CISA Updates Toolkit to Promote Public Safety Communications and Cyber Resiliency


Author: Dave Nolan, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Advanced Interoperable Technology Section Head, ECD Governance Branch

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) collaborates with public safety, national security, and emergency preparedness communities to enhance seamless and secure communication to keep America safe, secure, and resilient. Any interruption in communications can have a cascading effect, impacting the public safety agency’s ability to deliver critical lifesaving services to the community. Therefore, public safety agencies carefully plan, implement, and review communications capabilities for resiliency to maintain daily communications abilities and prepare in advance for emergency events. 

To assist public safety agencies in navigating the wealth of information available regarding communications resiliency, CISA created the Public Safety Communications and Cyber Resiliency Toolkit to identify and address emergent trends and issues, consolidate resources, educate stakeholders at all levels of government, and propose mitigations to enable resilient public safety communications. The Toolkit is designed to assist public safety agencies and others responsible for communications networks by providing the tools necessary to evaluate current resiliency capabilities, identify ways to improve resiliency, and develop plans for mitigating the effects of potential resiliency threats.

Through the use of an interactive graphic displaying components of the emergency communications ecosystem, Toolkit users can easily navigate through a number of topics and access applicable resources. Current topic areas include:

  • Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications (AWNs)
  • Cyber Incidents
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
  • Jamming
  • Local Access Networks (LAN)
  • Next Generation 911 (NG911)
  • Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Disruptions
  • Power
  • Priority Services
  • Ransomware
  • Resiliency Introduction
  • Site Hardening
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

As part of CISA’s commitment to provide the most up-to-date information in support of communications and cyber resiliency, the Toolkit is designed to be a living document, with the ability to grow and expand as new resources are developed and identified. Since its original publication, the Toolkit has been updated with the addition of four categories of resources, Ransomware; Positioning, Timing, and Navigation Disruptions; Power; and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and eighteen new resources. The overarching design and layout of the Toolkit has also been updated to improve the overall user experience. Users are encouraged to revisit the Toolkit on a regular basis to take advantage of recently added information and resources.

For more information and additional guidance regarding communications resiliency, visit https://www.cisa.gov/safecom/technology.