Cloud Computing and Law Enforcement

policeHow are law enforcement agencies taking to cloud computing? Widely using it? Just beginning to scratch the surface?

In a survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) which looked at how state law enforcement officials plan to use cloud computing in the future and their take on it now, some interesting findings were discovered:

Cloud Email and Other Applications

The most used cloud application by law enforcement agencies was found to be email used by 17% and some of the applications the officers were anticipating in the future are CJIS access, cloud storage, record management, crime reporting, and mapping and analysis (The Storage is already the runner up to email for usage. Back up is also a viable use for cloud computing with law enforcement

Technology is offering great advantages and the cloud computing components have many uses.

One of the drawbacks, however, is the question of the security the cloud provides. Is it enough for the data and material that law enforcement agencies need?

One way to guard the security is with background checks on cloud computing provider employees. Is that enough, though?


PoliceChief Magazine hosts a wide array of graphs and charts currently, and one interesting graphic reported shows reasons why agencies are going towards the cloud.

The top reason for moving towards cloud computing – saving money.

Access to Other Services

With the use of cloud computing, law enforcement agencies can share and access valuable information in a quick, time efficient manner.

For instance, reports, records and access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) will be made easier with the use of cloud computing.

This can make gaining access to valuable information easier and faster, which will not only save time and funding, but also help solve crimes quicker due to the faster access to information.

Other Security Risks

In the survey, it was found that the greatest risk is security.

Not only external threats, like those from outside attacks on cloud or individual infrastructures and from cloud provider employees themselves, but also risks of security breaches from law enforcement’s own employees are risk considerations.

Again, confidentiality protocols and secure background checks are a couple of ways to safeguard against security breaches.

With these findings, the IACP will look into developing model policies and protocol for cloud computing and law enforcement officials over the coming months.

About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who covers a variety of topics from technology and social media to online reputation management.

License: Creative Commons image source

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