9-1-1 Cybersecurity Concerns Spur New Partnership Between NENA: The 9-1-1 Association & the Center for Internet Security

Jan. 22, 2021 – As America’s state and local 9-1-1 authorities work to harness the capabilities of broadband and IP networks to improve emergency communications, the cybersecurity posture of 9-1-1 systems is a paramount concern. In an effort to develop and promote cybersecurity awareness and resources within the 9-1-1 community, NENA: The 9-1-1 Association and the Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) have adopted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to guide joint initiatives and encourage best practices between the two organizations.

Currently, the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems that are being deployed across the nation enable faster more accurate data sharing, increased system resiliency, and improved dispatching capabilities. However, the IP-based nature of NG9-1-1 also introduces more potential points of cyber vulnerability. Under the MoU, NENA and CIS will develop and distribute cybersecurity guidelines for NG9-1-1, as well as for legacy 9-1-1 systems. These two groups also plan to cohost a 9-1-1 cybersecurity summit in late 2021 or early 2022.

The partnership brings together NENA, the leading association for 9-1-1 standards development, and education with CIS, whose Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (MS-ISAC®) is the trusted resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response, and recovery for U.S. State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) government entities.

“As we continue to lead the transition from legacy 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 technologies, it is imperative that we elevate 9-1-1 professionals’ knowledge of cybersecurity issues,” said NENA President Gary Bell, ENP. “NENA is excited to deepen our collaboration with CIS and we are confident this partnership will help improve public safety in every community.”

“We look forward to using all of the CIS and MS-ISAC defense-in-depth resources to help strengthen the nation’s broadband and IP networks to improve the nation’s emergency communications,“ said Mike Aliperti, MS-ISAC Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement and MS-ISAC Chair.

The MS-ISAC is grant-funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) (cisa.gov). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


 About NENA: The 9-1-1 Association

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) improves 9-1-1 through research, standards development, training, education, outreach, and advocacy. Our vision is a public made safer and more secure through universally-available state-of-the-art 9-1-1 systems and better-trained 9-1-1 professionals.
 About CIS

The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) makes the connected world a safer place for people, businesses, and governments through our core competencies of collaboration and innovation. We are a community-driven nonprofit, responsible for the CIS Controls® and CIS Benchmarks™, globally recognized best practices for securing IT systems and data. We lead a global community of IT professionals to continuously evolve these standards and provide products and services to proactively safeguard against emerging threats. Our CIS Hardened Images® provide secure, on-demand, scalable computing environments in the cloud. CIS is home to the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (EI-ISAC®), which supports the rapidly changing cybersecurity needs of U.S. elections offices. To learn more, visit CISecurity.org or follow us on Twitter: @CISecurity.

Media Contact: Chris Nussman