Providing Secure Information Access in Disaster Zones

In many ways, Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call. The technology many of us took for granted, such as the internet, was suddenly useless. Making matters worse, many post-disaster procedures rely on these technologies, making it difficult to determine who was missing, where to expend supplies, and where to focus rescue efforts.

As IEEE global technology conference scholars explained, “with no communications, on-scene responders and remote support agencies have no ability to share situational awareness, manage resource requests, coordinate personnel, or establish unified command and control. [Hastily formed networks] that enable communications infrastructure are therefore essential for a rapid and effective [humanitarian assistance/disaster relief] response.”

With a mobile communications infrastructure, first responders can provide the support needed for effective disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. These communications infrastructures will also need to be secure, as they will be transmitting sensitive data such as patient records. But how can such advanced technology be developed and deployed when needed?
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First Responder Communications Needs

When major disasters strike, more often than not, cellular networks and other internet sources are unavailable. While satellite uplinks can be used by a few individuals, that hardware isn’t inherently designed to function as a typical network environment.

Even if an existing network is available at or near the site of the incident, security issues prevent first responders from being able to transmit sensitive vital data.

Other difficulties frequently encountered include:

  • Difficult and cumbersome on-site network deployment
  • Low security (a crash on any device connected to the network could leave the entire system at risk)
  • Unpredictable hardware

There are many other problems first responders face when attempting on-site communication and data transmission. They need a communications platform that combines ease-of-deployment, security, and scalability.

Tailored Communication Solutions

Through a portable virtual desktop infrastructure, first responders could quickly set up a functional network to better manage data needs on-site after a disaster. An easily deployable, portable server would deliver many features and benefits to first responders and those affected by the disaster event:

  • Fast deployment
  • Reliability
  • Centralized administration
  • Ability to deploy to a wide group of people
  • Stronger security
  • Greater accessibility

A solution like this will allow first responders to have access to important information and applications, as well as coordinate vital data for event victims. Using pre-tested hardware means the computing situation is predictable and therefore reliable. By providing a virtual desktop computing environment, the entire system is at a much lower risk of compromising sensitive data since the only data sent to end devices is display data. Furthermore, greater network accessibility means less specialized hardware would be required onsite.

Contact Patriot for a Tailored Communications Infrastructure

Patriot understand the needs of first responders attempting to give humanitarian aid or disaster relief after an event. The tools used by these individuals must be simple to deploy and predictable, free from needing on-site debugging. Reliability issues can be potentially life-threatening.

Through our unique portable server solution, we can allow any device securely connecting to the network to act as a zero-client monitor. Thus, data stays safely on the server instead of needing to set up hundreds or thousands of computers.  This provides more uptime than building a network onsite or struggling to restore and secure an existing onsite network.

The applications for this technology reach far beyond disaster relief. If you are interested in a tailored communications infrastructure solution, contact Patriot today.