As FirstNet development moves forward, one of the key components is a set of FirstNet-compatible apps for first responders to use. Similar to an app store, the FirstNet App Catalog is a one-stop shop for apps accepted into the program.
This is an important feature. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security found that more than half of mobile applications used by first responders had high-risk vulnerabilities. Providing secure tools was important to the FirstNet team.
Mobile apps listed in the FirstNet App Catalog have to be cleared through a certification program, reducing the risks of cyberattack or exploitation. Apps in the catalog fall into two categories: Certified and Reviewed. Both require a variety of checks, disclosures and evaluations. The Certified level also requires a source code scan.
Of the nearly 200 apps submitted for inclusion, about half made the cut. These include communications tools, crisis response platforms, mapping and GPS tools, and body cameras. FirstNet-related smartphones came on the market in August.
Those departments or agencies already working with FirstNet can contact their representative for more information on the FirstNet App Catalog. Those who are not yet working with FirstNet can request more information through its website.