Public safety agencies already have a challenging job to do, and in addition to protecting the public, they must also protect sensitive data that comes with the territory. Data security and compliance are incredibly complicated, and it takes a team of IT professionals to properly prepare and maintain each. This is why many public safety agencies are turning to Managed IT Services to take care of their day-to-day IT and compliance tasks. If your agency is still handling IT for itself, here are 3 reasons you should reconsider:
Whether you’re a small law enforcement agency with just 10 officers, or a federal agency with 10,000 employees, you must comply to Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements. CJIS is a certifying agency that puts together compliance regulations and checkpoints that need to be adhered to by government agencies. This ensures that sensitive information and data is transmitted carefully and that only people with proper access can view and/or handle it.
Whether or not your agency is in compliance with CJIS regulations, you could be audited by the FBI. At that point, you will receive a list of requirements that you must come into compliance with within a short period of time. Some of these requirements are quite simple, like making sure you have proper signage on your door and secure passwords on your computer. Others are extremely complex, such as setup and use of a secure, properly maintained server, a firewall, managed hardware, and more.
The more complex tasks require extensive IT knowledge, and the average public service agency does not have the experience or staffing to handle such matters. This is just one reason why hiring a CJIS certified Managed IT Services team is crucial. These engineers must complete CJIS-approved background checks, which include a criminal background check and fingerprinting. They must also complete CJIS training classes, which concludes with a test that they must pass.
At Bit-Wizards, for example, all Managed IT Services engineers are CJIS certified, meaning they are all permitted to handle a public service agency’s sensitive data and communicate with them about it. This gives our entire IT team the ability to work on and maintain all aspects of your network, taking that load and stress completely off your public safety employees.
2. Secure efficiency
In addition to keeping your agency compliant with federal regulations, Managed IT Services can make your day-to-day life easier. Managing technology might not be your agency’s top concern, but you do need it to do your job. A Managed IT Service can help you set up, manage, and maintain all your IT services, while keeping all your tech secure and compliant. This applies to everything from computer passwords, to email, to internal communications.
Many Managed IT Service providers can supply you with security features like:
- Virus protection
- Advanced threat protection for email
- Alert monitoring
- Personnel training
- Regular backups
Services like this will not only protect your IT, but save you time and money in the long run. These security features will help prevent your public safety agency from falling victim to a cyberattack, hack, or breach. Personnel training will also keep your employees educated on best practices, while streamlining their workflows.
Managed IT Services providers can also migrate your agency to the cloud, enabling you to take advantage of tools built for efficiency. At Bit-Wizards, for example, we use Office 365, giving your team access to email services through Outlook, collaboration tools like SharePoint, communication applications like Microsoft Teams, and so much more. These cloud-based services can be a game changer for your daily tasks, leading to an exponential boost in your agency’s overall efficiency.
3. Continued support
Public safety agencies play a critical role in communities, both large and small, often delivering life-saving services and support to the population. Having to deal with IT issues or inefficiencies shouldn’t ever be a factor. Many Managed IT Services providers offer significant IT support, with engineers ready and available to help you quickly, which is especially crucial for public service agencies.
In the case of Bit-Wizards, our IT Help Desk is made up of certified, experienced IT engineers that want to assist you. We hire engineers based on their expertise, as well as their ability to provide friendly, professional support to our clients. At Bit-Wizards, your agency is a partner. It’s our job and our pleasure to help you with any IT needs that arise.
Additionally, if your agency works with a Managed IT Services team comprised of only CJIS certified members, support and communication is automatically streamlined. This gives anyone on the team the ability to help you when an issue arises, eliminating the need to hold or wait for the right person to become available during an emergency or time-sensitive situation.
Don’t wait for an audit or emergency to arise
Your agency will get excellent service from a Managed IT Services provider, like Bit-Wizards. Our engineers will work tirelessly to help you pass any FBI or CJIS audits you are subject to receiving. With Bit-Wizards as an IT partner, your data stays private and secure, your agency gains the ability to take on any audit sent your way, and your day-to-day workflows become significantly easier. Ready to hire a Managed IT Service for your agency? Contact us.
Check out our case study article to learn how we helped the Shalimar Police Department pass an FBI audit with flying colors.