Recently, John Wilbur, Resident Agent In Charge, Computer Forensic Laboratory, Office Of The Inspector General, NASA, hosted three panel discussions focused on the explosion of Digital Intelligence—the data that is extracted digital sources and data types (smartphones, computers, and the Cloud) and the process by which agencies access, manage, and leverage data to more efficiently run their operations.

Wilbur was joined by G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, United States Attorney’s Office; Scott Perry, Special Agent in Charge, Cyber Investigations and Technical Operations Division 51E, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs; Louis Quijas, Executive Customer Advisor, Cellebrite; and Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Network.



Together these experts looked at the challenges facing law enforcement agencies to access, manage, and share data, and the training needed to keep law enforcement agencies ahead of the digital technology curve.

In their first discussion, panelists dealt with a key pain point law enforcement agencies are dealing with worldwide—data overload.

Dealing With The Data Deluge

No one can argue the importance of digital evidence in today’s investigations. Key findings from a recent Cellebrite Industry Benchmark Report involving more than 2000 law enforcement personnel shows that:

  • 90% of cases involve smartphones as the main evidence source.
  • The variety of digital sources used in investigations is increasing. Sources, such as wearables and smart-home technology, are being used with more frequency during investigations.
  • 6 out of 10 devices that reach the lab are locked.
  • Extracting data from encrypted apps is the biggest challenge, aside from locked devices.
  • Law enforcement agencies are averaging 3-month backlogs on investigations.
  • One in every two cases requires access to cloud-based data.

The same report shows that examiners typically conduct 26 mobile-device examinations monthly, translating to more than 300 annually.

Agencies are simply being overwhelmed by the number of digital devices flooding their crime labs. And the sheer volume of data that must be downloaded is leaving investigators frustrated and floundering. Developing a process to access, manage, sort, and analyze data in order to render actionable intelligence is critical to moving investigations forward.

Ultimately, data must also be sharable—across departments, between US government agencies, and internationally.

Answering the DI Challenge

AI is providing a roadmap to analyze data quickly and effectively. And modern analytics solutions like Cellebrite Pathfinder provide a complete visualization of investigations that can be shared easily. However, these solutions need to be integrated into a larger Digital Intelligence workflow and strategy that is supported by the right tools and trained personnel to ensure the right data is accessible to the right people at the right time to solve more cases faster.

This panel discussion dives deep into these obstacles while examining some of the solutions needed to put agencies on the pathway to “DI Readiness.”

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