CentrAlert’s Emergency Alert and Control Products Lead the Way with Security Provisions

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In the aftermath of the emergency siren system hacking in Dallas, Texas, CentrAlert advises that emergency managers make sure their emergency alert systems are equipped to prevent hacking.

“The Dallas incident serves as a crucial reminder for emergency managers across the country to update their systems to remove vulnerabilities to attacks by unauthorized users,” Jeff Whattam, CEO of CentrAlert, said.

An unauthorized individual set off 156 sirens periodically for 90 minutes in Dallas, Texas, on April 7, scaring and inconveniencing the city’s 1.3 million citizens. In the aftermath of this concerning event, CentrAlert advises that emergency managers ensure their emergency alert systems are equipped to prevent hacking.

“The Dallas incident serves as a crucial reminder for emergency managers across the country to update their systems to remove vulnerabilities to attacks by unauthorized users,” Jeff Whattam, CEO of CentrAlert, said. “With proper safety and security, citizens can rest assured that alarms are always prepared to function properly if an emergency occurs.”

CentrAlert’s Crisis-Driven Alert & Control (C-DAC) product has been equipped with Secure Communication Network (SCN) protocol with integrated, time-based encryption and synchronized algorithms for more than a decade and has never had a reported breach or unauthorized activation.

Each time the operator initiates C-DAC, the Guardian interface sends a unique SCN code to those sirens equipped with CentrAlert’s Remote Terminal Unit. That means the sirens will never go off without the proper SCN code, and a hacker cannot duplicate the codes because they change with each transmission. Additionally, C-DAC’s Hardware Authentication prevents the use of unauthorized software with the system.

Ultimately, the Dallas emergency management team shut down the entire emergency system to turn off the sirens, leaving the city temporarily without a functioning system. CentrAlert products, on the other hand, require every user to be an authenticated Microsoft Windows user. Therefore, an offending account can be disabled or removed without preventing other users from activating the system should an emergency occur. Whether the hacker is activating the system internally or externally, disabling the account in question will immediately stop the hacker from tampering with the alerts.

For more information about CentrAlert or Crisis-Driven Alert & Control, go to the company website: http://www.centralert.com.

About CentrAlert
CentrAlert created and designed Crisis-Driven Alert & Control (C-DAC), the world’s first site-wide emergency alert and notification system. Twenty years and five generations later, C-DAC protects NASA, DOW Chemical, Stanford University, Shell and other leading industries across four continents. Whether an organization needs to fill in the gaps of its current system or requires an entire emergency alert and notification infrastructure, CentrAlert engineers and software developers are prepared to provide proven, standardized and secure products to protect any environment.

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Don Rehmel
CentrAlert
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