The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) sought technology that could keep pace with its workload of disrupting serious and organised crime and bringing criminals to justice.
Nuix became the lynchpin of the NCA’s digital forensics lab with a fast, scalable and consistent workflow for evidence processing. The NCA’s investigators now have more timely access to digital evidence and can collaborate faster to solve the toughest cases.CHALLENGE
The NCA leads the United Kingdom’s fight against serious and organised crime. As criminal networks target consumers, businesses, government agencies and national infrastructure online, the role of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) has become more crucial.
Cybercrime investigations involve complex data sets and growing numbers of digital evidence sources – physical devices and online and cloud services. The global nature of cybercrime requires the NCCU to collaborate with partner agencies worldwide including INTERPOL, Europol and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The NCCU’s traditional digital forensic workflows couldn’t keep up with the volume and variety of evidence, leading to processing and reviewing backlogs.
“We needed a sophisticated and scalable solution that could help our investigative teams nationwide and internationally investigate cases more efficiently, by helping them to prioritise evidence, collaborate and find the key evidence threads faster,” said a digital forensics team leader at NCCU.
“We tested the leading forensic tools on the market for one that could process multiple devices concurrently, handle our growing data sets and search across all seized media. Nuix was the one that came out on top.”
The NCCU completely modernised its investigations workflow by establishing a centralised evidence processing lab on a completely virtualised infrastructure built around Nuix’s powerful digital forensic and investigation software.
FASTER AND SMARTER INVESTIGATIONS
The NCCU’s digital forensic investigators use Nuix to process data sets of any size from a large variety of digital devices. Nuix also enables the team to extract and collaborate on evidence items from cases processed by regional organised crime units.
Nuix automatically extracts the content and metadata of evidence sources, removes duplicate and irrelevant information
and brings the most essential data to the surface to help investigators understand the facts of the case much quicker.
Nuix automatically identifies and visualises communication links between suspects. It extracts intelligence items such as payment card numbers, email addresses, sums of money, IP addresses and other entities that follow a predictable pattern. It can automatically highlight and group together similar images, such as pictures showing guns, drugs or even faces.
“Our forensic investigators can now filter an entire operation consisting of multiple devices based upon a number of factors such as metadata, entities or timeframes,” said the forensics team leader. “They can then use Nuix’s network diagrams to see who is emailing credit card numbers to whom.
“Within hours of processing, we can deliver this data to the team investigating the case, regardless of where they are located, in a format they can easily review.”
ONE PLACE TO COLLABORATE ON THE DATA
The NCCU uses digital forensic technologies such as Nuix partner MSAB to capture evidence from mobile devices. Nuix brings data from mobile devices and disparate other sources together into a single case file to facilitate a faster and more collaborative workflow between analysts, reviewers, investigators and other law enforcement agencies.
“It’s now easier to get the relevant information in front of the people most qualified to understand it and its context,” said the forensics team leader.
“Even those with limited technical know-how can access Nuix remotely and securely from a web browser to identify patterns and links across the data, tag the data with their own insights and determine the key facts of the case.”
STANDARDISED AND SCALABLE WORKFLOWS
Nuix enabled the NCCU to streamline and automate its investigative workflows and processes, ensuring court defensibility and compliance with international standards.
“Nuix can grow with us and easily integrate with other systems and workflows,” said the forensics team leader. “Everything is audited and repeatable, which makes it an ideal investigative tool in our line of work.
“Our digital forensic system at NCCU is now more efficient, scalable and consistent.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CYBER CRIME UNIT (NCCU)
The NCCU leads the UK’s response to cyber crime, supports partners with specialist capabilities, and coordinates the national response to the most serious of cyber crime threats.
Nuix understands the DNA of data at enormous scale. Our software pinpoints the critical information organizations need to anticipate, detect, and act on risk, compliance, and security threats. Learn more about Nuix or contact us for a free demo.