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SDR Forum Explores Creation of Security Profiles for Public Safety Radios, Calls for Participation in New Project.

Resulting Report to Yield Analysis and Guidelines on Specific Services Relevant to Public Safety SDR Community for First Time

PHOENIX -- The SDR Forum, a non-profit international industry association dedicated to promoting the success of next generation radio technologies, today announced a call for participation in a new project focused on defining security profiles for software defined radios (SDR) used in crisis, emergency and disaster management applications. Created under the umbrella of the SDR Forum Security Work Group, this new project will provide the designers, developers and manufacturers of public safety SDR devices with guidelines for establishing the security services on reconfigurable public safety radio products. Unlike other reports on security services available in the industry, this project will, for the first time, provide analysis and guidelines on specific services relevant to the pubic safety SDR community.

"Market research commissioned by the SDR Forum indicates that most public safety radios in deployment today make use of some form of SDR technology, allowing radio manufacturers to achieve faster time to market while maintaining flexibility in addressing evolving standards, and allowing them to quickly incorporate new functionality as it becomes required," said Fred Frantz of L-3 Communications Global Security & Engineering Solutions and chair of the SDR Forum Special Interest Group. "Efforts such as this within the SDR Forum will help extend the benefits of software defined and cognitive radio technology beyond the radio manufacturer to meet end-user requirements. A key aspect of deploying such technology is ensuring that such devices cannot be compromised."

Building on the "Use Cases for Cognitive Applications in Public Safety Communications Systems" Volume 1 (7 July 2005 Bombing In the London Underground) and Volume 2 (a hypothetical Chemical Plant Explosion), developed by the SDR Forum Public Safety Special Interest Group, this project will work with both end-users and radio manufacturers to develop a security concept of operations supporting identified scenarios. This concept of operations will then be mapped against the requirements defined in the SDR Forum Specification "Securing Software Reconfigurable Communications Devices" to define a security profile for public safety SDR. This project represents the first of several efforts that are anticipated by the Security Work Group to define security profiles serving the unique technical, business and operating requirements of different segments of the advanced wireless market. Other potential security profiles to be developed by this group will include:

* Base stations and other fixed wireless infrastructure systems

* Femtocells and other home based wireless infrastructure systems

* Consumer personal portable communications devices

* Embedded and highly resource constrained communications devices

"Public Safety services must be robust, available when needed and resistant to compromise by hostile entities," said Tony Martin of SCA Technica and co-chair of the SDR Forum Security Work Group. "Our hope is to provide a use case based profile of needed security services and requirements to properly protect the operation of Public Safety SDR, promoting interoperability across multiple device in multi-jurisdictional environments."

In support of this project, the SDR Forum is extending an open invitation to representatives from radio manufacturers and end-users worldwide who are involved in the Public Safety community to participate in this project. Representatives of the Security Work Group and the Public Safety Special Interest Group will be on hand at the SDR 08 Technical Conference and Product Exhibition, being held October 27th to 30th in Washington DC, to answer questions from interested participants. The official kick-off of this project will occur at the 61st Working Meeting of the SDR Forum, to be held January 26th to 30th 2009 in San Diego, California. This meeting will comprise working sessions advancing the SDR Forum's 2009 operations plan in support of the commercial, public safety, avionics, and international tactical radio communities.

About the SDR Forum[TM]

Established in 1996, the SDR Forum[TM] is a non-profit international industry association dedicated to promoting the success of next generation radio technologies. The Forum's 100-strong membership comprises world class technical, business and government organizations from EMEA, Asia and the Americas who are passionate about creating a revolution in wireless communications based on reconfigurable radio. Forum members span commercial, defense and civil government organizations at all levels of the wireless value chain and include service providers, operators, manufacturers, developers, regulatory agencies, and academia. SDR Forum is the only organization in the world dedicated to serving the industry's needs through advocacy, opportunity development, commercialization and education. The SDR Forum's administrative office is headquartered in Phoenix. For more information, please visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 8, 2008
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