Digital forensics refers to the process of identifying, extracting, analyzing, and presenting data recovered from digital devices, including computers and associated media, hard drives, optical disks, mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices. In most cases, the data is used by law enforcement, law firms, government agencies, and businesses as evidence in criminal cases. The use of digital forensics has grown from addressing minor computer crimes to complex international investigations into cases that have significance on a global scale.
According to analyst firms, the digital forensics market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming year, partly due to the rise in terrorism and attacks on critical infrastructure, which are becoming more sophisticated. The technology has become commonly used by the military and defense organization to examine network infrastructure and vulnerable systems that could be exploited for nefarious purposes.
Additionally, organizations are faced with continually expanding legal regulatory obligations and ever-increasing security risks around their data and the data they store on behalf of others. With the growth of big data from the wide variety of devices and systems, it can be challenging for investigators to find and collect relevant evidence from an overwhelming data set in a timely and efficient manner. And in most criminal investigations, time is of the essence.
That’s where companies like Exterro and AccessData (Exterro acquired AccessData in 2020) have been successful in offering comprehensive solutions that automate the complex interconnections of privacy, legal operations, digital investigations, cyber security response, compliance, and information governance. The Exterro Forensic Tool Kit (FTK) has been the gold standard in Digital Forensics for over 15 years.
Security is paramount to AccessData on several fronts and they turned to Wibu-Systems to provide a solution to protect the IP invested in its FTK, safeguard data collected by their software, and provide their customers with a secure easy means to get their forensic solution up and running quickly.
In addition to protecting the IP invested in their FTK software, AccessData wanted to be sure that they could deny criminal elements the ability to tamper with the software that collects and produces the court evidence. In 2008, AccessData integrated Wibu-Systems proven CodeMeter software protection, licensing, and security technology. They chose the highest form of security available at the time embodied in a secure hardware device, the CmStick. The CmStick provided their customers with a portable device that would enable them to securely store their FTK license and run the software when needed by simply plugging the CmStick into a computer. AccessData later gave their customers another license option by incorporating Wibu-Systems’ CmActLicense into the mix. A CmActLicense is an alternative protection and licensing solution that consists of a signed and encrypted license file that is bound to the user’s computer.
AccessData updated their ability to create licenses and assign them to either the dongle-based or software-based license containers with CodeMeter License Central, Wibu-Systems database-driven automated license and entitlement management system.
Harsh Behl, Director of Product Management for Exterro’s Digital Forensic Suite, noted “It is critical for every organization to protect their IP while scaling their business. For that purpose, it was important for us to incorporate the industry standard software licensing platform, which is why we chose Wibu-Systems. They not only play a key role in protecting our software from the licensing perspective, but also prevents our software from falling into the wrong hands for ill intent. The CodeMeter solution also provides an easy way for our customers to get up and running with our software quickly.”
John went to work back in 1987 for what arguably might be the first company in the world to offer a way of protecting software with hardware. This company developed a "back-plane" device to protect a proprietary operating system for a Data General computer. He has since worked for several software security / licensing companies and beginning in 1999, with Wibu-Systems. He has seen the technology move from simple laser holes burned into 5-1/4" floppy disks to the innovative, sophisticated, encryption based smart card technology, first introduced to the world in the CodeMeter platform.