Cities Face Cyber-Security Threats

All local governments face cyber-security threats. Data breaches, lost or stolen media, and hacking scandals happen every year. The government is no more immune to these issues than the private sector.

Municipal IT departments have responded to these threats by stepping up their security measures. Some typical improvements include:

  • Replacing outdated legacy systems with regularly updated cloud solutions
  • Reducing shadow IT by implementing bring your own device (BYOD) policies

It’s Time To Move To The Cloud

CityReporter is a cloud solution with two software components: mobile and web. The mobile software is used to conduct inspections. The web software is where all inspection records are stored. It’s also where settings, checklists, and reports are managed.

The U.S. federal government took a leadership role early with cloud. In fact, since 2010, federal agencies have been under a mandate to have a “cloud-first” approach to setting up new applications.

The CityReporter cloud is managed by Cogeco Peer 1. It is encrypted, secure, and reliable for several reasons:

  • The data has SSL encryption; servers are physically secured to prevent access by the public
  • The SSAE 16, CSAE 3416, and ISAE 3402 certification ensures compliance with security standards
  • The 100% up-time agreement means governments can access their data at any time of day or night
  • The backups are completed daily and geo-replicated to ensure safety during natural disasters

How We Back Up Your Inspections

Problems can occur when cities rely on paper inspection forms. The documents can be damaged, lost, or altered. That’s not an issue when inspection records are stored in the cloud. All CityReporter inspections are backed up daily and also replicated to another server in a different geographic location.

This ensures all records will still be accessible in the event of a natural disaster. For example, if a hurricane destroys the Miami cloud server your inspection data will be available on the Chicago cloud server. The same can’t be said for inspection records held in filing cabinets!

For security purposes, we store all inspection records for US cities in our US cloud. These servers are physically located on US soil. We store all inspection records for Canadian cities in our Canadian cloud. These servers are physically located on Canadian soil.

Who Owns Your Inspection Data

Local governments who use CityReporter enter into an End-User License Agreement (EULA) with Noratek Solutions. This contract ensures that all inspection data remains the property of your local government. Noratek Solutions will not use it or share it in any way.

Municipalities are welcome to use our data replication tool This allows them to copy inspection onto their own servers. Some government agencies use our data replication tool to copy inspection data into their GIS, reporting, or work order systems. If an organization stops using CityReporter, their inspection data still belongs to them. An export can be requested free of charge.

Why Technical Details Matter

Not all off-the-shelf inspection software is designed for use in government. Many apps intended for personal or business use can pose the following issues:

  • No record retention safeguards. Inspections need to be documented and retained for decades. Many apps designed for business use allow records to be edited, altered, or deleted. This does not meet the requirements of most governments.
  • Stores inspection records locally. This means your inspection records are stored on your work computer, not on a server or in the cloud. The records could be deleted or lost forever in the event of a virus or computer crash.
  • Scans or uses your inspection data. Some companies claim ownership of data that is uploaded to their cloud. Other companies scan your data to provide you with ads. This will likely violate some public sector security policies.

CityReporter is used by local governments across North America. Our team is experienced in handling the data, security, and access needs of municipalities. You can be confident that our inspection solution will meet your needs.