Compromised security In terms of the security provided by these firewalls that isolate the ICCS, there is always a compromise between absolute security and operational requirements. If the firewall configuration is too loose (in order to accommodate flexible working) it may be more open to attacks; if the configuration is too tight, the firewall may well affect the ICCS’s operational functions. Over time, additional ICCS developments have seen the
introduction of further external interfaces to services such as GIS mapping, vehicle location, and mobile data, all of which may well require additional firewalls to maintain the concept of the ICCS as an island. Today, modern ICCS systems have evolved yet further,
with many IP-based connections now required to blue-light internal systems and those into the outside world. For example, external system interfaces typically associated
with ICCS and control room installations include: nmobile messaging systems nautomatic number plate recognition (ANPR) nGPS-based systems ntraffic data nmeteorological data ndigital radio systems nmobile and personal data systems nalarm, alert and remote sensor systems nexternal database access (insurers, criminal justice system) ncomputer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems nmultimedia recording systems nCCTV. In addition, traditional telephony solutions used
to support ICCS calls are now being replaced with IP telephony systems (which encode voice traffic as computer data packets and pass them over a computer data network rather than separate voice circuits). Tis only adds to the complexity of responding to the security issue – not only must the data network be secured against attack, but the voice data itself (and the IP telephony switches that manage it) now operates in the computing domain and so must be protected from compromise.
A simpler interface Facing increasing levels of complexity in system design, ICCS solution developers are also looking at the introduction of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) technology to simplify the interface between the systems. An ESB acts as a standardized interface and messaging mechanism for all applications in a system – a ‘middleware’ layer that can transmit and translate data. As with most modern networking and data transmission
systems, TCP/IP is normally used as the underlying protocol stack on which an ESB is built. Again, the use of these IP-based ESB technologies within the control room environment will only make it harder to adopt ‘island’-based security policies. Te result is that managers of blue-light control rooms
need to reassess the security of their systems. One answer will be to consider the control room as a holistic, single entity rather than the sum of its systems (each of which may have its own security policy). It may be that this means
Issue 7 2012 TE TRA TODAY
How should you set your security policy?
n security planning for an emergency control room, there should be an overarching statement of the security policy – a short, yet authoritative document that is published and available to be read by all staff, and that underscores the security culture that management expect at all levels of the organization. This policy should not be specific to technology, data or processes, but general in nature.
The security policy should be supported by a series of functional policies, organized around the processes within the control room and incorporating both technical (systems, servers and infrastructure) and non-technical (employment agreements, ethics, acceptable use, change control) domains.
Each functional policy should be compliant with the overall security
policy, and should ensure that the availability of operational systems is paramount.
These policies will dictate appropriate security processes – and the implementation of these processes can be assisted by the use of standards (mandatory solutions and approaches) and guidelines (optional but recommended practices).
Successful compliance with the policy can be assured by regular and independent auditing of security controls by an accredited security professional.
The control room needs a new security policy framework
installing the necessary security controls (including firewalls) at the perimeter of the control room – or even in the corporate network – rather than at each control room system interface.
Policy framework Whatever the solution, the control room needs a new security policy framework to move from the piecemeal approach that has protected ICCSs for the last 20 years. Tis should be underpinned by three factors: navailability – providing access to systems and data as dictated by the functional requirements of the organization
nintegrity – ensuring that data and processes do not suffer improper modification, and ensuring that the system performs effectively and reliably
nconfidentiality – ensuring the information is protected from improper disclosure. Looking at the whole control room environment, senior
management should create an overarching statement of the security policy. But operational requirements must come first: security requirements should never reduce availability by imposing overly onerous controls on systems in the interest of integrity and confidentiality. To sum up, the developments in ICT systems and services
mean that the ICCS environment can no longer operate as a separate domain or ‘island’ and, therefore, a structured approach to security policy and implementation is needed.
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