Emergency communications operations are crucial to public health and safety; interruptions in service could result in loss of life. Because of the urgent nature of their operations, emergency communications centers (ECC) are high-value targets for cyber threat actors.
Since ransomware payments do not ensure data will be decrypted or that systems or data will no longer be compromised, federal law enforcement does not recommend paying ransom. In addition, the United States Department of the Treasury warns these payments run the risk of violating Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions. Therefore, prevention is key.
Click on the icons below to find resources designed to help reduce the risk of ransomware.
Cyber Risks to Public Safety: Ransomware (.pdf, 380KB)
An overview of how ransomware attacks function, the potential impact on emergency response operations, common cybersecurity vulnerabilities, best practices to help secure public safety networks, and reporting resources for organizations experiencing ransomware attacks.
Protecting Your Center from Ransomware Poster (.pdf, 1.69MB)
A customizable poster that can be placed in an ECC, public safety answering point (PSAP), or 911 call or dispatch center that provides information about what staff can do to reduce the risk of ransomware.
CISA PSAP Ransomware Poster Fact Sheet (.pdf, 192KB)
Provides an overview of Protecting Your Center from Ransomware poster and information on how to request an agency specific version.
Ransomware Guide (.pdf, 2.4MB)
A joint project between CISA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center that features best practices and ways to prevent, protect and/or respond to a ransomware attack. The two-part guide includes ransomware prevention best practices and a ransomware response checklist.
For additional related resources, see:
For additional information on public safety communications and cyber resiliency, please contact CISA at PublicSafetyComms@cisa.dhs.gov.
For additional Public Safety Emergency Communications Resources visit SAFECOM Resources.