Excelerate Technology, connectivity and technology partner to the UK’s emergency services, is conducting no-cost ‘Connectivity Reassurance Audits’ for all the UK first responder services to ensure maximum resilience in the event of rising threats of cyberattack.
The technical audit is focused initially on solutions that Excelerate has already provided, which will include the identification of gaps or risk of exposure. 'However, the offer is also being extended to other emergency service organisations too, regardless of whether they have an Excelerate solution in place or not.
The company has written to all its customers to ensure that the command, control and communications systems they use at incidents and major events, as well as for their day-to-day operations, have the resilience and protection needed against disruptive cyber activity or attack.
As part of its support, help will be available to evaluate resilience of vehicle-based and deployable assets at their disposal. And a thorough review will ensure that robust and secure voice, data and video connectivity, and the command and control of incidents is less likely to be compromised.
Cardiff-based Excelerate Technology, which has a 20-year track record of serving emergency services throughout the UK and abroad, will provide the audit completely free of charge, which will include an impartial assessment of any business continuity preparedness and rapid resilience mobile networks and equipment already in place. This includes systems beyond command and control, such as video streaming equipment and UAV systems that ensure situational awareness at incidents.
Several hours before Ukraine came under conventional ‘kinetic’ attack, threat intelligence centres in the West detected a new round of offensive and destructive cyberattacks directed against Ukraine’s digital infrastructure, a threat which can be quickly directed at other nations’ digital infrastructure, including our own.
Bethan Evans, chief operating officer at Excelerate, said: “It will not have escaped anyone’s attention that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has significantly heightened the threats of cyberattacks against critical national infrastructure (CNI) here in the UK. A successful cyberattack can force organisations offline for minutes, hours and even days, with potentially tragic consequences for those involved in the care and protection of the UK public.”
As a UK Resilience Partner, Excelerate Technology provides Category 1 and 2 responders with multi-bearer connectivity, support, and deployed solutions in every region of the UK. The company is also a Cyber Essential Plus technology partner.
Bethan continues: “We are confident that all Excelerate products used by our customers are resilient enough to give them enhanced protection from a cyberattack. However, at times of heightened risk, it is important to increase awareness at both a local and national level of the equipment and services they have available, and we work with our customers to ensure they have the most robust contingency wherever they may be deployed.
“In other situations, it could be that equipment has been sitting redundant because it’s only ever required in times of crisis, in which case again, familiarisation and third-party audit can help provide reassurance and additional solutions if required.”
Excelerate Technology has numerous partnership contracts with multiple satellite companies and has recently signed a distribution partner agreement with OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, to provide connectivity services to first responders and other public-sector organisations across the UK and globally.
As part of the Connectivity Reassurance Audits being carried out, Excelerate will also advise how current equipment can be used to support wider business continuity and emergency preparedness plans against other (non-deliberate and non-malicious) critical and terrestrial network and communications outages.
- Resilient satellite back haul.
- Privately transmitted 4G/LTE cellular and Wi-Fi enabled networks.
- Resilient video and real time situational awareness assets.
In addition, Excelerate will:
- Provide a team of experts to meet with key staff (either virtually or on premises) where they will discuss current preparations and assess and audit an organisation’s equipment and connectivity services to support with resilience and business continuity.
- Provide a full functionality check and written resilience and reassurance audit, highlighting any areas of vulnerability.
- Provide refresher training on any Excelerate kit and equipment already in place.
All first responders interested in the audit are being asked to contact Excelerate’s operations desk on 0845 65 85 747 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.