The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) works every day to keep children safe. Few causes are more important than that, and Pure Storage® salutes the organization’s amazing work to fight child exploitation, abuse, and abduction across the United States. The organization conducts its work at astounding speed and scale, which is why we have named NCMEC as the very first recipient of the Pure Good award.

The Pure Good award honors organizations that use Pure solutions to make a positive social, environmental, or economic impact. NCMEC has a powerful story to share. The non-profit runs a variety of programs to support and educate families, train law enforcement, and keep kids safe.

In 2020 alone, the NCMEC’s CyberTipline fielded 21.7 million reports of potential exploitation online,. Thanks to Russ Johnson, executive director of the technology division, all this data has a home on Pure Storage, which provides NCMEC with the speed, capacity, and security it needs to investigate tips quickly and help keep kids safe.

An Urgent Mission, Where Every Second Counts 

NCMEC is on a mission to protect kids across the United States, and part of its charter is to investigate reports of abuse, exploitation, and abduction that come in through its CyberTipline. In 2020, these reports included 65.4 million files with 33,690,561 images; 31,654,163 videos; and 120,590 other files.

The files can come from anywhere, including families, social workers, and electronic service providers, which are required by law to report abusive activity and content they find online.

That leaves NCMEC with an enormous amount of data, and the organization’s analysts must review it all. The more quickly they can access the files, the faster they can launch an investigation and get a child out of harm’s way. Any delays—a slow-loading video, an audio file that won’t play, or worse, a system crash—cost precious time that could leave innocent lives in danger.

Doing More with Less—and Protecting More Children 

The stakes are high for NCMEC, but resources are limited, and the non-profit is always trying to do more with less. Looking for a remedy for aging disk storage and increasingly frequent application failures, Johnson reached out to Pure “to see what we could get on our budget.”

Johnson’s research paid off better than he expected. “With Pure, we were able to check all the boxes—increase our storage capacity while also encrypting our data at rest and adding disaster-recovery capabilities—all to make sure that our analysts had the tools they needed to help keep kids safe,” he says.

Johnson supplemented NCMEC’s outdated legacy systems with Pure FlashBlade®, a unified fast file and object storage platform. Much of the media content that comes in through the CyberTipline is easily migrated onto one FlashBlade system that is then replicated to a second site. That means sensitive video, audio, and images load much faster, helping analysts to investigate reports of exploitation and abuse sooner and work to keep kids out of potentially dangerous situations.

NCMEC Stays Focused on a Good Cause

Johnson and his team were able to meet an aggressive timeline. With help from Pure, the team installed the systems in half a day with minimal effort. Since deploying Pure, the team spends a fraction of the time responding to application failures and running backups, thanks to the stability and performance of the storage platform. That keeps everyone focused on the most important task—supporting NCMEC’s mission.

That’s storage in support of a good cause, and it’s why NCMEC is this year’s winner of the Pure Good award. Congratulations to Russ Johnson and his team for their work to accelerate and elevate the organization’s impact, helping kids and their families across the country. At Pure, we’re honored to support such an incredible cause.

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