Interview With Joe Sylve, Director Of Research And Development, BlackBag

Joe, your BlackBag profile describes how you "drive innovation and pursue emerging areas of research" as Director of Research & Development. Can you describe for us what your day-to-day looks like?

Usually I’m managing shifting priorities, so there’s not always a “typical” day for me. Some days I spend my days in IDA Pro, reverse engineering OS subsystems to learn how on-disk artifacts can be analyzed. Other days, I’m mostly wearing my developer hat and writing code that will eventually be integrated into the backend of BlackBag’s tools.

As with all things research, our initial approach doesn’t always work out, so there’s a lot of lessons learned and iteration going on behind the scenes.

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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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