How Detego Helped Airport-Based Counterterrorism Units Speed Up Investigations With Rapid Data Extraction and Triage Tools

The Background 

Detego’s client* is one of the busiest airports in London and handles close to 30 million passengers each year. Used by a large number of the region’s budget airlines, the airport facilitates travel to over 200 destinations in 40 countries. In recent years, the vast majority of Jihadi fighters attempting to enter the United Kingdom from Syria have arrived at this airport, making border security and early detection of terror-related threats a top priority.

The airport has Counter Terrorism Officers operating permanently as part of the wider Counter Terrorism Border Policing Group. In their role, these officers need to comprehensively examine and forensically secure data from digital devices which are in the possession of suspects. And with a limited window to gather critical evidence, officers needed a solution that can perform this task within minutes.

*This case study was anonymised due to the sensitive nature of the investigations carried out by the customer. 

The Solution

After carrying out an extensive evaluation of the digital forensics tools in the market, Detego’s Unified Digital Forensic Platform was chosen by the unit. The platform’s simplicity and ability to provide the quickest results for analysis were clear differentiators. 

As a part of the deployment, Detego also delivered a training programme that was tailored around the needs of the team. 


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The Result

Since deployment, the solution has helped officers easily identify and neutralise a multitude of terror-related threats. The platform has enabled investigators to carry out data extractions in minutes – drastically reducing investigation lead times.

Detego’s field triage solution, which alerts users of files containing potential threats through a traffic light system, has enabled officers to seize suspicious devices for further investigation without the need to run resource intensive multi-stage data extractions.

The platform’s Ballistic Imager technology has helped officers forensically secure data from computers – recording up to 1 TB of data in less than eight minutes.  Detego’s all-in-one platform has also enabled investigators to extract and analyse data from a range of devices including phones, laptops, loose media and drones. The team has also been able to gain access to internet browsing history and passwords on devices in under 30 seconds.

Sharing his thoughts on the solution, a senior member of the unit said: “We’re getting to grips with the software and love it! Great piece of kit…I have been singing its praises from a national perspective.”

Key Deliverables

  • A significant reduction in investigation lead times
  • Faster data acquisition – up to 1 TB of data in less than 8 minutes 
  • The ability to access internet history and passwords in under 30 seconds 

Visit Detegoglobal.com to find out how Detego’s solutions can help.

Editor’s note: the information in this article has been reformatted for flow and clarity.

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Looking ahead, Alan mentions MSAB's new CEO and hints at some exciting developments coming down the pipeline. He spotlights recent enhancements to XEC Director's speed and database functionality for managing large estates of networked Kiosks. Alan also plugs the new XEC Director training he created to help users fully leverage the platform's capabilities.

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Alan Platt, Professional Services Consultant at MSAB, discusses his experience as a former UK police officer working in digital forensics. He talks about the different levels of digital forensics capabilities within police forces and how MSAB products like XAMN and XEC Director are used by frontline officers versus lab analysts.

The discussion covers how MSAB partners with law enforcement to develop custom workflows for mobile device acquisitions that facilitate ISO compliance. Alan explains MSAB's managed service offering, where approved MSAB staff can remotely access a customer's XEC Director server to assist with software updates and troubleshooting. He emphasizes the strict data segregation policies enforced by customers to prevent MSAB from accessing any sensitive case data.

Looking ahead, Alan mentions MSAB's new CEO and hints at some exciting developments coming down the pipeline. He spotlights recent enhancements to XEC Director's speed and database functionality for managing large estates of networked Kiosks. Alan also plugs the new XEC Director training he created to help users fully leverage the platform's capabilities.

00:00 – Introduction to Alan Platt
07:00 – Training
12:00 – Workflows
17:20 – Ensuring a secure environment
19:45 – Customer training
20:35 – Helping customers comply with ISO accreditation
25:00 – Validation and verification
27:30 – ISO standards
30:00 – MSAB’s pipeline plans
32:40 – XEC Director
43:45 – Privacy of user data

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