March 9, 2017 -
MorphoTrak‘s cloud solution for government and law enforcement agencies, MorphoCloud, was launched in October 2015, and the service is now evolving based on experience gained in the field. While the cloud inherently enables many potential benefits including high availability, performance, and security, the company has gained valuable experience with utilization in the field, which is increasing as agencies adopt MorphoCloud.
Offering solutions delivered by the cloud is often referred to as using the “as-a-Service” label, which identifies it as free from the overhead costs and related concerns of solutions provided through the purchase of hardware. Along with the reduction of overhead, MorphoCloud reduces the burden that systems maintenance places on the agency’s IT team. That burden often includes not only regular repairs, installations, and software updates, but also processes like applying security patches, and monitoring systems. With identification-as-a-service (IDaaS), this burden falls to MorphoTrak, freeing valuable agency resources.
For biometrics in particular, with algorithms being constantly improved, the ability to use the most up-to-date technology without dedicating extra resources to the upgrade process is a repeating benefit. MorphoTrak collaborated with Microsoft to produce a case study, on the benefits of delivering an automated biometric identification system (ABIS) from the Azure Government cloud.
Azure Government is a Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) compliant and FedRAMP certified cloud platform. Azure ensures the constant availability and security of data stored in its government-only cloud instance with geo-redundant data centers staffed by screened U.S. personnel.
“Microsoft Azure Government has such massive scale and is growing so fast that by MorphoTrak’s assessment, even hosting all our U.S.-based consumers (more than 50% of the U.S. market as a whole) would hardly qualify as a drop in the ocean for Azure Government’s massive datacenters,” Frank Barret, director of cloud services at MorphoTrak told Biometric Update.
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) began using MorphoCloud to power its ABIS in August 2016. This marks the first implementation of an ABIS system for criminal investigations running entirely from a commercial cloud environment, according to the company.
This pioneering partnership had immediate benefits for the APD, improving matching times and increasing the range of usable fingerprints, APD Forensic Scientist Kris Rubi says. It has also been a success for MorphoTrak, as well as providing valuable data and experience from real-world use.
MorphoTrak discovered that in addition to improving response times, the solution makes budgeting easier for agency customers, as the technology upgrades included in the service price provide productivity benefits without forecasting large future down payments, according to Barret. Likewise, by taking all the risk of future threats, and assuming responsibility for improving standards, MorphoTrak and Microsoft ensure compliance and proper threat management on behalf of the agency. “In short,” Barret says, “customers can now fully focus on their business of keeping our communities safe, while MorphoTrak fully takes care of the ABIS.”
Barret also says that MorphoCloud is flexible enough to provide agencies with a wide range of services from disaster recovery for on-premise systems, to full cloud multi-biometric ABIS systems that are highly available, dynamically scalable and geographically redundant, for maximum security and resiliency.
The demand for these capabilities is clearly demonstrated by the pace of MorphoTrak IDaaS adoption. As part of the State of Iowa’s cloud upgrade, it will become the first customer to benefit from MorphoTrak’s multi-biometric capability later this year. The New Mexico State Police department is also deploying the solution, and will go live in 2017, and MorphoTrak is currently working with other agencies toward further deployments. As those deployments build on MorphoTrak’s experience as a trusted service provider, the company will strengthen its position to take a leading role in the huge and fast-growing law enforcement biometric service market.