Adam Belsher, CEO, Magnet Forensics: Year in Review

Congratulations on an eventful 2021. What have been some of the highlights for you and Magnet Forensics?

It’s certainly been a busy year for the team at Magnet. We were thrilled to be able to see customers in person again. Hearing how they’ve used our solutions to successfully investigate cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes like child exploitation, human trafficking and organized crime is fulfilling for the whole team at Magnet as we continue to work hard to deliver solutions that make an impact. 

We also appreciated the opportunities to connect in person to hear how we could be doing more for our customers as these challenges grow and evolve.  This year we formalized this with the creation of the Magnet Idea Lab. It allows us to quickly innovate and have members of our customer community sign up to test out prototypes and provide feedback.   

From a product perspective, we had some great milestones as we continued to expand on our offerings for both our public safety and private sector customers. Solutions like AXIOM and OUTRIDER had a regular cadence of updates throughout the year. We also introduced the Magnet Digital Investigations Suite, which includes automated processing and workflows, case management, and evidence review and management capabilities which are geared at helping digital forensics labs keep pace with the deluge of digital evidence they’re facing and collaborate with stakeholders in their organization.    

We were honored to announce our partnership with Microsoft and the London Metropolitan Police to adopt our evidence review and management solution, Magnet REVIEW.  Through this collaboration, we’re helping transform how their investigators can review critical digital evidence related to their cases and collaborate with their digital forensics lab remotely and securely leveraging the cloud.         

We also welcomed DME Forensics, developer of the leading video forensics extraction solution, DVR Examiner, and their team into the Magnet Forensics family in 2021.  Near the end of the year, we crossed our 400th employee.  While the growth of the team is a milestone, we’re especially pleased that we have been able to maintain our team’s deep commitment to our mission to help seek justice and protect the innocent.       

The news of DME Forensics joining Magnet Forensics was certainly interesting — what do you hope to accomplish with them on board?

We’ve regularly heard that police agencies are being inundated with increasing volumes and varieties of digital video evidence that can be critical to their investigations. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, video evidence can be as voluminous as mobile device data, and there are limited tools available to reliably enhance and analyze video.  Some of the data points are staggering: A municipal police agency in the state of Washington reported that it had recovered 34,590 videos in 2019, up from 331 videos in 2013. A Chicago Police Department detective recently estimated that 80 per cent of the agency’s total cases now involve video analysis.

DME Forensics has brought a lot of capabilities to the field of digital video forensics with their flagship tool, DVR Examiner. They will continue to innovate and build out their functionalities. Consolidating video evidence with other data types is an important component of Magnet Forensics’ vision.  We’re looking forward to bringing the evidence from DVR Examiner into our solutions to help streamline investigations with a variety of digital evidence types.

Tell us a bit more about what you’ve brought to the private sector with Magnet AXIOM Cyber.

Magnet AXIOM Cyber, our digital forensics and incident response solution, has come a long way in just over a year it has been available. It enables businesses to perform remote acquisitions and collect and analyze evidence from computers, the cloud and mobile devices. We’re pleased to see many of the world’s largest companies and service providers of all sizes using AXIOM Cyber to investigate fraud, IP theft, employee misconduct and data breaches, including ransomware, business email compromise, insider data exfiltration and mitigate their negative effects. 

There has been a lot of value added to AXIOM Cyber in the past year. We’ve added the ability to perform covert, remote collection of endpoints even when they aren’t connected to a corporate network. We also enabled it to run in Microsoft Azure, integrated Linux support, introduced a new agent status dashboard and brought in XFS parsing.  

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

First and foremost, we’re looking forward to helping our customers in the year ahead.  We’re going to keep bringing new updates to our solutions and innovating as we know that the challenges we’re collectively facing around digital evidence and cybercrime are going to continue to grow in the future. 

We’re also looking forward to continuing to add to the talented Magnet Forensics’ team. We’re fortunate to be able to find such great employees who not only bring fresh ideas and approaches to Magnet but prioritize our customers’ success above all else. 

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