Digital Ally: 10 Considerations For Storing Video Evidence In The Cloud

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“Where am I going to store all this?” Is the first response from a police chief or sheriff when exploring a video solution, be it body cameras, on-board video systems, CCTV systems or interview recording . The question ultimately arises between the cloud and a local data center. We will try to help clarify this decision.


“Where am I going to put all this?” “

“Where am I going to store all this?” Is the first response from a police chief or sheriff when exploring a video solution, be it body cameras, on-board video systems, CCTV systems or interview recording . The question ultimately arises between the cloud and a local data center. We will try to help clarify this decision.

Video evidence is now ubiquitous in law enforcement, and the challenge is how to store this evidence securely while still providing easy access to those who need it. New laws passed in many states require rapid availability of video, retention for defined periods of time, and in most cases special methods of tagging and categorizing video for future use.

  • Law enforcement video storage requirements are increasing.
  • Video quality improves, as does video size.
  • The costs of storing and managing video come at a significant cost.
  • Cybercriminals are getting bolder and more efficient every day.


Why do we care where we store our video?

For years, law enforcement had someone on site who stored the video, managed access, and made it available to those who needed it. Many of these videos were VHS tapes recorded by an on-board system or a system installed in a police establishment. After a while there was often a room full of these tapes, in some sort of order, which hopefully someone still understood. Eventually, as cases passed through the system, these tapes were erased and reused or destroyed. Whenever a video was requested, someone had to find the tape, make a copy and give it to the requester. Each step required the time and effort of someone in the department.

With the advent of digital video recording in law enforcement, many departments have allocated a PC or purchased a server to accommodate the collected video. Like the crowded tape storage room, the drives on these devices eventually filled up and the agency had to designate someone to either remove unnecessary videos or purchase more new equipment to house it. With more equipment, each part requires more maintenance and IT resources. These systems provided access to the video database, often via an on-site LAN connection with different permissions for different ranks or positions. Locally hosted solutions are also vulnerable to hackers and ransomware.

Like the room full of tapes, sharing a video requires someone to find it, copy it, and share it, often to a DVD or USB drive, either not being more secure than it is. ‘a VHS tape – anyone who collects it can access it, view it, copy it or distribute it.

In either case, neither method provides an accessible or secure method for managing videos. For this to happen, a budget had to be established for physical space, equipment and people. Storing videos and making them easily accessible, which seemed like an afterthought at first, has become a big business for most agencies.

Now, many video solution providers offer cloud storage solutions that allow automatic downloading and cataloging of videos. Cloud-based systems provide a scalable and secure environment that grows with the needs of the agency and simplified methods of accessing, reviewing and sharing video evidence. These systems are accessible through a web browser and provide access to video based on agency policy and the position or rank of the user.

A constant concern is the costs of long-term storage, which can be significant. When comparing the long-term expense of hardware, IT personnel, software and the risk of loss, theft or misuse, relative costs come into play.

The storage of evidence is now subject to numerous regulations at the federal, state and local levels. Local IT staff, who also deal with forgotten passwords, blocked printers, and various connectivity calamities, struggle to keep up with current standards and requirements.

Cloud storage providers offer storage guarded by teams of cybersecurity professionals and stored in multiple redundant locations that reduce the possibility of data or file loss. While information can be accessed from anywhere, individual user access, with permissions tailored to the user’s mission and needs, eliminates contact with sensitive information accidentally or intentionally.

Digital Ally is an Amazon Web Services Partner, which provides our customers with the security and peace of mind that comes with Amazon Web Services Government Cloud. Access is via the EVO Web Portaland well controlled. Designed specifically for law enforcement and customizing to your agency’s specific needs is simple.

The ProVu Sharing Portalallows easy and secure access to relevant videos for other relevant agencies, prosecutors or third parties. This is also customizable to your situation and eliminates the costs and risks associated with the physical reproduction and processing of video evidence.

Ownership of your videos is never in question with Digital Ally. You own your videos and if you change partners later, uploading the videos to your servers is easy.


Where do we go from here?

The decision between local and cloud-based storage should not be taken lightly and should be based on a few factors:

  • Security– Would you be better served by a large secure enterprise or locally managed servers?
  • Accessibility-Do people regularly need to access videos from places other than their desks?
  • Share-How much does it cost to have someone burn DVDs and USB drives?
  • Security– is your current redundant and disaster-proof solution.

Top 10 other items to consider when choosing cloud storage:

Disclaimer

Digital ally inc. published this content on September 29, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on September 29, 2021 19:51:07 PM UTC.


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