By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet President
FirstNet recognizes that both usability and security will be equally important to the success of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). Fortunately, we have the opportunity to implement security at the outset, so that the data, privacy, and operational security of the future users of the network, the nation’s first responders, and the people they are serving are protected upon launch.
To that end, yesterday we released a Special Notice on cyber security to solicit input from industry, public safety, and other interested parties as part of our Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The Cyber Security Special Notice and draft Appendix C-10, Cyber Security outline, at a high level, the key considerations and concerns with respect to how cyber security should be designed, established, and sustained as the foundation of the NPSBN.
We believe these two documents will assist industry and public safety stakeholders in planning for a robust and usable cyber security framework for the network. Further, we have an opportunity to innovate and be creative in addressing cyber security from the ground up for one of the most diverse, complex, and unique broadband networks in the country. After all, this will be the only nationwide network that is dedicated to public safety and can provide first responders with true priority and rural coverage.
FirstNet is confident that with industry’s ideas and innovation, we will gain better insight into how to ensure the safety and security of public safety data, protect this network for all of our users, and ensure that the network remains highly usable for critical data communications during emergencies. A key objective of ours is to implement robust foundational security into the network so that compliance will be built into the network, rather than achieving security through compliance efforts.
We encourage both industry and public safety to be part of this new approach and to help us lead the way to a paradigm shift for how the NPSBN and potentially other networks are secured in the future. FirstNet looks forward to your input on this Special Notice and your continued participation in our process moving forward.