Encrypted Communication Card bridges gap between legacy hardware, modern-day hacking

 In Blog

In March 2019, hackers activated unsecured emergency sirens in the cities of Lancaster and DeSoto, Texas. Sirens blared for 40 minutes in the quiet night, leaving officials scrambling to calm fears of a tornado or other threat.

Encrypted Communication Card

ASC’s Encrypted Communication Card is an affordable, drop-in solution for legacy mass notification systems.

Approximately 2 years earlier, hackers activated 156 sirens in Dallas, Texas. The sirens sounded 15 times with each activation lasting 90 seconds.

And in Harvard, Ill., officials decided in 2019 to deactivate their siren system after malicious attacks to the city’s aging siren system. Officials instead told residents to rely solely on a smartphone app and weather radios to receive threatening weather alerts, which is ill-advised.

(Cell alerts require a reliable network and individuals need to have their phones on and enabled to receive alerts, have the volume turned up and more, meaning relying solely on cell alerts is extremely risky. Furthermore, those who don’t have smart phones often aren’t able to receive the alerts at all, putting them at risk. Read more about why relying solely on cell alerts is a short-sighted approach on our blog.)

Attacks on unsecured sirens likely will continue as hackers become more sophisticated. As a result, your mass notification system security also must become more sophisticated.

ASC’s Encrypted Communication Card offers effective, drop-in solution to hacking

While ASC understands that not every entity — like municipalities, campuses, industrial facilities and more — has the budget to completely replace its mass notification system, ASC has an affordable drop-in option to reduce threats in cities like Harvard.

Above all, ASC’s Encrypted Communication Card upholds the integrity of legacy systems against modern-day attacks.

The card replaces standard FSK cards in legacy RTUs. This protects your siren from over-the-air protocols via 256-bit encryption to prevent hackers from communicating with the system.

The Encrypted Communication Card also provides an easier migration path for customers moving toward more secure DMR and P.25 capabilities.

Furthermore, the customer-specific communication keys ensure a uniquely integrated security measure that protects protocols and equipment from hacking vulnerabilities.

For customers with newer RTUs, NEXGen hardware uses the updated protocol directly. That provides extra status information and more intelligent protocol handling of legacy RTUs on a mixed systems.

In conclusion, with its technology, ASC takes steps to ensure the integrity of all products in deployment. The Encrypted Communication Card bridges the gap between legacy systems and modern security for a low-cost, effective solution to hacking.

For more information about ASC’s Encrypted Communication Card, visit americansignal.com or call (800) 243-2911.


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