In my podcast, I explore the many different facets of the world of high tech from development to marketing, to sales, to entrepreneurship, all with the goal of collecting key insights on startups for listeners to gain value from this knowledge-sharing. So, what did I discover this week?
The world of crime today has changed drastically from where it was even just 30 years ago. Obviously, we still see and hear about theft, violence, and other horrible crimes that happen in the physical common space. Yet, the rise of the Internet and the increased adoption of digital communication technologies as well, has given many crimes a digital fingerprint.
“Crime today does not only happen in the physical world,” Oren emphasizes, “today most of the crime has facets in the digital world; people are texting each other, doing stuff online or using cryptocurrencies.” This reality means that not only do organizations need to adapt accordingly but our society needs to begin realizing that the gun-toting, “bring ‘em down to the station” law and crime TV dramas are not necessarily the reality of the world. Cellebrite’s solution aims to give law enforcement agencies as well as internal investigation departments in various enterprises the ability to conduct a digital investigation properly, with the tools needed to track, store, and transfer digital evidence easily.
Crimes Are Planned Online
Many people may have heard the term “cybercrime” thrown around in recent years to describe the evolving nature of crime. However, this is not solely what Oren is describing, when speaking about digital intelligence gathering. Cybercrime generally denotes crimes done in the internet space, on a computer, targeting another network or computer and can include breaches, identity theft, ransomware attacks, etc. In the case of Cellebrite, their goal is to track these as well as other criminal activities that use the digital technologies to plan, coordinate, and conclude the crime.
To understand this concept further, Oren uses the example of trying to enter a criminal’s phone to find data that may be incriminating or show evidence of the crime. Imagine if the criminal owner of said phone died, yet law enforcement still needed his phone to conduct a digital investigation. “The first problem becomes how do you enter the phone, if the guy is dead, and the second issue, how do you find the relevant data, catalogue it, store it, and transfer it around investigators in a proper way,” Oren explains. Now, due to cumbersome strategies, a case like this might go cold or be pushed to the archives, as law enforcement agencies can be inundated with work and, so-called, “more important cases.”
It may be surprising, but a vast majority of law enforcement agencies are underprepared for the digital reality of crime. “They use USB drives to transfer data that can go missing, or other insecure storage techniques,” Oren mentions. Relying still on dated storage, transfer, and data analysis techniques, Oren sees these organizations as needing to highly update their processes if they are to be relevant in the digital age of crime. With novel SaaS offering, not only does he believe Cellebrite will inevitably provide us with a safer society, but it will help these bodies, often the last to take on innovation, to adapt to the changing realities of crime.
What’s the Future of Law Enforcement
“The first to adopt innovation are often enterprises, the second, once they see it working, are the banks and financial institutions, and the third, often a few years later, is government, and that’s where we are at right now,” Oren highlights. The Cellebrite solution comes just in the wake of alarming rises in digital crimes and the use of digital technologies to perpetrate crime in the physical space. Yet, law enforcement agencies are far behind their criminal counterparts in the game of innovation. As criminals adopt communication platforms such as Telegram, an encrypted, cloud-based, and centralized instant messaging service, or other digital services, investigators will need to adapt.
Innovative technologies, while good for society, can also spur crime by making criminals more productive. Yet, Oren sees it as also an opportunity for law enforcement to solve crime easier than ever before. “It’s about adapting to the market. If the agencies start using the right methods and solutions to investigate crime in the digital sphere, solving crime will become that much easier.”
While you may not be a law enforcement agent or in the field, it is important to understand how the shifting realities of crime can play a part in your life. Whether it is during a crime committed against you, your company, or whatever it may be, the reality is that the better equipped you, your local law enforcement agency, or the internal investigations at your company are, the better chances you have of coming up on top against crime, every time.