Device trust 08-01-2023

Digital Trust in the Emergency Lane: Securing NG9-1-1 Systems

Alex Deo
Securing Next Gen 911 Blog

Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems are revolutionizing emergency communication infrastructure, enabling more efficient and effective emergency response. However, as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) transition to NG9-1-1, it is imperative to prioritize robust security measures to protect sensitive information, ensure system integrity and maintain public trust.

Let's explore the potential risks and consequences of neglecting digital trust, and the benefits that DigiCert® IoT Trust Manager can deliver to enhance NG9-1-1 systems.

Potential risks to NG9-1-1 systems without proper security measures

Without proper security, NG9-1-1 systems are at risk of disruption, data breaches, reputation distrust and, most notably, endangering lives.

  • Operational disruption: Without adequate security measures, NG9-1-1 systems are vulnerable to hackers who can disrupt the emergency communication infrastructure, rendering it unusable during critical situations. Such disruption can significantly impact emergency response capabilities, endangering lives and undermining public safety.
  • Data breach and compromise: Insufficient security can lead to the theft or compromise of sensitive information transmitted through NG9-1-1 systems. This information includes the personal data of callers, emergency responders and other entities involved in the emergency response process. Exploiting such data can have severe consequences, including identity theft, financial fraud and misuse of sensitive information.
  • Reputational distrust: Security breaches can erode public trust in the reliability and confidentiality of NG9-1-1 systems. When people lose confidence in the emergency communication infrastructure, they may hesitate to report emergencies promptly or trust the effectiveness of emergency responses, potentially jeopardizing lives and safety.


Consequences of neglecting digital trust for PSAPs

If PSAPs neglect digital trust, they may face an inadequate emergency response, legal liabilities and erosion of the public’s trust, which can ultimately lead to decreased likelihood that the public will report emergencies.

  • Inadequate emergency response: Insufficient digital trust can lead to unreliable and compromised NG9-1-1 systems, hampering the ability of PSAPs to provide timely and accurate emergency assistance. This lack of trust results in delays, miscommunication and diminished effectiveness in emergency response efforts.
  • Legal and regulatory liabilities: Neglecting digital trust exposes PSAPs to potential legal and regulatory liabilities. In the event of a security breach or failure to protect sensitive information, PSAPs may face legal repercussions, including penalties and damage claims. Compliance with NG9-1-1 standards and requirements, such as those set by organizations like NENA, becomes paramount to mitigate these risks.
  • Erosion of public trust: Failing to embrace digital trust can undermine public confidence in the reliability and security of NG9-1-1 systems. This loss of trust can have far-reaching consequences, leading to decreased public cooperation, reluctance to report emergencies and potential delays in emergency responses.

Challenges in establishing digital trust for PSAPs

Achieving digital trust in PSAPs comes with its own set of challenges. One of the primary obstacles is the implementation process itself. Taking a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to establishing digital trust can be time-consuming and complex. PSAPs need to install secure and reliable authentication systems, which often involve coordinating efforts among multiple stakeholders.

Moreover, ensuring the integrity and trustworthiness of the systems requires significant upfront investment in robust cybersecurity measures and infrastructure upgrades. These investments can impose a financial burden on PSAPs, as they need to allocate resources for the initial setup and ongoing maintenance and updates to keep up with evolving security standards.

How DigiCert IoT Trust Manager empowers PSAPs to achieve digital trust

DigiCert IoT Trust Manager provides a range of features and functionalities to strengthen the security and authentication capabilities of NG9-1-1 systems, empowering PSAPs to address the evolving demands of modern emergency services effectively.

Here's how IoT Trust Manager delivers digital trust:

  • NG9-1-1 compliance: Aligns with NG9-1-1 standards and requirements established by organizations like NENA. By implementing this solution, PSAPs can ensure they meet the necessary compliance criteria, promoting interoperability and seamless communication within the NG9-1-1 ecosystem.
  • Certificate management: Governs the issuance and lifecycle of digital certificates, establishing and verifying the identity of PSAPs and other entities involved in NG9-1-1 communication. This capability ensures the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of data exchanged within the NG9-1-1 system, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or tampering.
  • Global revocation: With Certificate Revocation List (CRL) and Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) support, IoT Trust Manager enables prompt revocation of compromised or expired certificates. This capability ensures the continuous integrity and security of NG9-1-1 systems, minimizing the window of vulnerability.
  • PKI infrastructure: DigiCert's scalable Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) infrastructure supports both single and multi-root architectures, accommodating the increasing data volumes and evolving requirements of NG9-1-1 systems. This robust infrastructure ensures secure communication using digital certificates, providing a solid foundation for trust and authentication.

How DigiCert IoT Trust Manager delivers digital trust in NG9-1-1 systems

DigiCert IoT Trust Manager plays a crucial role in strengthening digital trust within NG9-1-1 systems by offering advanced certificate management functionalities that ensure secure and reliable communication capabilities.

Benefits of DigiCert IoT Trust Manager for NG9-1-1 systems include:

  • Security and scalability: IoT Trust Manager enhances the security posture of NG9-1-1 systems, safeguarding them against potential cyber threats. It provides secure authentication and protection against unauthorized access, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of emergency communications. The scalability of IoT Trust Manager enables PSAPs to meet growing demands and effectively handle increasing data volumes.
  • Trust: By leveraging DigiCert's recognized leadership in digital security, IoT Trust Manager instills confidence in the security of NG9-1-1 systems. This trust is essential for maintaining public confidence in emergency services and ensuring the prompt reporting of emergencies.
  • Flexibility: IoT Trust Manager enables quick and flexible provisioning and deployment of certificates through its global infrastructure. It supports all certificate types required by NG9-1-1 systems, ensuring a seamless implementation process for PSAPs.
  • Future-proofing: Adhering to international standards, IoT Trust Manager ensures compatibility with future developments in NG9-1-1 technology and infrastructure developments. PSAPs can stay ahead of evolving cybersecurity threats and leverage advancements in emergency communications without compromising security or system integrity.

With DigiCert IoT Trust Manager, PSAPs can securely dial-up digital trust, amplifying the safety and verification powers of NG9-1-1 systems, and ensuring emergency communications that ring true. By fortifying their defenses, PSAPs can shield sensitive information, maintain a public trust hotline and respond to cutting-edge emergency services' dynamic needs. Putting PSAPs in the driver's seat of secure and reliable emergency communication — that's digital trust for the real world.

For more information on DigiCert’s solutions for device trust, please visit or contact


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