CISA’s Emergency Communications Division (ECD) led the Cyber Resilient 911 (CR911) Program’s second regional symposium in the Southeast, which included CISA regions 4 and 6 as well as Delaware, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Attendees included 911 administrators, representatives from local centers and IT/cyber communities, and Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) from each state and territory. CISA's collaboration history with SWICs is crucial for enhancing nationwide interoperability and strengthening stakeholder relationships, especially in emergency communication systems like 911. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) partnered with CISA to engage stakeholders to determine cybersecurity priorities for the CR911 Program.
At the symposium, speakers and panelists presented an overview of the current cyber threat landscape and shared resources to help enhance the cybersecurity posture of Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs). Symposium topics included the current state of cyber resilience in the 911 ecosystem, best practices for responding to a cyberattack and the available program resources for each region. CISA facilitators utilized interactive live polling, breakout sessions and group discussions to gather stakeholders’ current needs, concerns and capability gaps with regards to cybersecurity. Attendees also participated in a tabletop discussion focused on a simulated cyberattack scenario.
Billy Bob Brown, Jr., Executive Assistant Director of CISA’s ECD, shared this sentiment following the success of the program’s second symposium, “We are grateful to all our 911 stakeholders, esteemed partners at NHTSA, NTIA, and FCC, as well as speakers from other CISA divisions, state, local and federal entities, for joining us and making the program’s second symposium a resounding success. Each region offers an invaluable perspective for their state and local communities. Listening to their challenges and feedback has been instrumental in helping CISA understand what it takes to truly build a secure and resilient 911 ecosystem that is capable of strengthening our nation’s ECCs against evolving cyber threats."
CISA will continue its efforts to reach 911 stakeholders in Spring 2024 and plans to host two additional symposiums in the Western and Central regions. CISA will use the findings from each symposium to help determine how to better serve the 911 community’s cybersecurity needs. This symposium brings CISA one step closer to achieving its vision to: Empower the nation’s 911 communities to defend their critical infrastructure against cyber threats through the design and implementation of a secure and resilient 911 ecosystem.