Thought Leadership: Advantages of Cloud Computing for Justice and Public Safety Agencies

Protecting communities is a difficult mission. To best support justice and public safety, technology should be designed with security at its core, enabling agencies to focus precious resources on protecting and serving their communities. Cloud computing offers a high level of cybersecurity, translating to peace of mind for your agency. The Cloud also provides value in terms of standards compliance, scalability, ease of use, flexibility, and high availability to protect against outages. The ability of cloud computing to meet or enhance your requirements in these areas frees your agency to focus on its mission, rather than expending valuable resources on labor-intensive IT operations.

Utilizing the Cloud for Mission-Critical Operations is not New

IDEMIA recognizes that public safety agencies may have a few lingering concerns around cloud computing, particularly in the area of security. Some historical context may be helpful in addressing these.

Public cloud computing services have been available since 2006 and the benefits of the Cloud, including cost efficiency, automation, security and resilience, are well established and documented. In the early days of cloud computing, organizations had concerns about system security outside of their direct control. Since then, however, major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have proven their environments to be as secure as on-premises data centers, if not more so.

In 2011, AWS launched GovCloud, an isolated infrastructure that meets stringent regulatory requirements around security for government agencies. In 2018, geographically separated GovCloud East was added to the original western location to ensure availability in the event of a catastrophic failure.

A growing number of highly regulated federal agencies, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the Treasury, the Air Force, and other Department of Defense components have now launched major cloud deployments. The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division began migrating systems to the Cloud in 2017.

IDEMIA first deployed its biometric software in the Cloud in 2014. Since then, we have gained significant expertise in how to best leverage the benefits of cloud computing. This expertise led us to develop a standard operational framework for technology delivery that addresses the concerns of public safety agencies and minimizes the risks associated with projects of this complexity. Specifically, this standardized framework offers the distinct advantages of flexible access, resilience, high availability/disaster recovery, and ease of use. IDEMIA’s fully “cloud-native” (cloud from the ground up) software as a service (SaaS) solutions alleviate pain and risk associated with customer-managed IT infrastructure, operations and security.

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