Tracker Products’ SAFE (Shared Archive for Evidence) software brings evidence management into the twenty-first century. We aim to enhance law enforcement agencies’ and other organizations’ operations with digital innovations. With automated alerts, customized report writing, intuitive dashboards, a mobile application, and more, we’ve striven to offer everything our clients need to crack their cases. As part of our commitment to advanced computerized functionality, we’ve designed SAFE to be browser and cloud based. This makes archiving, accessing and analyzing investigation information even easier. In the following blog, we explain why it’s important that our system is browser and cloud based.
What Do Browser and Cloud Based Mean?
In a traditional digital document storage system, files are stored on-site on computers, external hard drives, and other machines. These may be shared and retrieved through the use of a Local Area Network (LAN), which could be connected to the Internet, but not always. Only devices directly in the network can utilize this data, and if the hardware becomes damaged for some reason, the information could be lost forever.
In contrast, browser and cloud based systems store files on remote, third party servers, which are typically quite large, backed up in multiple locations and maintained by private companies. To access this information, users must simply log in using a browser window or another cloud-compatible application. We are proud to make our SAFE software browser and cloud based so our clients can enjoy the numerous advantages of this modern design.
Many people assume that browser and cloud based systems are less secure than conventional computing methods. However, especially today, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, storing vital case information on remote servers could pose certain cyber-security risks, especially with hacking on the rise. However, precisely because these concerns are so prevalent, providers have worked to make their systems as protected as possible through encryption, backups, advanced login functions, and other safeguards.
In his The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement article, “Outsourcing the Evidence Room: Moving Digital Evidence to the Cloud,” Chula Vista Police Department Lieutenant, Vern Sallee, comments that even the United States government has gotten on board with browser and cloud based systems. He writes: “the 2011 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, authored by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), promulgates the idea that cloud computing is such a fundamental shift in IT that they strongly advocate a ‘Cloud First’ policy for federal agencies of all stripes.” If this type of digital documentation is secure enough for the high-risk federal information held by these agencies, it’s more than adequate for evidence management.
Furthermore, Lieutenant Sallee explains: “security, privacy, and discovery top the list of areas that must be well defined before [a police department or another agency transitions] to cloud-based storage of digital evidence. In an effort to establish standardized security measures, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) administers the Federal Risk and Authorization Program (FedRAMP),” which outlines clear objectives for and regulations surrounding certified browser and cloud based systems.
Similarly, in his publication for the Auckland University of Technology, Zhuang Tian performed a comprehensive analysis of “digital forensics in the cloud” and concluded: “the research conducted confirms that modern encryption algorithms are able to maintain security and preserve privacy for digital forensic investigation evidence data stored in the cloud,” as well as “meet confidentiality, availability, privacy preserving, chain-of-custody, and eventually court admissibility requirements.” Browser and cloud-based systems like SAFE can actually help agencies and organizations improve their compliance and security.
Another key benefit of these systems is that they are simple and efficient to use. Approved officers and investigators can log in and manage evidence from any device at any time, so long as they have the appropriate logins. SAFE’s mobile application makes our browser and cloud-based software even more convenient.
In the digital age, law enforcement agencies and police departments can collect more evidence than ever before. Smartphone videos, text messages, emailed documents, and other information could be crucial in bringing justice to victims. However, in a traditional LAN system, digital storage space can become a major issue. In order to avoid investing in yet another expensive external hard drive, officers might be tempted to erase old, seemingly useless information or keep only the clearest evidence from a case. Ideally, it would be easy to keep all the evidence ever collected throughout an investigation just in case it becomes pertinent. With a browser and cloud based system, agencies and organizations can immediately and inexpensively add on greater remote storage capacity. Lieutenant Sallee refers to this important feature as “scalability” of browser and cloud based software.
The Future of Fact Finding
Let’s face it: browser and cloud-based programs are the future. They’re already becoming nearly universal—your email, social media accounts, and other everyday programs are most likely already on the cloud. Since SAFE is ahead of the game in this respect, it makes it easier for us to constantly update our features—and we do so constantly, at no additional cost to our users.
Crack Cases With the Cloud
Do you want to learn firsthand why a browser and cloud-based evidence management system is important? Contact Tracker Products today to learn more about SAFE or get a free trial of this program.