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Cyber Resiliency for Public Safety: A NIST-Centric Approach



Public safety is a critical concern for all communities. First responders and emergency management personnel rely on a wide range of technologies to carry out their missions, and these technologies are increasingly becoming interconnected and complex. This creates new opportunities for innovation, but it also introduces new cybersecurity risks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plays a vital role in helping public safety organizations to protect their systems and data from cyberattacks. NIST develops and publishes cybersecurity standards and guidelines that are used by public safety organizations of all sizes. NIST also provides training and technical assistance to help public safety organizations implement these standards and guidelines.

NIST's cybersecurity framework for public safety is a risk-based approach that helps organizations to identify, prioritize, and manage their cybersecurity risks. The framework is based on five core functions:

  • Identify: Develop the organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities.

  • Protect: Develop and implement the appropriate safeguards to ensure delivery of critical infrastructure services.

  • Detect: Develop and implement the appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity event.

  • Respond: Develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected cybersecurity event.

  • Recover: Develop and implement the appropriate activities to maintain plans for resilience and to restore any capabilities or services that were impaired due to a cybersecurity event.

NIST's cybersecurity framework for public safety is a valuable tool for organizations of all sizes. By implementing the framework, organizations can improve their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Here are some specific examples of how NIST-centric cybersecurity can help to improve public safety:

  • Protecting critical infrastructure: Public safety organizations rely on a wide range of critical infrastructure, such as power grids, telecommunications networks, and transportation systems. NIST's cybersecurity framework can help public safety organizations to identify and protect their critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • Enhancing situational awareness: First responders need to be able to quickly and accurately assess the situation at hand in order to make effective decisions. NIST's cybersecurity framework can help public safety organizations to collect, analyze, and share information securely, which can enhance situational awareness and improve decision-making.

  • Improving communication and coordination: Public safety organizations often need to coordinate their activities with a variety of other organizations, such as law enforcement, healthcare providers, and utilities. NIST's cybersecurity framework can help public safety organizations to securely communicate and coordinate their activities with other organizations.

NIST-centric cybersecurity is essential for protecting public safety. By implementing NIST's cybersecurity framework, public safety organizations can improve their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Authored By: Yash Deshpande Research Analyst Abhi Thorat CTO & Founder


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