How secure are police eportfolios?
The UK police force collects a lot of personal – and often highly sensitive – data, so information security is a high priority.
It's natural for police forces to have concerns about data security, especially as our world becomes more reliant on technology. We hear about data leaks and cyber-attacks – such as the NHS randomware virus – all the time in the news, but how much of a threat are they?
After a recent data breach at TfL and the Metropolitan Police, forces have been told not to worry. The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said, '95% of the data breaches that are reported to us are completely preventable through training, up-to-date software, clear roles and responsibilities and evergreen IT security practices.'
Her message is simple: by investing in the right technology and training, police forces can keep their data safe and sound. The same goes for eportfolios. If you choose the right eportfolio, they're actually far more secure than traditional paper-based portfolios – and here's why:
All information stored in an eportfolio is extremely secure. Individual security measures will vary depending on the provider, but as a rule, data should be fully encrypted and stored on multiple secure servers. This means it cannot be lost, stolen, hacked or damaged – unlike paper portfolios.
If candidates want to use primary evidence in their portfolios, they can signpost classified evidence. They can also redact sensitive information from case files and use officer pseudonyms to authenticate work. Different eportfolios work in different ways, so check with your potential provider.
Data stored in eporfolios should be fully backed up by the software provider, so if something goes wrong with the server, no data is lost. This is much safer than candidates carrying folders of evidence to and from the station where they could be lost, stolen or damaged.
Verification & audit trails
Police training must be carefully recorded to meet quality assurance standards. The process is the same whether you use paper or technology, it's just much easier, safer and convenient to use an eportfolio. If you manage the process online, the entire process is secured in one place and can be reviewed remotely at any time.
If you follow the news, it may seem like cyber attacks happen all the time – but this simply isn't the case. Attacks are rare, and a smart software company will have robust protection in place to block any unwanted access. They'll also perform regular penetration tests to see how their system reacts when under attack.
At OneFile, we take security seriously. Our police eportfolio is designed to keep confidential data secure and allow candidates to signpost any classified evidence needed for their assignments. It's why OneFile is already used by 13 UK police forces.
To find out more about our security measures, download our free guide. It explains exactly how security and signposting works for police candidates, their mentors, and internal and external verifiers.
This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.