Project 25 Technology Information Group


Monday, January 25, 2021

Project 25 Technology Information Group

The Project 25 Consolidated Communications Network of Colorado (CCNC) proves to be a Game-Changer for multi-agency coordination as well as preserving life safety during the recent 2020 wildfires in the state.

By: Sheriff Justin Smith, Larimer County Colorado

 

PTIG Thanks Sheriff Smith for this excellent story and poictures depicting the use of Project 25 for Interopreability and multi-agency coordination during the 2020 wildfires in Colorado.  Please download the full story using the link below.

 

See the Full Article with Pictures from the Wildfires downloading the link below;

 

Colorado P25 CCNC Game Changer for Interoperability in 2020 Wildfires Dec 2020

 

Larimer County P25 interoperability During 2020 Wildfires

With shared talkgroup access between first responder agencies and several locally established mutual aid paths to facilitate regional shared communications, agencies across Larimer County have grown to depend on the communications made possible under the P25 standards.

However, beginning on August 13 of 2020, we tested the limits of the system and enjoyed the benefits of a statewide P25 system when we organized our response to the Cameron Peak Fire- a Rocky Mountain wildfire that over the following 3 months grew into Colorado’s largest single wildfire on record.

Once the response grew beyond county-based agencies, Larimer County requested and received permission to secure a regional mutual aid channel (MAC) under the CCNC system. Having access to that MAC assured that any first responder agency in the state who sent resources could immediately be in communications with local resources without having to issue cache radios or reprogram radios brought by those first responders.

That capability proved a game changer for coordination as well as preserving life safety throughout the fire.

Assisting resources from around the state were advised of the communications plan prior to arrival and we able to communicate with Larimer County agencies seamlessly.

IMG 4886

 

The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) has published the latest comprehensive list of all Project 25 TIA Documents approved by the P25 Steering Committee. 

 

The list was approved  by the Steering Committee in December of 2020.  A copy of the list can be down loaded using the link below.

 

Project 25 Standards Documents Approved by the P25 Steering Committee December 2020

 

The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) offers links to a Library of P25 Security and Encryption Resources.

 

In coordination with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators, the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications (FPIC) continues to provide public safety officials and agencies with the information necessary to make informed decisions when implementing encryption in Project 25 public safety communication systems.

The Project 25 Technology Interest Group is pleased to offer links to these important P25 Security and Encryption Resources for P25 users, manufacturers, and consultants.

The Full Document Library can be found on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) web page using the link below:

https://www.cisa.gov/publication/encryption

 

Requirements for communications and information security in the public safety community is increasing as technologies for monitoring public safety communications become more accessible. Scanners and smart phone apps make it easier for anyone to access sensitive law enforcement and emergency medical services information transmitted in the clear (without encryption). At the same time, encrypting specific talk groups or channels in a land mobile radio (LMR) system can potentially interfere with interoperability within and among agencies if encryption protocols are not properly coordinated and shared among users.

Public safety agencies face a broad range of options when it comes to encryption capabilities, including choices of encryption algorithm, various protocols for key generation, key management and determining crypto-periods (the length of time between system-wide changes of encryption keys). These options can be simplified by considering best practices developed by public safety agencies not only to protect their own systems’ communications and information sharing but also to maintain interoperability with their local, state, tribal and federal mutual aid partners.

A List of the Documents available in the CISA library is below:

Operational Best Practices for Encryption Key Management (August 2020)

This latest document thoroughly explores the challenges of communications and information sharing relevant to public safety LMR systems and provides the public safety community with specific encryption key management best practices and case studies that illustrate the importance of protected communications and information sharing. The Operational Best Practices for Encryption Key Management document was developed in partnership with the National Law Enforcement Communications Center (NLECC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and subject matter experts from federal, state, and local agencies.

Operational Best Practices for Encryption Key Management (August 2020)

Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems

This report describes agency requirements related to LMR encryption. It outlines the types of radio traffic that should be considered for encryption, including sensitive law enforcement information, personally identifiable information, tactical/investigative communications, time-sensitive disaster/incident response and mitigation information, and other sensitive communication and information that can impact the safety of public safety personnel and the public.

Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems

Guidelines for Encryption in Land Mobile Radio Systems

These Guidelines address encryption methodology—the strategy for determining which encryption methods or algorithms best protects sensitive information. It identifies considerations that should be included in any evaluation of available encryption capabilities as well as potential drawbacks to be considered.

Guidelines for Encryption in Land Mobile Radio Systems

Best Practices for Encryption in P25 Public Safety Land Mobile Radio Systems

This document provides an overview of standardized encryption key management practices related to Project 25 LMR systems, with an emphasis on practices that public safety agencies have found to be most helpful in effectively implementing and managing encryption both within their agencies and with their mutual aid partners. This document is currently under revision and will be published in the first half of 2021.

Best Practices for Encryption in P25 Public Safety Land Mobile Radio Systems  

 

P25 Security & Encryption Summary Fact Sheets

https://www.cisa.gov/publication/encryption

 

Encryption Key Management Fact Sheet

Best Practices for Encryption in P25 Public Safety Land Mobile Radio Systems Fact Sheet

Best Practices for Encryption in P25 Public Safety Land Mobile Radio Systems - Developing Methods to Improve Encrypted Interoperability in Public Safety

Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems - Determining the Need for Encryption in Public Safety Radios

 

Project 25 Standards Update: November 2020 presented at the P25 Steering Committee Web conference.

Andy Davis, Chairman, TIA TR-8 Committee

This document highlights TR-8 accomplishments and work in progress for The Project 25 Suite of Standards in 2020. The document will be updated after every TR-8 face to face meeting and at a regular intervals during the COVID period when face to face meetings have been discontinued.  The filename reflects the date of the latest update.

After the first 2020 version, each update will use blue font to indicate the updates.

The full report can be downloaded using the link below:

 

TR8_2020_summary_11.12.20 pdf File 

A New P25 Best Practices Document is Now available detailing Operational Best Practices for P25 Encryption Key Management.

The Full Document can be downloaded using the link below:

Operational Best Practices for P25 Encryption Key Management

Or from the DHS Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Website Encryption page

https://www.cisa.gov/publication/encryption

 

The Best Practices Document was developed by the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications (FPIC) in coordination with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC). The work was developed in partnership with the National Law Enforcement Communications Center (NLECC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and subject matter experts from federal, state, and local agencies.

This document is the fourth in a series of documents informing public safety on encryption. The first document, Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems, described agency requirements related to land mobile radio (LMR) encryption. The second document, Guidelines for Encryption in Land Mobile Radio Systems, addressed encryption methodology—the strategy for determining which encryption method or algorithm best protects sensitive information. The third document, Best Practices for Encryption in P25 Public Safety Land Mobile Radio Systems, provided an overview of encryption key management related to Project 25 LMR systems. (Links to these documents are available on the CISA Website Encryption Page above)

This New document—Operational Best Practices for Encryption Key Management—continues the education efforts. This document thoroughly explores encryption challenges relevant to public safety LMR systems and provides the public safety community with specific encryption key management best practices and case studies that illustrate the importance of secure communications.

The need for encryption in the public safety community is increasing as technologies for monitoring public safety communications become more accessible. Scanners and smart phone apps make it easy for anyone to access sensitive law enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) information transmitted in the clear (without encryption). At the same time, encrypting an LMR system can potentially interfere with interoperability within and among agencies if encryption protocols are not shared among users.

Public safety agencies face a broad range of options when it comes to encryption key management, including choice of encryption algorithm, various protocols for key generation, and determining cryptoperiods (the length of time between system-wide changes of encryption keys). These options can be simplified by following a number of common-sense practices developed by public safety agencies not only to protect their own systems’ communications but also to maintain interoperability with their local, state, and federal mutual aid partners.


 

 

 

 

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