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How to Protect Your Emergency Communication System from Hacking

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Ensuring Your Emergency Communication System is Secure

Every site, business, and community needs to be properly outfitted with the right emergency communication system to protect people and assets against the effects of a crisis. Once the proper system is in place, emergency managers need to make sure it’s secure to prevent hacking.

Unfortunately, criminals sometimes hack into emergency communication systems and either prevent them from sending alerts at the appropriate time or cause them to send alerts when there is no threat. The latter happened in Dallas when its 156 emergency sirens sounded in the absence of an emergency.

Fortunately, emergency managers and system administrators can take proactive steps to ensure their emergency communication systems are protected against hackers. CentrAlert offers Secure Communication Network (SCN) protocol that integrates across channels and manufacturers.

Secure Communication Network (SCN): A Reliable Guardian Against Hacking

CentrAlert’s Crisis-Driven Alert & Control system has been equipped with SCN protocol that includes integrated, time-based encryption and synchronized algorithms for more than a decade and has never reported a breach or unauthorized activation.

SCN features Live Alert Protect, software that prevents a system from sending out a false live alert. When an operator begins to initiate an alert, the preview screen displays the message that will go out and produces a unique four-digit code. Before the live alert can be sent, the operator must type the code. The code, which is not a password, appears on the screen, and the operator simply needs to type it in the blank space.

SCN Interfaces Across Channels

The dawn of the age of technology has brought with it many channel options for communicating with specific personnel and the public about crises. In Dallas, the false alert involved sirens, but emergency communication systems can include many other channels. Fortunately, CentrAlert’s SCN protocol interfaces with any kind of technology, protecting all your site’s emergency channels from hacking.

Use the SCN protocol with, for example:

  • Sirens
  • Reader Boards
  • Text messages
  • Social media alerts
  • PA systems
  • Strobe lights
  • Phone calls
  • Email blasts

SCN Integrates into any Manufacturer’s System

While CentrAlert engineers are willing to outfit your site with all of our hardware and software, we understand some emergency managers are looking for an option to protect their current system—which may or may not include our products—from hackers. The SCN protocol can integrate with products produced by any manufacturer.

For example, we have integrated SCN with the following siren manufacturers: Whelen, Federal Signal, American Signal, and ATI. Of course, that list is different for each communication channel.

Ensure your emergency alert and notification system is always ready to send the right messages to the right people at the right time. Don’t delay! Contact us today to learn more about the SCN protocol or to ask any question about your site’s security.

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