March 21, 2016 -
Cloud computing provides many benefits including ease of use, time savings, security, convenience, versatility, and scalability. For these reasons, cloud computing has become an emerging offering in the biometrics industry, and according to Frank Barret, Director of Cloud Services at MorphoTrak, LLC, it enables a new service paradigm known as “identification-as-a-service.”
MorphoTrak has developed its own identification-as-a-service solution entitled Morpho Cloud. Barret describes the service as a secure and flexible offering for the public security market that incorporates multi-biometric modalities such as friction ridge biometrics, facial biometrics, and iris recognition.
Morpho Cloud is designed to deliver MorphoTrak’s flagship biometric identification solution, known as MorphoBIS, to government agencies, as well as its state and local law enforcement customers, online through secure architecture. The MorphoBIS suite is a comprehensive range of products centered on an innovative automated biometric identification system that provides real-time identification of suspects and criminals. In addition to fingerprint, palmprint, and facial recognition, the MorphoBIS suite offers tattoo recognition, and voice recognition, as well as Morpho Cloud-supported services, including video analytics as-a-service, disaster recovery as-a-service, and Rap Back as- a-service.
Barret emphasizes that MorphoTrak’s law enforcement clients can be confident that its cloud offerings can safeguard the function and content of their biometric identification solutions, because the Morpho Cloud service is hosted on the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) compliant and FedRamp certified Microsoft Azure Government cloud, and because Morpho Cloud as a whole is a CJIS-compliant solution.
“We developed our solution to help law enforcement agencies achieve time savings and efficiency,” said Barret in an exclusive interview with BiometricUpdate.com. “Security, of course is a key feature. We wanted a cloud solution that would comply with the government’s tough CJIS security policies and found in Microsoft the perfect partner to ensure strong control over criminal and national security data, within a geographically-distributed data center environment.”
By leveraging Microsoft’s Azure Government platform, the stringent security measures built directly into the latest MorphoBIS version, and a secure deployment architecture, MorphoTrak is able to safely service government organizations. Morpho Cloud’s compliance is backed by the strictest standards for data storage, access, transmission, monitoring, incident response, recovery, and administration.
Azure Government was selected by MorphoTrak because it provides a comprehensive and open Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution for the U.S. government community that incorporates infrastructure, network, storage, data management and identity management, delivered through a secure and compliant hybrid cloud solution. Microsoft’s solution includes major core components that address computing power, storage, networking, identity and database functionality. Azure Government provides many security benefits, such as compliance with the CJIS security policy, and redundant storage in data centers at least 500 miles apart to ensure disaster-proof continuous service delivery and no data loss.
Both the Microsoft and Morpho platforms comply with the CJIS Security Policy, which provides both U.S. law enforcement and non-law enforcement entities with a specific set of security requirements for access to information systems and data. The CJIS Security Policy itself identifies security controls across 13 policy areas, ranging from access control and incident response, to physical protection and personnel security. These security controls help ensure continuity of information protection, from creation through dissemination, whether at rest or in transit. The CJIS Security Policy applies to all entities with access to, or who operate in support of, FBI CJIS services and information – including entities engaged in the interstate exchange of Criminal Justice Information (CJI) data for non-criminal justice purposes. CJI data includes all of the data necessary for law enforcement and civil agencies to perform their objectives, including biometric, identity history, biographic, property, and case/incident history data.
“By running Morpho Cloud on Microsoft Azure Government, law enforcement agencies can both comply with CJIS requirements and have fast access to a highly scalable platform without compromising on security,” stated Barret. “Our technology also ensures constant peak technology performance.”
Barret also stated that another major benefit is that its cloud solution is always at the latest and greatest technology level: customers get technology refreshes as part of their base contract, and this is all done via operational expenditure, rather than capital expenditure. “Besides, there is no more need for our law enforcement clients to manage their own data center or hardware, or maintain a server along with the concurrent expenses to support it such as human resources, electricity or real estate. All these expenses are borne by MorphoTrak and Microsoft,” noted Barret.
Barret emphasizes that the Morpho Cloud service is superior due to its scalability, since computing power resides in Microsoft’s secure data center environment. “By leveraging Azure’s massive scale, we are able to offer virtually unlimited memory and CPU resources. We can scale very quickly and offer dramatic increases in speed and inputs, which empowers our customers to face major events that require sudden and unpredictable surges in throughput and/or database capacity.”
As a result, Morpho Cloud is an outstanding example of outsourced identity management that can provide dramatic efficiency and cost improvements to law enforcement agencies by delivering benefits that would otherwise be out of reach for most agencies, such as geo-redundant disaster recovery, the latest technology refreshes, no capital expenditure budgeting, and a level of security that is only possible thanks to the scale of Microsoft Azure and Morpho Cloud.