The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week awarded $997,526 to SecureLogix, a San Antonio, Texas-based small business, for Next Generation 9-1-1 technology meant to help secure data during emergencies.
Data, in this case, refers to text, images, video, and traditional voice calls sent during emergency situations. The company hopes to shore them up against cyberthreats.
“While NG9-1-1 technologies will enhance the current capabilities of today’s 911 systems by enabling multimedia sharing and connectivity, we must ensure these critical emergency response networks remain resilient and reliably operational,” Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, said.
This is actually the second phase of the award process. SecureLogix was chosen following a successful demonstration of feasibility in its phase one showing, along with its proposal for expanding the foundations of voice/call threats and security for NG9-1-1 multimedia content technology solutions in phase two.
Cyberattacks have been increasing over recent years, including against public safety operations. The efforts from SecureLogix will support the Emergency Communications Cybersecurity Center (EC3) concept, which centralizes security processing functions at the national level, as well as regional and state efforts.
“The DHS SBIR Program is an excellent opportunity for small businesses to develop cutting-edge technology for homeland security end-users and grow their business capabilities,” Dusty Lang, DHS director of Small Business Innovation Research, said. “I am looking forward to seeing how the partnership with SecureLogix can help support DHS Component needs.”
As part of the 24-month phase two contract, SecureLogix will conduct a more in-depth threat assessment and work to advance the foundations of technology designed to address the most pressing threats. In the end, if it has developed a prototype to demonstrate its efforts, it could gain phase three funding as well, though it would have to do so through private and/or non-SBIR government sources.