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Storage Strategies for Law Enforcement: Managing chain of evidence, growth in unstructured data

Law enforcement and public safety organizations are faced with massive growth in the amount of digital evidence that needs to remain true, tamper-proof, and with a verifiable chain of custody.  Car cams, body cams, CCTV, computers and all forms of communication records are driving this growth. According to IDC research, by the end of 2021, there will be roughly $1.2B in IT (hardware, software, and services) costs for body-worn cameras and in-car cameras alone.   IDC also noted that in Duluth, Illinois, body-worn cameras average 150MB/day/officer of storage and San Diego’s estimated storage costs for 1,450 cameras amount to US$3.5 million.

A challenge for law enforcement agencies is their ability to address critical business priorities:  managing data creation growth — without spending more; storing data — with chain of evidence preserved immutability; retaining and sharing data with approved and authorized people — all regulations and compliance requirements assured.  These priorities require a solution that combines private blockchain and object storage.

A private blockchain is a distributed ledger where data is continuously available to multiple parties, immutability where the history of data events is cryptographically verifiable and permission access, access limited to authorized parties.   Software-defined object storage (SDOS) enables a law enforcement organization to manage the dramatically growing video data costs by leveraging the lower cost cloud storage business model.

STORAGE STRATEGIES IN LAW ENFORCEMENT (IDC)

Leonovus’ Blockchain Evidence Locker (BEL) is our unique combination of private blockchain and object storage technologies. By marrying these two together we are increasing the value.    BEL records all evidence submissions, supports access monitoring and reporting new evidence submissions, updates, and deletion events.  All of this is managed by the responsible agency or police force. With SDOS the organization is able to take their digital assets and move them to multiple clouds for archive or backup, reducing their storage costs and ensuring no cloud vendor lock-in.

For more on how Leonovus’ Blockchain Evidence Locker, read the press release https://www.leonovus.com/blog/leonovus-launches-blockchain-evidence-locker/ or visit https://www.leonovus.com/blockchain-evidence-locker/.

10 Most promising Stroage Solution Providers 2018

Leonovus has been named “CIO Review 10 most promising storage solution providers -2018”

CIOReview offers a ground-breaking platform allowing decision-makers to share their insights, which in turn provides both budding and established entrepreneurs with analyses of information technology trends and a better understanding of the environment. To select recipients of this award a prominent panel of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, and analysts along with CIOReview’s editorial board have determined that Leonovus was deserving. The company was chosen based on its ability to offer innovative, secure, reliable, and scalable data storage services to accommodate the growing data storage requirements. Therefore, receiving recognition like this from another reputable organization is further justification that Leonovus efforts in penetrating the storage market are being well received. It is a clear that Leonovus’ product that encrypts, shreds, and spreads data across multiple endpoints in public cloud, private cloud and on-premises is resonating with the storage community. As the company continues to transition from an investor-backed startup to revenue-backed company it is poised for success as more proof of concepts are converting into paid customers with very positive feedback from clients who have implemented the product.

Moreover, Leonovus will be releasing and implementing Leonovus 4.0 in late September. This next generation of Leonovus will harness the benefits of blockchain and combines this emerging technology with the company’s core product of optimized file storage. For many of Leonovus’ targeted verticals, the implementation of blockchain becomes a game-changing feature. For example, a blockchain can maintain an auditable trail of evidence and cryptographically ensure whether a file is an original or if it has been tampered with. Knowing this information is invaluable for law enforcement and public safety agencies who are dealing with sensitive case evidence. Moreover, when it pertains to financial service companies who deal with very sensitive personal information of their clients. Having a blockchain to secure this data, will help prevent costly data breaches.

“The company continues to grow tremendous momentum. From increasing proof of concepts, customers, staff, and now receiving this award for being a promising storage solution provider. It is obvious the market is beginning to recognize Leonovus as a key player and a market disruptor. The company has invested over $25 million dollars to get to this point and we will continue to invest heavily on development to ensure the product utilizes cutting edge technology to ensure it offers the best product for our clients. Therefore, they will always have the peace of mind of knowing their data is utilizing leading software while ensuring their data is secure, compliant with regulation and compliance standards and is cost efficient.” Said Michael Gaffney, Chairman & CEO of Leonovus Inc.

 

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2018

Leonovus is a champion for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018

Today Leonovus is proud to declare that it has become a Champion of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2018. The company will be joining a growing global effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy.

A multi-layered and far-reaching campaign held annually in October, NCSAM was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure all digital citizens have the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online while also protecting their personal information. As an official Champion, Leonovus recognizes its commitment to cybersecurity, online safety, and privacy.

Leonovus understands the risks cyber threats can pose to every one of us. That is why the company is very excited to participate in this campaign as it brings international attention around a narrative that the company deals with on a daily basis. It is well-documented attackers continue to try to breach confidential data and complex systems more frequently than ever before. Therefore, it is important for companies and individuals to be informed and prepared for these breaches to occur. For example, law enforcement officers need to remain cyber aware to ensure their case data is untampered so that it can be utilized it in court or financial and healthcare companies need to remain cyber aware in regard to their records to ensure their clients are not exposed to unnecessary risks. Cybersecurity is essential, data protection is essential, and being cyber aware is the first step in being prepared and not responsive to these potential risks.

For more information about NCSAM 2018, the Champion program and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit staysafeonline.org/ncsam. You can also follow and use the official NCSAM hashtag #CyberAware on social media throughout the month. Moreover, follow Leonovus on twitter @LeonovusInc for cyber awareness facts, resources, and discussions throughout October.

Data storage startups

Does young technology company necessarily mean startup?

Nowadays, innovations created by startups are the main drivers and engines for enterprises. Yet, there are still many stereotypes in how people generally perceive startups: as small companies with huge ambitions around some ideas (mostly technological) launched by yesterday’s graduates trying to find their place in Silicon Valley all while raising millions from investors. Naturally, high opportunities, as well as high risks, are associated with startup businesses. Statistical data is different, but many believe that nine out of ten startups fail due to certain reasons such as inexperienced management, lack of sufficient market for their product, running out of cash, lack of flexibility in business approach, etc.

But there are also many positive associations with startups:

  • Fresh, innovative ideas. Startups have a “cool factor” to attract talents and investments. It provides stakeholders with a sign “We hold fingers on the pulse of the future”.
  • Ability and intention to grow fast and scale the business. Startups think globally and are unconstrained by geography.
  • Dynamic and creative culture when employees believe that their job makes an impact and sincerely behave as evangelists of their product.

Certainly, Leonovus can be perceived as a startup: its business is built around innovative and unique technology, the team more than quadrupled in the last six months. However, the Leonovus senior management and engineering team have decades of invaluable industry experience. And Leonovus solution has over eight years of engineering embedded in its technology.

Let us introduce two of our latest hires who have chosen to join our team.  These new members have already created positive impact sharpening our sales strategy and product positioning.

Tim Bramble, VP of Product Management, recently surprised the whole Leonovus team by comparing “Parenting graph” with “Software-defined storage life cycle” graph. Obviously, lack of creativity is not his issue. Tim has been involved in data security for two decades, taking different roles required both deep technical knowledge and understanding of commerce processes. Accumulating strong experience in software development and product management in industry leading corporations such as Dell, Entrust and Nortel, makes Tim a powerful contributor into Leonovus product strategy.

James LaPalme, VP of Sales, has extensive business development experience globally, across various verticals while leading direct and indirect sales teams and developing strong relationships with channel partners and alliances.  By working with multiple customers and partners James has developed a deep knowledge of the cyber and digital security markets and customer issues which Leonovus is addressing.

 

Each of Leonovus employees has his/her own unique story, and this blog post would be a very long read if we try to list all of them in this post.   Having a team of industry experts with decades of experience sets Leonovus apart from numerous startups. At the same time, we are glad to have and to support an innovative and creative atmosphere of a newly born software business.

 

Lastly, the most important thing is how these factors impact our technology and how it is enriching it by new cool features – all aimed to make it as simple and user-friendly as possible for our end user. Leading research companies like Forrester and IDC believe flexibility and simplicity of new technology products are the most critical factors considered by companies going through digital transformation challenges*. It is not just trendy, it is the organic requirement of a technologies evolution.

To summarize, the beneficial combination of innovative ideas, a flexible approach to product development and decades of industry experience brought to the company by its talented team gives Leonovus and its partners’ confidence in its offerings, and the ability to stay competitive amongst its rapid growth stage.

 

Learn more about Leonovus technology 

*Recourses: Forrester, IDC 

Enhanced data security through object storage

Enhanced data security – Would you use a dollar store lock to secure your most precious assets.

I was just reading another story about another major Data Breach. (Link here)

After hearing about new data breaches with increasing frequency I’ve been continually thinking about how companies keep their data secure. Why are companies allowing the door to their data to be entered so easily? When you dig into the data breach, it was a 2TB database that put personal information for 340 million people at risk. I don’t know any of the particulars, but I would think at a minimum the data would have been encrypted. With hackers increasingly improving their skills and abilities I’m not sure if encrypting data is enough anymore. So, I had a conversation with our Senior Systems Engineer about encryption. On paper, it seems fairly secure, but then he gave me 3 or 4 scenarios that would allow an evil doer the ability to beat the encryption by interfering with key management, which allows access in a roundabout way.

Then I thought if encrypted files still have vulnerabilities isn’t that like using a cheap lock to secure your most important data? You are still locking your data and in theory, this data is secure. However, with state-sponsored hackers with all kinds of compute and tools or very high-end hackers utilizing their skills to potentially get access to what companies believed was secure data.

This led me to think about storing data from a less technical and more business level. The CEO of Disney Bob Igor in 2017 revealed to his staff that hackers claimed to have gained access to an unreleased Disney film (Read the full story here). Its practical to think Disney had taken precautions to secure this movie. At a minimum, some form of encryption, some firewalls, etc. the standard for most companies to ensure data security. I think the movie cost them around $230 million to produce. It appears that a large high scale movie is about 250GB-500GB of data per hour of film. So, let’s say an average movie is 1TB for discussion sake. What kind of Lock do you put on a $230 million-dollar asset that you may need to protect against hackers for 4 to 6 months before release? I think it is safe to say not a lock from the dollar store. Although this breach appears to have been a hoax, the premise of utilizing enhanced security measures for your most precious data for a very minimal investment is clearly imperative.

At Leonovus our patented software was designed to be a stronger lock against hackers. We encrypt the data like any other lock would. However, what makes our solution offer a higher level of protection is because we then shred the data to ensure it cannot be accessed all in one single access point. Think of an old fashion paper shredder but for your very precious data. Then we spread the data fragments across multiple storage/server environments. So, all the data is scattered across all of the storage resources you have access to or want to use. That could be on-prem, in the cloud, Multi-cloud or hybrid cloud all with zero vendor lock-in. The more places you spread the data the more secure it becomes. You can still easily access this data as the end user, but for a hacker, they would need to know how the data was spread, figure the encryption key, then figure out our algorithm on how to rebuild and re-order the data fragments. That’s a much better lock!

Back to the financial or business discussion

In the 2 TB scenario previously discussed that released information on 340 million Americans. If they were utilizing our software to secure their data, it would have cost them less than $100 monthly. Again, I don’t know all the specifics and can’t guarantee we would have prevented the breach. However, the breach happened, to utilize our software to increase the strength of data protection is a minimal investment but would have been a tiny fraction of the cost they incurred because of the breach. In the case of Disney, A $230 million-dollar movie could have been protected for the monthly cost of bringing a family of 4 to McDonald’s. There are many other benefits Leonovus 3.4 provides,(read more here) but at a minimum isn’t a monthly expense comparable to McDonald’s a small price to pay to ensure an enterprise’s most precious data is secure. Companies need to realize there is a difference between a dollar store lock and one that is a specialized and sophisticated locking mechanism engineered to protect against hackers.

Data breaches increasing, causing increased data security

Data breaches that generate increased data security is backward thinking.

Lightning did in fact strike twice last week as Canada’s fourth and fifth largest banks, BMO and Imperial Bank of Commerce’s (CIBC) Simplii financial were compromised leaving thousands of client’s personal records at risk.  The perpetrators utilized an algorithm to help defeat the current safeguards to obtain clients’ account numbers. These perpetrators have threatened to release the breached accounts if they do not receive one million dollars in the form of the cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP). Information regarding the name, account number, debit card, SIN number, home address, occupation and more for 100 BMO customers have already been released, further proving the competency of the claims made by these individuals. Both banks responded with full-scale investigations and declared that they will be enhancing their online security measures. The real question is why weren’t these banks using these enhanced security measures all along?

If the banks had been protected by the Leonovus Secure Storage solution prior to the breach, there would have been considerably less challenge and recovery.  Since the Leonovus zero-trust, data-centric security model assumes that platforms are to be compromised Leonovus offers a solution that centers around securing the data, not the infrastructure. With this, the breach impact would have been nullified. If these banks included Leonovus as a security measure prior to the attack, the perpetrators would not have been capable of utilizing their algorithm to determine account numbers.  Instead, they would have discovered encrypted, secured shreds of data elements, completely useless to them.

The moral of the story is simple, there is far too much at stake, and far too much to lose, when banks do not offer the most enhanced security measures to their clients before attacks happen not after.

Want to learn more?

Click to learn how Leonovus 3.0 protects your data against data breaches

Leonovus named top 20 storage vendors in 2018

Honored to be named one of the Top 20 Storage Start-up Companies in 2018.

Our focus on optimizing enterprise data storage and protection continues to be validated since the signing of our first proof of concept (POC) customer in August 2017.  As of this date, we have added eight more POC installations.

We recently completed a number of enterprise interviews as part of our industry research program and some of the Leonovus valued benefits that were highlighted to us were:

Hackers have nothing to hack

Data archived with Leonovus’ patented algorithms and hardened secure storage is “shredded” and distributed across hybrid (on-premises/cloud) and multi-cloud infrastructure.

Compliance assured

Leonovus’ auditable, immutable, ironclad security makes compliance easy. With a single dashboard across all assets, organizations have control over their data wherever it’s stored.

Self-healing power

Leonovus extends the life of companies’ IT by supporting the continued use of legacy equipment. Because archived data is shredded and distributed, if any one piece of equipment fails, the data that has been store there can be regenerated. With Leonovus, self-healing isn’t just a function: it’s built right into the architecture.

Multi-cloud flexibility

Leonovus lets organizations use multiple clouds for data storage and manage them through a single dashboard, making it easy to modify cloud services over time.

No vendor lock-in

Leonovus is hardware- and software-agnostic

Flexible data movement

Flexible data movement with classification and rule-setting ensures data is distributed dynamically across a data storage topology with support for real-time to cold storage.

Optimized use of idle resources

Leonovus is able to make use of idle storage resources such as Microsoft OneDrive — which for many enterprises remain up to 95% unused. Leonovus opens up resources for other IT-sanctioned functions like backup and archive, accessing petabytes of capacity.

 

 

Source: http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-management/20-data-storage-startups-to-watch.html

Data lifecycle challenges

Smooth sailing through the data lifecycle.

I am just returning after the CIO Digital Transformation Summit in beautiful and finally warm Ottawa.  The summit focused on transformations occurring in both the public and private businesses relating to technology, security, and people. Of course, data was the core thread throughout all the discussions and panels. Throughout the summit, I started thinking about how businesses today really depend on their data, rightly so, and how it holds a business steady. Very similar to what an anchor does with a boat when it is at rest.  But thinking more along those lines, I started wondering what happens when the boat wants to leave. It must first raise the anchor prepare for departure then it can begin its explorations.  Then I began to wonder, can how we manage our data, throughout its lifecycle, be holding us back from new explorations or goals?

I began to think, can a business be held back by its data?

Today, we have many and I mean many steps in the data lifecycle.  You obtain it (purchase or create data), then you index it, store it, transact with it, analyze it, report it, display it, secure it, sell it, buy it, archive it, back it up and hopefully one day you actually delete it (which sadly rarely happens).  Of course, I forgot some steps, and some are out of order, but it is clear all businesses depend on their data.

Throughout the data lifecycle, we meet with and develop relationships with vendors and build our infrastructure to support and update our data. Now the basics are complete, and your data exploration is sailing away. What happens when you discover something new, something that you know you will benefit from?  You want to take that new thing and cram it into your existing steady infrastructure and hope that it will not rock the boat too much. However, having something that will synergize well with their current infrastructure continues to be a struggle for many businesses.

Now for some real excitement is your data exploration prepared for attacks? Data breaches, hackers, natural disasters, government regulations, malware, etc. all these issues must be prepared for because they can all happen and all at once!  The proverbially perfect storm!  What now?  How do you protect your business from possible vulnerabilities? That is the question businesses face today. You’ve spent so much time and effort building up a strong infrastructure that you’ve become so rigid and inflexible, one major disaster/hack/breach/etc. could really hurt your business or in some cases end it. What can you do to prepare for something like this? You can start by looking at what is most vulnerable or susceptible to attacks and work to prepare for them.  Your current active data or in-flight data is always highly susceptible and it isn’t much you can do with it. However, the at-rest data, things you store and keep around just in case of disasters are the cannons on your ship. They will help protect you from these attacks letting you return to safer waters. You can do this by unlocking the at-rest data from the underlying infrastructure. Yep unlocking it, not detaching it, but unlocking it.  This means the data is still available for use and making you the one and only captain of this data.

Leonovus 3.0 can enable this by helping you aggregate your at rest data, no matter where it sits, into a single data layer. This layer isn’t locked into a single vendor or even a specific location.  You then can take it and secure it with double encryption, “shredding” it and dispersing it across all your locations.  You can even include cloud(s) in that mixture, the more the merrier.

In essence, you have unlocked your data from a single vendor, single location, single provider and then guaranteed that it is secure no matter where it’s stored and that it will always be available. If you think your data lifecycle can benefit with Leonovus fill out the contact form leonovus.com/connect and we will get back to you shortly.

Blockchain, beating the buzzword

Blockchain: Beating the Buzzword

I attended a round-table discussion about blockchain recently, with Canadian blockchain experts across industry, government, and academia.  We talked about the uses of blockchain, primarily beyond the basic use for cryptocurrency.  We discussed a lot of the real challenges in using the technology.

Many of our concerns are about privacy and identity.  For example, because a blockchain ledger is immutable, in a public blockchain that information is available to everyone forever.  Better blockchain solutions don’t store private information on the blockchain; they store cryptographic hashes or “keys” on the blockchain that simply reference off-chain data, which is kept secure.  This way you can prove that the data has not changed, without giving access to the data to everyone.  Alternatively, some of the data stored in a blockchain can be encrypted; nodes on the blockchain can see the transactions but not the encrypted packets within them.   With Europe’s GDPR privacy regulations and various data & privacy breaches recently, the concept of privacy when using a blockchain is a key concern.  And it’s a double-edged sword; the anonymous (really, pseudonymous) benefits of a public blockchain are not really what a lot of private blockchain projects aim to achieve.

Blockchains are generally very secure.  But there are dozens of different blockchain implementations now, with different consensus models.  Each solves the security problem in a different way, and each has its own security limitations.  Attacks are still possible on any of them – including network-driven “34%” attacks on any blockchain, as well as the more commonly quoted “51%” double-spending attacks.  That said, well-implemented blockchains are generally very secure.  Choosing the right blockchain platform and the right consensus model for your use-case is critical for a secure solution.

The bigger aspect of security is not the blockchain itself, but the human part of the puzzle.  Securing keys and wallets.  Coercion and blackmail are possibly even more serious problems for a public blockchain solution because once your money is stolen, it generally can’t be recovered.  Private blockchains can mitigate this class of problems through centralized control.  While some degree of trust in a central authority may seem to go against the decentralized nature of a blockchain, I believe it’s a useful element of private / permission blockchains.

Perhaps the biggest problem with blockchains is the hype.  The technology is being proposed for seemingly everything these days, and many of these projects don’t really benefit from using a distributed, immutable ledger.   And it’s a bit backward; people want to use blockchain, and then they look for ways they can use it.  That’s like saying we want to build a new application in C++ and then trying to figure out what the app should be.  It’s a technical solution coming before the problem.  Sometimes, it doesn’t really fit.

And then there is the ICO’s.  Many are simply new cryptocurrencies, and I don’t really see the value in yet another currency.  But let’s talk about ICO’s for products making use of blockchain for some application, like storage, financial transactions, various other B2B transactions, supply-chain auditing, permanent record-keeping, etc. The sky-high valuations around so many of these ICO’s seem to be driven by hype because of the use of the word blockchain.  Sure, some of them are grand schemes which could genuinely have huge value if the company can pull it off.  But some of them smell an awful lot like hyped-up schemes or even flat-out fraud, at least from a technical point of view.  Really, you need hundreds of millions of dollars to build that?

I believe that blockchain technology will be a fundamental part of many applications in the future.  But we need to think of it more like a fundamental technology, like TCP/IP or C++ or HTML, rather than as a game-changing one.  The game changers will be the applications built on top of this technology.  We need to start looking at it the other way around; what technology can help solve my problem?  Instead of starting with a buzzword.

 

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Leonovus - data storage solution for law enforement

Law enforcement is creating a data tsunami

One of the most visible areas for video growth and use is in Law Enforcement(LE).   LE agencies have quickly adopted many different tools for operations[1] including Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Throwable Robots, Body-Worn cameras, Dash Cams, Bystander Videos and Crowdsourcing Videos.   With demand growing, prices have fallen at an estimated annualized rate of 3.2%[2].

There are nearly 18,000 state and local police departments in the United States and almost one-third of them are putting body cameras on their officers according to a 2016 Time article.  It further goes on to show that in 2016 uploads were occurring every 1.6 seconds equaling 2.1 petabytes.  When a video is shot in 1080p format storage needs for that video can double.

On the flip side, each upload can incur costs and time relating to management including reviewing and categorizing.  During investigations, reviews, or inquiries, thus driving upward costs.   Chain of evidence requirements is needed for full lifecycle management, which continues to drive costs upward.

Beyond just Law Enforcement use cases, there is a growing amount of data being created and stored closed circuit systems monitoring ATMs and street traffic, surveillance systems, text and call records, social media, and other electronic records.

Leonovus 3.0 process of Data Lifecycle Management (DLM) begins when the data is downloaded from a device or location.  Once downloaded, the source is cataloged and digitally signed becoming an immutable entity: a fixed entity.  At that point, the source has an unbreakable chain of evidence that is auditable and reportable and in a single digital repository.

Leonovus’ unique architecture decouples data from the infrastructure and places enhanced security and flexibility on the movement of data which allows IT controls on the data across the entire data plane.  Thus, an opportunity exists for Law Enforcement and others to meet business goals (secure cataloging and cradle to the grave chain of evidence) while improving ROI by reducing overall capital costs.

Leonovus 3.0 supports on-premise, hybrid and multi-cloud data storage, with all architectures meeting your security and compliance requirements.

 

Learn more about how Leonovus helps law enforcement agencies 

 

[1] https://www.policeone.com/policing-in-the-video-age/articles/320307006-Policing-in-the-Video-Age-PoliceOnes-special-report-on-the-impact-of-video-in-LE/

[2] https://www.ibisworld.com/media/2017/05/16/zooming-body-camera-market/