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Zco Integrates Columbitech Mobile VPN to Provide PolicePad and FireTab Users CJIS-compliant Access to Federal Information

Columbitech Inc., a leading mobile VPN security provider, announced today that it is partnering with Zco Corporation, the company behind PolicePad® and FireTab®, to provide police and firefighters with uninterrupted, secure access to public safety records. The city of Lowell, Mass., with a population of 107,000, will have the first police department to use PolicePad with built-in VPN functionality.

The PolicePad and FireTab software runs on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, providing access to 911 calls, warrants, vehicle registration, driver information, sex offenders and other persons of interest, fire hydrants, and hazardous materials mappings. It enables replacement of ruggedized notebook computers costing as much as $6,000 with mobile devices costing $800 or less. In addition, PolicePad and FireTab provide out-of-vehicle mobility, use built-in cameras, support multiparty messaging and connect to surveillance systems.

Zco used the Columbitech Application SDK to integrate mobile VPN functionality into the PolicePad and FireTab software. The Columbitech mobile VPN is FIPS 140-2-validated by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and compliant with the Criminal Justice Information Services’ policy for law enforcement agencies using wireless technology to connect to federal systems. It supports advanced two-factor authentication with unique client certificates, user-based public key infrastructure, one-time passwords, smartcards, biometric systems, and software and hardware tokens. Information is encrypted, using up to 256-bit AES encryption.

The VPN eliminates problems with dropped connections in remote areas. It creates a persistent connection between the mobile device and the server as police and firefighters move around and switch networks or temporarily lose coverage.

“The Lowell Police Department is looking to meet the highest-encryption, FIPS 140-2 standards for CJIS data traffic,” says Kenneth Lavallee, superintendent of the Lowell Police Department. “Columbitech and Zco help us fully meet those standards.”

“Columbitech enables us to deliver information in compliance with the CJIS requirements while improving the availability of the PolicePad and FireTab applications in areas with spotty coverage,” says Gary Mueller, vice president of business development at Zco Corporation. “By putting information at the police officers’ fingertips, crimes can be solved faster and officers can stay alert to their surroundings.”

“We are proud that an industry leader such as Zco has chosen to work with Columbitech,” says Tobias Englund, president of Columbitech. “By using our application SDK, the extra layer of security becomes completely transparent to the users.”

PolicePad and FireTab will be demonstrated at the MCOPA 2013 Feb. 7-8.

About Columbitech

Columbitech protects the entire workforce with one FIPS-validated VPN solution. With more than two million users, customers include three of the top 10 U.S. retailers, public safety agencies, all U.S. military branches and telecom providers. Columbitech is privately held, with offices in Stockholm and New York.

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