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Combatting the cyber threat: Strategies for public safety agencies

Solutions and insights for protecting public safety networks from cyberattacks

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In the first eight months of 2023, cyberattacks against public safety agencies globally had already surpassed 2022 numbers by over 10%.

Police departments and municipalities can be an ideal target for cyber extortionists given the mission-critical nature of their work. The growing frequency and sophistication of attacks such as ransomware and hacktivism that are targeting public safety agencies highlights the need for agencies to come together on cyber threat intelligence sharing now more than ever.

In April 2022, Motorola Solutions established the Public Safety Threat Alliance (PSTA), the first Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA-recognized Information Sharing and Analysis Organization, that serves as a cyber threat intelligence hub for the global public safety community.

In this episode of Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley delves into the rising threat of cyberattacks targeting public safety agencies. With insights from Motorola Solutions’ experts Jay Kaine and Tony McIntosh, the discussion highlights the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, the establishment of the Public Safety Threat Alliance (PSTA) and practical strategies for agencies to safeguard their systems.

About our sponsor

This episode of the Policing Matters Podcast is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

About our guests

Jay Kaine serves as the director of the Public Safety Threat Alliance for Motorola Solutions. Jay’s experience includes over 25 years in private and public sector roles supporting U.S. national security, including service as a U.S. Army cyber officer.

Tony McIntosh was previously a vice president of cybersecurity sales globally for Motorola Solutions. A former police officer and Army combat medic, he led project management, resource management and opportunities that have given him a deep understanding of the critical communications threat landscape in law enforcement today.

Memorable quotes

  • “These adversaries are trying to get into public safety networks every second of every day.” — Jay Kaine
  • “It’s a billion-dollar business worldwide with these very complex, often multinational threat actors. — Jay Kaine
  • “We’re all individually responsible, and we should all get a better understanding of what we’re fighting.” — Tony McIntosh

Key takeaways from this episode

  1. Rising trend of cyberattacks: The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks against public safety agencies are increasing rapidly, requiring immediate attention and proactive measures.
  2. The role of the PSTA: Motorola Solutions’ Public Safety Threat Alliance plays a crucial role in serving as a cyber threat intelligence hub, offering vital resources for global public safety communities.
  3. Importance of cyber threat intelligence sharing: Sharing intelligence among public agencies is crucial to identifying and mitigating threats more effectively.
  4. Understanding the threat landscape: Recognizing the various intentions of cyber attackers, from financial extortion to ideological activism, is essential in developing tailored defense strategies.
  5. Proactive measures for agencies: Agencies must conduct risk assessments, stay informed about threats, and implement multi-factor authentication and other security measures to protect their networks.

Additional resources

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Policing Matters law enforcement podcast with host Jim Dudley features law enforcement and criminal justice experts discussing critical issues in policing