Full Access to Scott Montgomery

Episode 29

Full Access to Scott Montgomery
Episode Summary

In a perfect world, on-premise storage infrastructure is refreshed every five years. That timeframe isn’t realistic for law enforcement agencies. The benefit of using cloud resources is that it removes the need to buy all new hardware. As a cloud services provider, AWS handles the refresh so that organizations always have the latest storage and pay for only what they need.

Often backup systems in agencies take the form of a NAS device underneath someone’s desk. In the event of a natural disaster, everything would be lost. Even if the backup wasn’t destroyed, there may not be access to it, and the operation would be down. With cloud storage, mission-critical systems can continue to operate simply because the system is in a separate location.

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Show Notes

[01:03] Profile of this episode’s guests: Scott Montgomery – Law Enforcement and School Safety Leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • Scott grew up in a cop family. His father retired with 44 years in law enforcement.
  • At 30, Scott began his career as a law enforcement officer.
  • He was hired by a small agency where he lives in Washington state, where the limited resources positioned him to need to learn a little about everything.


[04:21] Scott’s career transition from law enforcement to the private sector

  • Scott’s law enforcement career began as typical and not technology-focused. He started as a patrol officer, did the field training officer program, then went into the traffic unit.
  • He was a SWAT sniper for seven years, where he was happily working four days a week with three-day weekends.
  • A former colleague met with Scott about a job opportunity and gave the boss Scott’s name. 
  • The position was for a one-year contract with Microsoft as the program manager for a new initiative called the Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform.
  • The goal was to build the police car of the future using technology and existing vehicles.
  • Scott loved helping his community and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to widen his sphere of influence globally.


[09:11] Scott’s role at AWS and the services provided

  • AWS operates data centers all over the world – the cloud
  • AWS has a team that focuses on nothing but the justice and public safety lifecycle. Scott runs everything law enforcement from post-911 call until the officer drops someone off at a custody facility and all the technology that lands inside that realm.
  • AWS works with partners who are bringing solutions to agencies. When an agency has an idea for analytics they’d like to run, AWS connects partners with agencies to find solutions.
  • AWS’ mission is to be the most customer-obsessed company on the planet. They start with the customer’s needs and then work backward to create a solution.


[16:18] Disaster recovery vulnerabilities for law enforcement agencies

  • One of the first questions AWS asks when working with a law enforcement agency is: What is your disaster recovery policy?
  • For many agencies, the backup is in a NAS underneath a desk. If anything happened to that device, there would be no more backup.
  • Usually, the backup is kept on location. If a natural disaster happens, the operation will go down because there is no access. Cloud storage allows mission-critical systems to stay up during disasters.
  • Ransomware isn’t as critical of a situation with cloud storage because the data is backed up somewhere else.



[20:55] Cloud storage security and why it’s safe for use by government and industry

  • In the past, the industry standard of security was focused on knowing who had potential access to information and ensuring those people had background checks so the information was safe.
  • AWS decided that cloud service provider employees shouldn’t have access to an agency’s data, so the organization changed how it built its hardware.
  • AWS created the Nitro System, which is in all of its data centers all the way down to the chip layer so that no AWS employee has physical or logical access to data. AWS employees do not have access regardless of whether the data is CJIS or family photos.


[25:23] Advantages of using cloud technology for digital forensics

  • ArtifactIQ by Grayshift is a cloud analytics solution hosted by AWS for law enforcement detectives and investigators.
  • Rather than needing to wait on a backlog for a phone to be analyzed, millions of algorithms can be run in seconds. 
  • Investigators can still be on the scene and immediately use data from an extraction.
  • Agencies across the country are being asked to do more with less. A device that can work so quickly is a force multiplier for investigators and officers.


[31:24] Hurdles agencies face when adopting cloud technology

  • Law enforcement agencies are on budget cycles that aren’t set up to work with operational expenses rather than capital expenses.
  • AWS is working on solutions with agencies so that they understand how procuring cloud services is different.
  • As technology adapts, government and law enforcement agencies will need to adapt. 

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