DigiCert partners with Eonti to secure TELUS’ Canadian NG9-1-1 service offering

DigiCert and Eonti announced their selection as chosen critical suppliers actively securing the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) service in Western Canada, on the TELUS NG9-1-1 network.

Together they provide the modern infrastructure required to secure the broad adoption expected across Canada in coming months and years.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has mandated that Canadian service providers build a secure NG9-1-1 system. NG9-1-1 was developed to modernize emergency services operations to support all types of media (voice, text and data) as well as location handling. These improvements enable emergency responders to locate and respond to incidents with more efficiency and speed. With the introduction of this new technology, the security and reliability of the system is of utmost importance.

To enable secure communication between relying parties, TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company, has worked with DigiCert and Eonti to develop Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for establishing unique identifiers for emergency workers and their devices. This technology enables secure communication between all parties in the ecosystem, and the collaboration between TELUS, DigiCert and Eonti will secure TELUS’ Canadian NG9-1-1 service offering through the operation of a root of trust, a mechanism that securely encrypts communications using digital certificates.

The PKI ensures that only authorized parties can access the NG9-1-1 system to ensure integrity of operations. In the long term, the TELUS PKI solution will also position it to have the capability to accommodate a trust relationship with other jurisdictions. Further, the PKI solution supports standard security certificates assigned to Canadian 911 call centres.

DigiCert, Eonti and TELUS launched the Canadian hosted production Root Certification Authority that will anchor the PKI operations for the TELUS NG9-1-1 CPCA, and TELUS expects adoption to begin in Q3 2022.

“The transformation towards NG9-1-1 will enable a myriad of possibilities designed to provide enhanced information sharing for first responders, resulting in increased capacity and safety for residents,” said Jerome Birot, VP-Voice & Core Services DevOps at TELUS. “Ensuring security and reliability, while delivering an innovative, world class NG9-1-1 solution requires working with industry leading partners. DigiCert and Eonti provide significant expertise in solutions that ensure trust in mission-critical applications. Their contributions have been key to our continued success in delivering customers the best possible NG9-1-1 service.”

“The enhancements being made to emergency services in Canada are groundbreaking. DigiCert is thrilled to be working with TELUS and Eonti on a project of such significance,” said DigiCert VP of IoT Security Mike Nelson. “We are uniquely equipped to secure a modern infrastructure that will build greater trust and interoperability throughout the NG9-1-1 systems within Canada and emergency systems internationally. We have deep experience deploying robust and scalable security solutions to connected devices and systems in all industries, across the world, and are excited to support this program in Canada that can be replicated internationally.”

“Eonti has been a long-term partner of DigiCert, deploying scalable PKIs to critical infrastructure industries, providing secure authentication, data encryption and identity verification through the use of digital certificates,” said Eonti President and CEO Oscar Marcia. “We are excited to help advance the Next Generation 9-1-1 emergency communications systems in Canada and the global market.”

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