMC was terminated for failure to stop another nurse from removing items from the operating room before the procedure had concluded. The complaining nurse claims she was also fired for violating policies on communications and logging out.

The story is that the plaintiff was working in the operating room (OR) with another nurse.

The other nurse left the OR for lunch, but, according to the article, failed to log out of the hospital computer system. Returning from lunch the nurse allegedly disposed of a kidney that was waiting to be transplanted.

...

http://johnglennmbci.blogspot.com/2013/08/erm-bc-coop-policies-procedures.html

The new European Union regulation requiring mandatory personal data breach disclosures by telecoms operators and internet service providers (ISPs) comes into force on Sunday 25 August 2013.

The new regulation builds out the security breach provisions for telecoms providers and ISPs introduced into EU law in 2009 through the E-Privacy Directive 2009/136/EC.

From 25 August, all EU telcos and ISPs will be required to notify national authorities of any theft, loss or unauthorised access to personal customer data, including emails, calling data and IP addresses.

Details concerning any incident, including the timing and circumstances of the breach, nature and content of the data involved, and likely consequences of the breach, must be reported.

“Controversially, the regulation requires breach notification to national regulators within 24 hours of detection, subject to a "feasibility" request,” said Stewart Room, privacy and information partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse.

...

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240203760/EU-data-breach-disclosures-to-be-enforced-soon

Following on from my previous article about Prism, we have since heard further revelations of the US National Security Agency's (NSA) interception and surveillance of data. 

Prism is evidently the tip of a data privacy iceberg. International “cyber espionage” makes great press, but let’s get this straight from the outset: your data is at risk whether you are small, medium, large, a corporation, charity or nation. Moreover, your sensitive information is at risk.

So why look at intellectual property (IP)?

IP is your most sensitive data; that which you need to control completely. If compromised, it could affect the stability or the existence of a company or product, and as such represents the greatest prize to an attacker. National security has its equivalents – passport data, criminal databases, spy identities – information an aggressive foreign state could use against the home nation to cause disruption and discord.

...

http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Security-Think-Tank-Your-sensitive-information-is-at-risk

Monday, 19 August 2013 17:21

Point Solutions Must Die

Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “Incident Response Isn’t About Point Solutions; It Is About An Ecosystem."  This concept naturally extends beyond incident response to broader enterprise defense.  An ecosystem approach provides us an alternative to the cobbling together of the Frankenstein’esque security infrastructure that is so ubiquitous today.

Many of us in the information security space have a proud legacy of only purchasing best in breed point solutions. In my early days as an information security practitioner, I only wanted to deploy these types of standalone solutions. One of the problems with this approach is that it results in a bloated security portfolio with little integration between security controls. This bloat adds unneeded friction to the infosec team’s operational responsibilities.  We talk about adding friction to make the attacker’s job more difficult, what about this self-imposed friction?  S&R pros jobs are hard enough. I’m not suggesting that you eliminate best in breed solutions from consideration, I’m suggesting that any “point solution” that functions in isolation and adds unneeded operational friction shouldn’t be considered.

...

http://blogs.forrester.com/rick_holland/13-08-18-point_solutions_must_die