Police force computer misuse investigation "no surprise" to 3ami

Managing Director Tim Ellsmore says protective monitoring of police systems is necessary to uphold the laws of a digital network

Manchester, 7th January 2010 (Omarketing) – Reports that there have been more than 50 cases of misuse of the force's computers in the 13th largest police force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last five years (http://bit.ly/8tMBsR) comes as no surprise to Tim Ellsmore, Managing Director of 3ami, a Manchester-based company that produces audit, compliance and control technology.

"With more than 239,000 police officers employed in the UK (http://bit.ly/5622Ub), as well as larger numbers of civilian staff, it's inevitable that human nature will rear its ugly head," said Ellsmore. "Our 3ami MAS software helps police management enforce the laws of their digital network and prevent this type of situation from causing embarrassment and the suspension or dismissal of otherwise good members of staff."

Ellsmore added, "I realise how hard police forces are working, and have been working, to make true data accountability a reality in the UK. I have seen their dedication in my many interactions with police forces looking to trial and purchase our Monitoring and Audit Systems (MAS). Police forces are beginning to realise the simple truth that you can't enforce the laws of a digital workplace without being able to police and protect that workplace--and that's where comprehensive computer activity monitoring and auditing comes in."

Ellsmore said the problem with those forces that do not fully monitor the activity on their computer networks is that they have no real way of knowing whether officers or civilian staff are misusing the data they have access to, forwarding that data to third parties or even using the network to conduct personal business when they should be working. There are also the issues of viruses and malware, as well as hacker attacks, attempting to subjugate data on the police computer network, for usually criminal means.

Ellsmore went on to explain that 3ami recently conducted a survey into senior police officers' concerns about data security at UK police forces. Ellsmore noted that the security required goes beyond controlling who has access to what data and at what times.

3ami's survey - conducted among senior police officers last year - found that all respondents were in favour of audit and controls on police computer resources. Ninety-six percent said they believed abuse and/or misuse of UK police systems occurred "frequently."

According to Ellsmore, the survey also found that inadequate staffing and the lack of an effective digital audit trail were the two biggest barriers to investigating police officers or staff members suspected of illegal or inappropriate computer activity. Ellsmore pointed out that both of these barriers could be mitigated--or removed altogether--with the effective use of a comprehensive computer activity monitoring and auditing package, such as 3ami.

"The Freedom of Information Act data released to the press this month suggests that more than 400 UK police officers and civilian staff have been dismissed or disciplined on the issue of computer misuse in the last five years," he said. "It's investigations like this that highlight the fact that installing effective audit and control software is now a no-brainer in financial terms, not to mention responsibility and accountability."

For more information: www.3ami.com

3ami Monitoring and Audit System (MAS) is a complete computer activity monitoring package that tracks all changes to hardware and software throughout an organisation's entire network(s) by capturing and securely storing records of all user activity - not just on the Internet but on every application, including email, word processing, spreadsheet applications, instant messaging and online. MAS monitors and audits police systems including ANPR (CLEARTONE BOF), PNC, Niche RMS, CORVUS and Quick Address (QAS). Even when other stand alone capability is already present, MAS coordinates and corroborates all systems to provide a comprehensive auditing framework.

Developed specifically for police forces, 3ami MAS makes true data accountability possible. 3ami MAS both proactively prevents inappropriate and/or illegal computer activity from occurring and reactively tells you - with certainty - not only who is responsible, but also the full breadth of such activity, when it does occur.