Trust the Cloud: Safeguard Your Data and Streamline Processes
In the law enforcement sector, maintaining confidentiality of sensitive information is of the utmost importance. Because law enforcement agencies need to frequently access records to conduct investigations and share information with other departments, maintaining data security can be challenging. To protect against data breaches, law enforcement agencies must carefully consider the software and processes used to save and share their data.
So, what is the best solution? In the past, skepticism surrounded the safety and security of cloud-hosted solutions; however, over time, many law enforcement agencies have experienced the peace of mind and increased efficiency provided by cloud-based public safety software. Consequently, many departments now view cloud solutions as the industry standard.
In this guide, we’ll discuss cloud-based public safety software solutions and explain how they can provide peace of mind for you, your agency, and your officers.
First, let’s examine the key security issues facing your department’s data today.
The Risk of Modern Security Breaches
Your current database houses the law enforcement data your officers collect every day. Over time, this daily accumulation of sensitive information, including incident reports and pedigree information, amounts to massive volumes of data that your department must keep secure and confidential.
Investigative collaboration presents an inherent challenge by requiring departments to share their collected data with one another. However, not all data is necessary to share with other agencies – or even store, for that matter. In the event confidential information were released to the public, your department would be exposed to a range of consequences. From compromised investigations to libel suits, your department could experience blows to its reputation, safety, and financial soundness.
First and foremost, defending against data breaches requires the implementation of strict data permissions to help prevent unauthorized access. Restrictive data controls are vital to deterring data breaches and potential leaks without inhibiting access by those with permission. Ideally, any records management solution you choose will allow you to assign custom sharing agreements for each partner agency and define the exact fields of data for sharing to enhance security.
Limiting the physical transfer of information is also crucial for safeguarding your data. Cloud solutions that offer strict permission-based access to shared information without requiring any data to leave the system will help ensure your database remains secure.
Self-Hosted Data Concerns
Departments not utilizing cloud solutions must manually manage, host, and secure their data. Often, large agencies in major cities can afford their own dedicated IT teams to manage and optimize the servers that host their sensitive information. While most agencies do not have the same breadth of resources, even those serving smaller communities require the ability to access and share data securely.
Regardless of size, digital security needs to be a top priority for any department. If your department currently hosts its own data, consider the following questions:
- Who are you designating to take on this task, and are they properly trained to handle the changing landscape of cyber security?
- Is your anti-virus software up to date?
- Does your server have a firewall?
- Are backups performed on a regular basis and stored in a secure location?
- Are you educating everyone within your agency about best practices for avoiding data breaches?
Often, without realizing it, many departments expose their data to threats due to a general lack of awareness about proper protocols and procedures or even basic human error.
Trusting the Cloud
Cloud software solutions are the best way for both large and small law enforcement departments to address these security issues. Selecting a software vendor you trust to host your most sensitive information in the cloud will help you do more with your data and worry less about who has access to it. A trusted, cloud-based records management system (RMS) enables you to collect, access, and share crime data in a highly secure manner – a level of security most smaller departments with outdated systems or security measures cannot otherwise achieve.
Better Security and Officer Safety
The ultimate concern for any law enforcement department is protecting their officers and the communities they serve. When managed correctly and communicated quickly and accurately, data can help improve both officer and community safety. Solutions meant to ensure data security should never hinder an officer’s ability to access necessary data, whether in the office or field. Rather, the software should provide officers with reliable, instantaneous access to vital information.
A crucial factor for ensuring data accessibility for your officers is the ability of your RMS platform to connect and communicate with the software used by your dispatch center. Selecting integrated records management and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solutions solves this challenge by streamlining communication between dispatch and your officers. The best options offer tight integration that enables the transmission of all pertinent dispatch details directly into the responsible agency’s records management system, making it available for immediate access by officers. During this process, the CAD software obtains the next sequential report number from the law enforcement agency’s RMS and automatically opens and begins populating a new report, simplifying the report writing process for the responding officer.
The use of integrated software also eliminates phone calls and reduces radio traffic, improving security by preventing the use of technology that isn’t hosted or supported by a secure server. Integrated public safety solutions facilitate quick, secure data sharing between agencies to help prevent unauthorized access or accidental exposure of sensitive data.
The Bottom Line
Data accessibility and sharing help keep officers and their communities safe. But the sheer volume of data and the frequency of its use can place agencies at risk. With the right cloud-hosted solution, your department will be able to securely access and share information as needed to better protect and serve your community. At the end of the day, your main concern is the safety of your officers and how to best enable them to do their jobs. Hosting your department’s data in an integrated, secure cloud solution is step one.
Omnigo Software provides fully integrated public safety software offerings that contain everything law enforcement agencies and dispatch centers could need in one easy-to-use system. The software is configurable to each individual agency’s needs, no matter the size, and features solutions like records management, CAD, mapping, jail management, and report writing. To learn about Omnigo’s suite of products, visit www.omnigo.com or call 866.421.2374
For more than 20 years, Omnigo software solutions have been the preferred choice for law enforcement, education, healthcare, gaming, hospitality, and corporate enterprises. Currently, Omnigo’s solutions are used by over 2,000 customers in 20 different countries. At Omnigo, we’re committed to helping customers secure their organizations’ property, control operational costs, and ensure the safety of the general public.
We believe our customers deserve the best support available to protect their people, assets, and brand. We also understand how challenging it can be to protect the community without the proper resources. We’re here to arm users with the best tools in the industry. With a team that includes former law enforcement, first responders, and other public safety professionals, we’re uniquely qualified to understand exactly what our customers need to protect their community.
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