• By Mustafa Khan
  • Last updated: December 13, 2023
  • 5 minute read

Flexible Deployment Options for Digital Evidence Management

Explore the different deployment options for digital evidence management: Cloud, on-premises, and hybrid. Decide what is suitable for your agency.

In the realm of digital evidence management, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) emphasizes that digital evidence is volatile and fragile. Mishandling evidence can lead to alterations, resulting in wrongful convictions or the inability to prosecute wrongdoers.

This evidence often contains sensitive yet critical information central to criminal investigations and legal cases. Therefore, handling digital evidence with the utmost care and security is paramount.

The question naturally arises: How can your agency ensure the security of this evidence? What digital evidence storage options are available to safeguard it from potential breaches and keep evidence truly secure?

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Unsure about which storage option to choose for digital evidence management? Let's explore the importance of secure storage for digital evidence and discuss various storage solutions, including cloud, on-premises, and hybrid options, each offering distinct advantages.

Our goal is to simplify the decision-making process and provide you with the information needed to make the right choice in digital evidence management.

The Need for Secure Digital Evidence Storage

Secure digital evidence storage goes beyond mere data preservation. It involves a comprehensive approach to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital evidence at hand. Here are the key considerations for secure storage:

Confidentiality

Digital evidence often contains sensitive or confidential information. Secure storage prevents unauthorized access from outsiders and moles working in the organization, thereby safeguarding the privacy of digital evidence.

Data Integrity

Maintaining the originality and accuracy of digital evidence is essential for its admissibility in court. Secure storage prevents tampering or corruption of data.

Availability

Digital evidence must be readily accessible when needed. Secure storage ensures that data can be retrieved without complications or delays.

Exploring Storage Options: Cloud, On-Premises or Hybrid

Let's review three common storage formats for digital evidence management, discussing their pros and cons to help you determine the best fit for your agency.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has seen significant growth in the global market in recent years. Gartner's latest projections estimate end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $591.8 billion in sales in 2023. According to IDC, global cloud infrastructure spending is expected to reach $1.35 trillion by 2027.

Advantages of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage involves remote data storage on servers accessed via the Internet. This approach offers several benefits:

  • Scalability: Cloud storage can be easily adjusted to accommodate an organization's changing data storage needs.
  • Accessibility: Data can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling remote work and collaboration.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Cloud storage eliminates the need for expensive on-site infrastructure, reducing initial costs, such as capital expenditure (CapEx).

Concerns and Challenges

The following are the legitimate concerns and challenges regarding cloud storage:

  • Security: Data security and privacy can be concerns in cloud storage. Robust encryption and access controls are essential.
  • Downtime: Cloud services can experience downtime, affecting data accessibility.
  • Bandwidth: High data transfer volumes may require substantial bandwidth, leading to additional costs.

On-Premises Storage

On-premises storage involves storing data within an organization's physical location, providing complete control over the data.

Advantages of On-Premises Storage

This option offers unique advantages:

  • Security: Organizations have full control over the physical security of their data.
  • Compliance: Adhering to regulatory compliance requirements is easier when data stays within an organization's jurisdiction.
  • Data Sovereignty: On-premises storage ensures data remains within an organization's legal jurisdiction.

Concerns and Challenges

The concerns and challenges of on-premises storage are as follows:

  • High Costs: Setting up and maintaining on-premises storage requires a significant upfront investment ranging in at least millions of dollars.
  • Scalability: Expanding storage capacity can be a costly and complex endeavor for organizations, thereby creating bottlenecks in operations.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance and upgrades are necessary to ensure that the data remains safe.

Hybrid Storage Solutions

According to a report by Flexera, 82% of enterprises use a hybrid cloud model to store their digital data.

Hybrid storage solutions combine cloud and on-premises storage elements, offering a versatile approach. This approach provides flexibility and redundancy.

Advantages of Hybrid Solutions

The following are the advantages of adopting a hybrid solution for digital evidence management:

  • Flexibility: Organizations can tailor their storage solutions to specific data types, choosing between on-premises and cloud storage based on the nature of the data.
  • Cost Control: Hybrid solutions allow organizations to balance costs using on-premises storage for critical data and cloud storage for less critical data.
  • Redundancy: Data redundancy in hybrid storage ensures data availability even during system failure.

Concerns and Challenges

The concerns and challenges of a hybrid deployment option are as follows:

  • High Costs: Opting for a hybrid deployment solution for digital evidence management comes with a significant cost incurred by the organization.
  • Data Governance: Incorporating multiple systems translates to fewer data and systems oversight, thereby posing a significant data security challenge.
  • Visibility: Blending multiple deployment options together results in increased complexities and operational and data security bottlenecks.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

When selecting a storage solution for digital evidence, organizations should consider the following factors:

Security and Compliance

Evaluate the sensitivity of the data and regulatory requirements. Highly sensitive data may warrant on-premises storage, while the cloud may suffice for less sensitive information.

Scalability

Assess your organization's growth and data storage needs. The scalability of cloud storage may be advantageous for rapidly expanding organizations.

Costs

Consider your budget and the total cost of ownership (TCO). While cloud storage may appear cost-effective initially, evaluating long-term costs is crucial.

Accessibility and Remote Work

If your organization encourages remote work, the accessibility of cloud storage can be a significant advantage.

Making Your Decision

To make an informed decision, organizations should follow these steps:

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Evaluate your organization's needs and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each storage solution.

Aligning with Your Organization's Needs

The choice you make should align with your organization's unique requirements, taking into account data volume, sensitivity, and growth projections.

The Role of Expert Consultation

Consulting with IT and legal experts can provide invaluable insights into the right storage solution for your organization.

Have questions or need personalized assistance? Don't hesitate to contact us. Our expert team is here to help you make an informed choice.

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VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System: Providing Flexible Deployment Options

Each agency has distinct security demands, and our deployment choices are equally diverse.

On-Premises Deployment

Gain complete control over your data by storing digital evidence on your in-house servers and data centers.

Shared Cloud (SaaS)

Deploy quickly on a multitenant cloud for efficient hosting and management of digital evidence within just a few hours.

Bring Your Cloud

Save costs by deploying in your existing cloud while directly controlling cloud consumption expenses.

Hybrid Deployment

Maintain sensitive data on-premises while benefiting from the cloud, ensuring cost savings and hybrid compliance.

Reach out to us now to discuss your unique requirements and see how VIDIZMO can enhance your organization's security.

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Ready to Experience our Digital Evidence Storage Solutions in Action?

As digital evidence management systems become more popular, making the right digital evidence storage choice for your organization is a critical decision.

Whether you opt for cloud storage, on-premises storage, or a hybrid approach, understanding your unique needs and considering security, scalability, and cost factors is essential.

As technology progresses, staying flexible and adaptable in your approach to digital evidence storage is critical to long-term success.

Start a FREE 7-day trial to explore our cutting-edge platform. Get hands-on experience with our storage solutions and see how they can benefit your organization.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between cloud and on-premises risk?

  • Cloud: Risks include data security, privacy, reliance on service providers, and downtime.
  • On-Premises: Concerns involve high initial costs, maintenance, and storage scalability challenges.

What is a hybrid storage solution?

A hybrid solution combines on-premises and cloud storage for flexible data storage, offering redundancy and scalability between local and cloud storage.

Which cloud is more secure?

No cloud is inherently more secure, but established providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure offer robust security features. Choose based on your specific security and compliance needs.

What is hybrid cloud computing?

Hybrid cloud computing combines private and public cloud services, providing flexibility, scalability, and data sharing while maintaining some data and applications on-premises for security or compliance reasons.

What is an example of a hybrid cloud?

An example is when an organization uses private cloud resources (on-premises or in a data center) alongside public cloud services (e.g., AWS or Azure) for computing and data storage.

Posted by Mustafa Khan

Mustafa is an Associate Product Marketing Strategist at VIDIZMO and an expert in digital evidence management. He researches latest trends to keep up with the law enforcement landscape. For any queries, feel free to reach at websales@vidizmo.com.

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