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CYFOR was founded in 2002 with specialist expertise in computer forensics and data collection for crime, fraud and civil disputes. There is more to this than just examining a computer to prove guilt – computers are only one of many devices which may be may require examination, and a forensic expert may equally be engaged to prove innocence, something which is easily overlooked. Mobile phones and other portable devices are an ever-growing source of information as these devices become more and more sophisticated and more widely used. Call history attracts attention as an obvious piece of evidence (all those suspicious spouses get the subject into the papers), but that is just the start – names in the address book, and the record of transfers via iTunes or WiFi connection history, are just some of the details which can be pulled from a mobile device. Each new platform and development brings new potential for evidence tracking.
The ability to copy data from a range of devices shades naturally into electronic disclosure for the purposes of civil litigation, for internal investigations and for regulatory purposes as well as for matters involving crime. That in turn leads into the next stages in electronic disclosure, such as processing data to remove duplicates and unwanted files (at the simplest level) before the data can be analysed for relevance.
CYFOR have been gradually extending their reach in this respect and now have a new website specifically dedicated to e-disclosure for lawyers, companies and government. As I noted in my marketing article, they give prominence to strong partnerships with Clearwell and Nuix, themselves both sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project. CYFOR emphasise the case management services which they offer, including the provision of a project manager to work with clients in integrating the technical with the legal processes.
Nuix and Clearwell are heavy-duty applications, capable of handling very large volumes of data. It is important to realise as well, however, that the evidence which wins or loses a case may lie in a single document or call record. In such cases, the lawyer cannot simply say that the use of outside experts is too expensive, which is what they tend to conclude when they see a reference to the ability to handle very large volumes. You only know what the cost of an exercise will be by ringing the company up, and CYFOR go out of their way to make themselves accessible — the main website includes an emergency telephone number, for example.
CYFOR’s main office is in Manchester and they are also in Aylesbury and London. The first time I met managing director Joel Tobias, he called in at Oxford in his helicopter on his way to the Aylesbury office. I do not know whether he ever scrambles his flying machine on client jobs, but it is a nice metaphor for the ability to react quickly.
My recent commendation of CYFOR’s marketing was made before I began to notice their logo under my nose in a wide variety of places. I was, for example, looking for the lyrics of a Tom Lehrer song a day or two ago and there, for reasons not immediately obvious, was CYFOR’s logo. I deduce that the connection runs from lyrics to ring tones to mobile phones to telephone forensics; wearing my marketing hat, I am taken with this ubiquity. That, however, is based a long-established presence in the forensics and data collection world. CYFOR was at LegalTech in force (see Beth Williams’ accounts here and here) and this range from Manchester to New York matches the scope of the services which they offer.
Much of what I do is essentially marketing, for e-disclosure/ediscovery generally as well as on behalf of those who sponsor what I do. I very much look forward to working with a company with obvious expertise and ideas in marketing as well as in their core competencies.
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