Jim, please tell us a bit about yourself and your background before joining Cellebrite.
I´ve been involved in the wireless industry as an executive for over 20 years, both on the carrier side and the vendor side. Prior to Cellebrite, I was vice president and general manager at Bell Labs. I have an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine.
You became CEO of Cellebrite USA, Inc. at the end of 2011. What prompted that move and what does your current role involve?
I felt drawn to this opportunity based not only on the growth of the market, but also the chance and the ability to help law enforcement and private sector investigators adapt more smoothly to the demands mobile technology places on their skills. As CEO of Cellebrite USA, I am responsible for the vision, strategies and people that drive business for the largest market in mobile forensics.Briefly, bring us up to date with the current range of Cellebrite's products and solutions.
We´re continuing to develop and sell our flagship products, UFED Touch and UFED Physical Analyzer. The updates we´ve made to the UFED Physical Analyzer in particular are designed to meet demand for issues like mobile malware and data analytics. This year we also introduced UFED Link Analysis, a software application that enables investigators to find common contacts, locations, and communications between two or more mobile devices.
With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, both at home and at work, the trend towards mobile is clear. What impact is that having on the types of evidence available to investigators?
The biggest impact is in the quantity of evidence available. Smartphones and tablets have more storage, both on the device and via removable SD and microSD cards, so that means more images, videos and other forms of “traditional” mobile evidence. However, increasing quantities of evidence are also found within apps. Social networking, geolocation and navigation, messaging, and even payment or productivity apps can all contain evidence that can make or break criminal cases, internal investigations and civil litigation.
All this evidence means that investigators need a better way to filter and organize the data they focus on. So many organizations are “doing more with less” that they don´t necessarily have the resources to parse all the data on all the sectors in all the phones. They need to triage their devices or their data, and often they have to triage both.
Earlier this year, Cellebrite interviewed a number of industry experts and identified nine critical trends in mobile forensics [see this pdf for details]. Which of those trends do you see as the most significant and how does Cellebrite intend to help investigators meet that particular challenge?
App data, advances in encryption technology, and the advance of mobile devices, as witnesses have the most impact on the way investigators do their job. The more important mobile data becomes to cases, in fact, the more crucial app data extraction, encryption and user lock bypass, and data analytics and visualization will become.
Cellebrite recently announced a technology partnership with Nuix to "leverage their complementary strengths in mobile forensics, investigation and eDiscovery". Tell us more about that partnership and the benefits you believe it will bring.
This partnership is about two global leaders coming together to strengthen investigations. Cellebrite leads the global mobile forensics market in that we enable investigators to extract, decode and analyze a wide range of data – even password protected and some encrypted data – on the widest range of mobile devices. Nuix leads the global market for data analytics and case management. By bringing the logical and physical data UFED extracts into the Nuix platform, this partnership allows investigators who are working on complex cases with large data volumes to view and organize mobile data in a broader context. This can help them to pinpoint the most actionable data to follow up on.
What would you most like to see changed or improved in the field of mobile forensics?
I´d like to see more value placed on training, to the extent that organizations put as much spend towards training, certifying, and re-certifying their forensic examiners on an ongoing basis. A lot of organizations understand that it is important, but because mobile forensics tools like UFED are updated so frequently, skills you acquired even a year ago need to be refreshed so that investigators fully understand the new features and the extent of new device support.
What do you do to relax when you're not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family, travel, running, reading, and community service activities.
Learn more about Cellebrite's digital forensic products and solutions at www.cellebrite.com.