By: Adam Stone on January 21, 2014
Emergency planners routinely think about the outside world: What if that building fell to a natural disaster or man-made attack, or that neighborhood flooded? What if hackers disabled that water plant or took out the power grid?
Now turn that same question inward. What if they struck against you?
Consider cybercrime, one of the fastest-growing forms of social malice. Victims in the news typically include banks, online commerce and political targets. But hackers have taken aim against government institutions as well, and it’s not a far leap from there to imagine an attack against first responders themselves. It’s no sci-fi scenario to posit an attack against a 911 system, an emergency response center or police resources.
In fact, the threat is very real, and today’s emergency managers are tasked with ensuring not just that their systems are rock-solid, but also that their response plans are in place.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency gives credence to the possibility that its own systems could someday come under cyberattack. The agency actively plans for such an incursion and thinks hard about remediation, said spokesperson Tamara McBride.
“We’re sitting down with our cyberworkgroup and discussing just that question. We’re very focused on the consequences of those threats,” she said. Suppose the department’s own communications systems were sabotaged, leaving no ready route to connect with citizens. “Do we go door to door? Do we go up the street with a bullhorn or reach out to ham radio volunteers? Those are all the things that are on the table.”
Continue reading this article at Emergency Management.com