Securing Those Who Secure Us

AT&T Blog Team
November 22, 2022
Internet Protection

Securing Those Who Secure Us

As we’ve seen recently during natural disasters like Hurricane Ian, extreme weather events have the capacity to strain the public safety systems we rely on. But even as these floods, wildfires and other natural disasters continue to affect the country, our network has risen to the challenge to support public safety organizations during disaster recovery efforts.

To respond to these events, first responders require reliable connectivity that helps protect from not only weather-related outages, but also from other harms like cyberattacks. Whether for day-to-day operations or preparations for an incoming storm, it’s crucial that public safety agencies can communicate with one another to coordinate responses.

As we know, cyberattacks and cybercrime continue to increase dramatically, and the ability to combat these threats is becoming more complex, challenging, and critical to mission success. Public safety agencies are often the target of cyber-criminals, hacktivists and rogue nations. As such, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance to FirstNet®, Built with AT&T – the nation’s only platform built with and for first responders.

We rely on first responders to keep us safe, and we’re working hard so they can rely on us to help keep their communication’s platform – FirstNet – secure.

Just as we understand communities have different connectivity needs, we also understand that first responders have unique network security needs. And we’re working hand-in-hand to offer them tailored cybersecurity solutions.

“We’re committed to offering solutions that fit communities unique network security needs. Read more about how we’re keeping industries safe as they innovate.”

Always on Behind the Scenes

Many security aspects of FirstNet function behind the scenes – 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. This means first responders can rest easier knowing their communications platform is built with cybersecurity in mind.

We’re actively preparing for threats and managing FirstNet around the clock, with the dedicated Security Operations Center (SOC) professionals solely focused on the security needs of FirstNet. To enhance protections, they collaborate closely with our broader team of engineers, employing many of the security systems and procedures we’ve honed over decades of operating our global network.

FirstNet also goes beyond standard commercial network security measures, offering protection without sacrificing usability – including its highly secure core and available add-ons, or easily added, services.

  • It will be the first-ever network with comprehensive, tower-to-core encryption – providing encryption along the entire route from the cell tower, through the backhaul, to the core and back again.

Public Safety Trainings & Community Impact

We’re also helping to mitigate cyber risks by working with public safety organizations to offer first responders proactive opportunities to become cyber aware.

  • Cybersecurity Academy and other tailored guides provide in-depth training videos customized for FirstNet users – covering a range of topics from why public safety agencies are targeted to how to identify phishing emails.

And we’re not stopping there. FirstNet users can also share a collection of animated cybersecurity awareness videos with the broader community to teach kids and adults how to protect themselves from bad actors online.

Responding to Disasters

FirstNet is an asset in any emergency. Resiliency and security are built in to safeguard it from Mother Nature’s persistent unpredictability.

Just as first responders are always on call to respond to disasters and help with recovery efforts, our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team is always on call to keep FirstNet up and running – whether during natural disasters or cyberattacks.

  • Our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program offers hundreds of technology recovery and support trailers that can be quickly deployed for first responders and customers alike.

Both our NDR program and FirstNet Response Operation Group (ROG) were on the ground during Hurricane Ian and have worked hard to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters – whenever they may strike.

  • During the recent flooding in Kentucky, as well as the wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico and the intense winter storms in California, our teams understand that communication with loved ones and first responders is  not optional and acted accordingly.

FirstNet ROG – led by former first responders – is bringing a level of connectivity and advanced capability that transforms the role communications play in response efforts.

  • So far this year, FirstNet ROG has deployed 450+ solutions to support public safety, including CRDs – Compact Rapid Deployables, SatCOLTs – or Satellite Cell on Light Trucks and in-building communications solutions.

“Check out this video to see more of the unique assets we have on hand for this year’s storm season.”

With so many moving parts, it’s imperative that public safety personnel have dependable and highly secure access to the critical information they need while in the field – as every second counts.

  • And when disasters occur – whether natural like hurricanes or manmade like cyberattacks – the FirstNet Response Operations Group and AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) teams are ready to rapidly respond, restoring service as quickly and safely as possible to provide for continuity of operations.

The bottom line: Whether responding to routine calls or preparing for natural disasters, first responder communication is critical. Public safety agencies can rely on FirstNet to help keep their communications protected, so they can focus on their mission of keeping our communities safe.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.