Cloud Storage: The Benefits for Law Enforcement

on Feb 17, 2020

In this blog post, we take a look at the reasons why law enforcement should use cloud storage when it comes to storing video data

We live in a world of data. That’s especially true for those who work in law enforcement.

Body-worn cameras, in-car video systems and other advancements in technology have changed the way policing is done. But all of the advances in technology have also forced police departments to figure out how and where to store all of the data they collect with those devices.

Many departments face that issue by typically deciding between two methods of data storage:

  • Self-host the data on their own servers
  • Utilize cloud-based storage

While some may think that self-hosting on their own servers is the way to go, there are a few key reasons why going with cloud-based storage can be beneficial to departments both big and small:

More Secure

One of the first questions that law enforcement professionals will ask is, “Isn’t it safer to store it on our own servers?”

The better question to ask is, “Do we have the manpower, time and money to keep our data secure?”

With vendors that offer cloud-based data storage, the solutions are built to meet the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements for data security and encryption – so you know that your data will be protected. That’s a benefit Captain Milton McKinnon of the Hermosa Beach (CA) Police Department pointed out when he talked to Officer.com about why he prefers cloud storage over self-hosted storage.

Using cloud storage instead of self-hosted storage to store video data can provide many benefits for law enforcement organizations. (Stock image)

Cloud-based data storage also allows for the software to be quickly updated to ensure it still meets the CJIS requirements. With self-hosted storage, the process of maintaining that level of compliance can be both costly and time-consuming if equipment constantly needs to be upgraded.

Add in the security issues a department can face if equipment isn’t up-to-date, and you can see why it is beneficial to store that data on a CJIS-compliant cloud-based solution.

And if organizations like the FBI and CIA trust the security of cloud storage, you can, too.

Data Flexibility

Another key benefit to storing data on the cloud is the flexibility it provides in regards to data usage.

Cloud storage vendors can offer multiple options for data storage plans that give departments both big and small the ability to tailor their cloud storage options to their specific data needs. Going with cloud storage also provides the ability to easily adjust a data plan to fit storage needs that can shift over time.

For example, a larger department could easily switch to a larger data plan for its cloud storage if it had an influx of new body-worn cameras in the field. If that same department was using self-hosted storage, it would be a much more expensive and time-consuming process of adding additional storage.

Cost

Building off the previous point, storing data on the cloud allows departments to have much more control over the costs associated with storing that data.

Getting started with cloud storage doesn’t require departments to purchase tons of expensive equipment and servers to get started. With cloud storage, departments simply agree to a data plan from a vendor and pay a subscription cost for the data used that the vendor stores and maintains on the cloud. This way, a department can easily budget the fixed monthly cost of the data plan without having to worry about any costly surprises popping up.

With a vendor managing that data on the cloud for you, that also helps to eliminate the extra costs associated with having to pay your IT department to support and maintain your storage devices.

And with a recent study showing the average cost associated with storing a single terabyte of data is estimated at $3,351 per terabyte, it makes sense to trust a proven vendor to store that data on their cloud-based solution.

Want to Learn More?

Ready to store your data on a secure cloud-based solution? See how the SecuraMax Evidence Management Solution from PRO-VISION can help you with CJIS-compliant cloud storage that simplifies the data management process.

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