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New survey of Massachusetts residents reveals major concerns about safety and emergency response due to cyberattacks, natural disasters and legacy tech systems

Bay Staters call for public safety technology upgrades to ensure resilience in emergencies and better protect their communities
05 March 2024   •   4 minute read

NEW YORK — March 5, 2024 — Mark43, the leading cloud-native public safety software provider, today announced the results of a survey of Massachusetts residents, revealing major concerns with safety and emergency response due to cyberattacks, natural disasters and legacy systems. To address their concerns, the vast majority of Massachusetts residents call for public safety technology upgrades to ensure resilience in emergencies and better protect their communities.

“Massachusetts residents are concerned about the impact that ever-increasing natural disasters and cyberattacks are having on emergency response efforts and legacy public safety systems. They clearly expressed demand for modern, cloud-native, secure and redundant public safety systems that enable working and reporting from any location using mobile devices. Such systems provide failover and maximize uptime, and allow users to spend more time in their communities doing the work they intended and that their constituents expect and deserve. The concerns of Massachusetts residents and their proposed solutions align with Mark43’s mission to empower communities and their governments with new technologies that improve the safety and quality of life for all,” said Matthew Polega, Co-founder and President, Mark43.

Massachusetts residents worry about safety at large events and about the impact of natural disasters and cyberattacks on emergency response operations.

  • Massachusetts residents are concerned about ever-increasing natural disasters due to climate change affecting response time and causing interruptions in 911 dispatching. Their top concerns are power outages (58%) and dangerous road conditions (47%). Compared to 2023 national general population data, Massachusetts residents are more concerned than the general U.S. population about dangerous road conditions as a product of natural disasters.
  • More than half (53%) of Massachusetts residents fear their local first responders’ duties could be affected by cyberattacks, and 60% worry most about emergency systems going down and affecting 911 response times. This reinforces the need for a strong cybersecurity focus for their local first responders to help keep data safe. 
  • As malicious actors increase every year, Massachusetts residents fear man-made disasters like cyberattacks (70.8%). Nearly all (93%) of Massachusetts residents admit that they would be at least somewhat or extremely concerned if their local first responders were using outdated technology. First responders across the nation agree – a near-total majority (93%) believe the general public would feel better if their local public safety agencies were required to adhere to federal cybersecurity standards. Unfortunately, outdated technology is too often deployed, and this response reveals a strong demand for modern public safety systems.
  • Over one-third (38%) of Massachusetts residents fear their local first responders aren’t keeping records appropriately and confidentially due to unsecure systems at risk to data breaches, and that first responders easily lose important data when going back to the station for reporting duties. Legacy systems do create unnecessary risks, which can easily be mitigated by modern records management systems.

Massachusetts residents overwhelmingly demand upgrading public safety systems to ensure resilience in emergencies and better protect their communities.

  • As climate change results in a drastic uptick in natural disasters, nearly all (92%) of Massachusetts residents want their local police department to have modern tech systems to handle emergencies.
  • The vast majority (82%) of Massachusetts residents want more funding for their local public safety agency to upgrade technology systems. 
  • Similarly, 83% support their local first responders investing in technology that could help save time, enabling them to spend more time engaging with the community. Modern cloud-native public safety platforms streamline reporting and enable officers to work and file reports from anywhere, rather than returning to the office to do paperwork and losing time they could spend in their communities. Modern dispatch systems allow dispatchers to work from anywhere if a natural disaster or a down on-premises system prevents them from working in the office.
  • The top four technology upgrades that Massachusetts residents want for their first responders are dispatching software that pinpoints the exact location of the 911 caller (65.6%); modern records management systems that allow first responders to access updated, real-time information (64.7%); backup computer-aided dispatch systems, which enable dispatchers to continue their work if their main systems go down (63.9%); and mobile apps that let officers use their mobile devices to fill out reports and access information from anywhere (54.2%).
  • When respondents were asked whether they would want their local public safety agency to have a backup emergency dispatch system in place in case any primary, regional or statewide systems go down, 92% said yes and 86% said it would make them feel safer.

Mark43 is proud to work with public safety partners across Massachusetts, including the Boston, Holyoke, Falmouth, Weymouth and West Springfield police departments, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies. 

Survey methodology

An online survey of 1,017 Massachusetts residents was conducted by Propeller Insights between February 9th and February 16th, 2024. Respondents opted in to an online database; from there, they were targeted based on demographics. To further confirm qualifications, respondents were asked to verify their information in the survey itself with self-identifying qualifications. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

About Mark43

Mark43 is the leading cloud-native public safety technology company. By delivering a modern, intuitive and mobile-first Records Management System, Computer-Aided Dispatch and Analytics platform, Mark43 empowers governments and their communities to improve the safety and quality of life for all. Working with more than 250 local, state and federal public safety agencies, Mark43 is transforming how first responders use technology to respond, engage and serve the community. Mark43 provides the tools, resources, expertise, and security foundation that public safety needs today, tomorrow, and beyond. For more information or to request a demo, visit