Cybersecurity For Fire Alarm Systems

Cybersecurity encompasses a wide range of functions with one goal – keep computers, devices, and networks safe from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. “What does it have to do with fire alarm systems?” you may be wondering.

Simply put, modern fire alarm devices are online like most other devices, so they may also be susceptible to cyber attacks. In this article we will discuss the connection between fire alarm systems and cybersecurity, and how functions like the EST4 firewall can help thwart malicious attacks on fire alarm infrastructure.

Increased Connectivity and Relevant Cybersecurity Concerns

Traditional fire alarm systems were entirely off the grid. They were virtually impossible to hack. However, fire safety infrastructures have been modernized and brought online. This enables fire operation centers to have constant insight into developments in the field. While this adds several layers of protection, it can expose the entire network to IoT-related cybersecurity threats.

What kinds of solutions are available?

Every building has a unique IT infrastructure in place, so introducing a comprehensive solution to robust systems can be a daunting task. In some cases there are hundreds of devices connected, each one with its unique firmware and set of sensors.

A safety system with a firewall is the most viable solution for this problem. A firewall is a comprehensive cybersecurity solution able to protect a fire alarm system and its IT infrastructure from unauthorized access.

At CFC we recommend the use of the EST4, which is a premium commercial life safety system with a firewall solution from EDWARDS.

Benefits of Using The EST4 Firewall For Fire Alarm System Security

The EST4 Commercial Life Safety System is a state-of-the-art system with a firewall built to add several layers of protection to your systems.


Adding new and complex solutions to your building’s IT infrastructure means that the fire alarm panel has to integrate with other systems already in place.  The EST4 is designed with ease of deployment in mind. This solution can work whether you have a retrofitted fire safety system or new installation requirements.  The EST4 uses a self-configuring peer-to-peer IPv6 network and doesn’t require a dedicated server to run.

Multiple Levels of Physical Security

The EST4 system is built to meet your air gap safety system needs. It comes with multiple levels of physical security. You can choose which security system you want to enable since every building has unique requirements that call for an air gap.

For instance, a tamper switch can be added to ensure that the system is not accessed. Additionally, the manufacturer disabled all programming ports on microcontrollers and removed all connection points. Even if someone gains physical access to it, they won’t be able to cause harm.

EST4 4-FWAL Firewall

The EST4 comes with a 4-FWAL firewall, which blocks all traffic not needed for EST4 operation. It also features impenetrable 256 bit AES encryption securing the traffic through the EST4, including emails and communication with fire operation centers.

As IT infrastructure and fire alarm systems modernize, their cybersecurity needs expand as well. At CFC, we recommend The EST4 as an industry leading, secure solution.