New Mexico State Police Improve Field Communications With Mobile VPN

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — May 22, 2012

New Mexico State Police has deployed the FIPS 140-2-certified Columbitech Mobile VPN on laptops used in more than 500 police cars across the state. The Columbitech Mobile VPN improves officers' safety by providing secure, uninterrupted access to mission-critical applications such as vehicle registration and warrant databases as officers move in and out of coverage, and connects via 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and satellite. Two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES encryption protect against unauthorized access and eavesdropping.

In a mountainous state with large areas lacking cellular coverage, officers often rely on satellite links to communicate. Prior to the deployment, laptops would constantly lose their connections to the network, causing sessions to drop and applications to crash. By contrast Columbitech Mobile VPN creates a persistent network connection, and officers in the field can continue to work as usual even if the computer roams or temporarily loses the connection.

Columbitech's VPN solution is designed to handle high-latency satellite networks. It uses advanced data compression, providing up to 100 percent faster throughput with significant impact on performance and costs for satellite communication. Additionally, the Columbitech VPN has the capability to filter data traffic. The state of New Mexico uses this feature to restrict which applications can be accessed over satellite and allows access only to officer-safety apps, substantially lowering the monthly satellite bill.

"It is absolutely mission-critical that our officers can access information from their laptops at any time to find out who they are dealing with before they approach somebody in a car," says Darrell Graham, IT systems manager of the New Mexico State Police. "Columbitech's mobile VPN ensures that officers always have access to information such as vehicle registrations, warrants and FBI databases so they can call for backup and avoid dangerous situations."

Columbitech Mobile VPN is a software-based VPN, built on the TLS protocol. It consists of a VPN client that is installed on a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and a VPN server that runs on a Windows or Linux server with support for virtualization.

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