Cloud technology is being embraced by Chorus customers with take up rates edging towards 70%.
Being a tech provider to the public sector allows us to get an inside scoop on the level of digital transformation in UK policing, and we have good news to report! We are heading towards an important milestone at Chorus.
Almost 70% of our customers use Chorus from our secure cloud or have started their transition.
I know a few at Chorus would be surprised at that take up based on attitudes a few years ago (see video) but it is a very pleasing statistic for several reasons.
So why are we seeing such a good take up of cloud services and why is it a good thing? There are quite a few answers to that which we will explore below.
It’s really secure
Our cloud environment is hosted in a Police Assured Secure Facility (PASF) which has undergone an independent audit from a UK police force. This means that we have taken extra steps in our risk assessments and physical and virtual security of our data centre. It employs physical security measures such as biometric access, CCTV, and infra-red sensors.
As for the security of the data, I’ll do two versions here, one for the techies and one for…everyone else!
Deep breath, here is the techy part.
Connectivity to the environment is established over an IPsec VPN with ECDSA-256 certificate authentication and AES256 encryption. Users interact with the platform using Remote Desktop and a browser-based File Transfer Portal. All Remote Desktop Protocol traffic is encrypted to FIPS-140-1, and the File Transfer Portal traffic is also encrypted, running over HTTPS.
All data in transit is encrypted to ensure it cannot be intercepted.
Most of the above refers to how data is changed to an unreadable form when in transit. Like how your Whatsapp message can’t be read by anyone intercepting it. To decrypt it or change it back to a readable form you need a key. With AES 256 encryption there would be billions of possible combinations that are pretty much impossible to crack.
So any risks around data hacks are really low, especially important when dealing with such personal data.
We know that policing in general is a stretched resource and it isn’t any different for the IT team. A SaaS deployment of Chorus means that internal resources don’t have to worry about availability of services, updates, or how to add new users. Our team takes care of all of that leaving force IT to focus on what matters most to them.
It’s also highly resilient. Using dual power supplies and certain links and hardware to ensure that downtime is minimal.
State of the art affordability
We’ve made a significant investment in infrastructure and security to create a state-of-the-art cloud environment accessible to UK police. As we no longer have to configure laptops and PCs and send them out, we can supply Chorus at a lower price point. Storage space in a cloud server is much cheaper than a new laptop so we can offer more licences giving more people access to Chorus for the same budget amount.
We’ve had a couple of instances of customers requiring urgent access to Chorus for certain jobs. It’s difficult for our support team to respond really quickly and get hardware sent out. With a cloud installation, licences can be switched on and off pretty much instantly so that important cases can be resourced with the right technology.
Also, at the time of writing, we are in lockdown where most people are working from home. Cloud access can be granted easily using a VPN which allows the Analyst or Investigator to jump on to Chorus wherever they are working from.
Overall, it’s a pretty compelling case and we haven’t event talked about the possibilities of sharing data. We’ll cover that at a later date.
Although it’s our own world and we can’t speak for transformation in other areas, it is great to see such a good adoption rate of cloud. That combined with the right technology should pave the way for meeting the objectives of the National Policing Digital Strategy and creating a safer UK to live and work.
If you would like to know more about our cloud environment then please contact us at [email protected].