FirstNet Releases Special Notice Seeking Comment On Proposed Cyber Security Solution

October 6, 2015

On October 5, 2015, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent entity housed within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), released a Special Notice seeking input to inform its drafting of the cyber security portions of its forthcoming request for proposals (RFP). FirstNet is charged with taking all actions necessary to build, deploy, and operate a high-speed, nationwide network public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

The Cyber Security Special Notice represents a critical next step towards FirstNet’s final RFP, building upon several prior Notices that sought input on FirstNet’s legal interpretations of its enabling legislation and FirstNet’s proposed acquisition strategy. The Special Notice provides draft sections that may ultimately be included in FirstNet’s final RFP and asks for comment on FirstNet’s proposed approach to cyber security (the NPSBN Cyber Security Solution). Noting that security on the NPSBN will need to be functionally and operationally focused, FirstNet explains that its cyber security efforts will be guided by three foundational principles: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

As proposed, FirstNet’s NPSBN Cyber Security Solution raises a number of issues and topics, including:

  • Cyber security key concepts
  • Cyber security architecture
  • Cyber security lifecycle
  • Cyber security systems engineering
  • Incident response and security operations center
  • Continuous monitoring and mitigation methods
  • Cyber security testing and certification
  • Cyber security network management and configuration management
  • Environmental and physical security
  • Information security and data sensitivity

The Special Notice also identifies existing cyber security guidance documents that should be considered in developing the NPSBN Cyber Security Solution. To aid its development of the cyber security portions of its final RFP, FirstNet seeks comments and invites questions on all aspects of the Special Notice.

Comments on the Special Notice are due within ten calendar days, no later than 1:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, October 16, 2015. A copy of the Special Notice and associated documents is available here.

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