Dear Editor,

In an era where digital threats loom large, ensuring the security of vital information is paramount. The Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) recognized this need and extended an invaluable opportunity to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)–the chance to undergo an independent cybersecurity audit. As an interface agency with MPSCS, Lapeer County Central Dispatch eagerly embraced this initiative, recognizing its significance and the partnership it signifies.

The MPSCS offer of an independent, third-party cybersecurity audit was a commendable gesture and an essential step to fortify our digital defenses. This comprehensive audit was a vital component of MPSCS’s broader cybersecurity assessment. Given the interconnected nature of PSAPs across the state, this initiative held even greater weight.

Opting for this audit was easy, as it incurred no cost to our PSAP and addressed a matter of utmost importance. The ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats demands continuous vigilance, and participating in this audit was a proactive stance to safeguard sensitive data and operations.

The results of the cybersecurity audit spoke volumes about our commitment to maintaining a secure digital environment. The audit thoroughly evaluated our cybersecurity practices, hygiene, and internal and external penetration testing audits. The outcome was nothing short of excellent, revealing that our cybersecurity protocols were robust and effective.

The absence of significant findings or risks was a source of pride. While no system can be entirely immune to vulnerabilities, our PSAP demonstrated a commendable high level of preparedness. The audit’s recommendations were primarily centered around minor adjustments, reflecting our proactive approach to cybersecurity even before the audit took place.

As this article is being written, many recommended adjustments have already been rectified, while others are being implemented. This proactive response underscores our commitment to continuous improvement in cybersecurity.

A particularly gratifying moment came in the form of the auditor’s assessment, declaring our PSAP as one of the top performers in the state regarding cybersecurity efforts. This recognition is a testament to our team’s dedication and our protocol’s effectiveness. It reaffirms that our efforts have been fruitful and stands as an example for others to emulate.

A Key Element: Third-Party Audit

Central to the success of this cybersecurity audit was the decision to engage an independent, third-party company for its execution. This choice holds immense significance, distinguishing our approach from mere self-assessments or audits conducted by IT vendors.

The impartiality of a third-party audit is of paramount importance. By avoiding self-assessments, we ensured that our cybersecurity measures were evaluated by unbiased experts who brought fresh perspectives and critical insights. This approach eliminated potential conflicts of interest and presented a transparent evaluation of our security posture.

Moreover, relying on an external entity bolsters the credibility of the audit’s outcomes. A self-audit or one performed by an interested vendor could be perceived as self-serving, raising doubts about the accuracy and thoroughness of the assessment. In contrast, the involvement of an independent auditor instills confidence in the integrity of the results and recommendations.

In conclusion, the cybersecurity audit conducted under the auspices of the MPSCS is a testament to our dedication to maintaining digital security. The voluntary decision to undergo this audit at no cost showcases our commitment to protecting sensitive data and ensuring uninterrupted operations. With favorable results and a commendable standing among PSAPs in the state, we continue to stride confidently toward an even more secure digital future.

— Jeffrey Satkowski
Executive Director
Lapeer County Central Dispatch