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A federal agency came to Exterro with a problem

Over the past five years, with the explosive growth of technology use and the data it produces, the agency’s financial crimes workload had grown to almost impossible levels. What’s more, the agency was expected to get it all done faster than ever, without adding new staff.

They were collecting 700 percent more data from 300 percent more devices, and their current platform just wasn’t powerful enough to sort through it quickly. Analyzing, searching, and categorizing data was taking too much time. The need to collaborate with other publicsector agencies and organizations made it even worse. Duplicating and recreating databases, getting the relevant data to the right people, training them on what to do, and helping case agents navigate datasets all took still more time and created the potential for security breaches. The agency’s forensic review backlog was up to nine months— and growing.

The Solution: FTK Lab

The agency needed an enterprise solution that could manage its workload efficiently, and that would make collaboration easier and more secure. That’s why they turned to Exterro, the only provider offering FTK Lab, an end-to-end solution with an integrated web-review platform that’s user-friendly and doesn’t require extensive training. Forensic Toolkit and FTK Lab are recognized worldwide as the gold standard for forensics. They realized that FTK Lab’s centralized database and case management—and the powerful processing speed would save them time and effort. They could even process more than one case at a time. And the granular user controls and user-friendly interface would let them collaborate with investigators and non-technical users alike. They were also pleasantly surprised to find out that working with Exterro means having a dedicated, live support team ready to assist at a moment’s notice—no more phone mazes or long waits for help.

FTK Lab helps public-sector agencies by:

  • Processing cases faster than other solutions on the market, thanks to distributed processing in a state-of-the-art multi-hardware environment. (No more worrying about the server going down or the software crashing.) Do you need to process 10,000 emails per minute? FTK Lab can do that.
  • Increasing efficiency with a streamlined workflow, so forensic investigators can prepare data easily. Agents can process, analyze, send for review, and move on to another case—swiftly and simply, with minimal training (less than 45 minutes). Our tools group, label, and categorize documents automatically and filter out what’s irrelevant, so you can find what you need quickly. Agents can tag files that may be relevant or need further attention, then export them as a group for efficient review.
  • Allowing greater collaboration between forensic investigators and case agents by having all parties work together in real time on a shared case database.
  • Increasing security. During processing, FTK Lab uses a two-step scripted process to analyze filtered data for viruses and malware, then cleans out any infected files. During review, you can set controls user by user on a need-to-know basis, so each person or agency involved only reviews the data relevant to their case. Furthermore, unlike other platforms, FTK Lab has a shared, secured backend database, minimizing the risk of data spoliation, preserving the chain of custody, and allowing for true, real-time collaboration. 
  • Visualizing data in easy-to-understand formats, like charts, graphs, and social-connection webs, so you can communicate complex concepts to anyone.

The Results 

The agency made the switch. (We made it easy for them, with lots of support and an optimized process.) They’ve since found that FTK Lab and their new streamlined workflow let them do more work with fewer resources. It’s also greatly improved real-time collaboration. They reduced their backlog from nine months to two weeks. They were able to reduce the number of staff dedicated to processing and reviewing evidence by 25 percent, freeing them up for other pressing tasks. And the agency’s cost-benefit analysis has determined that they’ll save a whopping $500,000 over a five-year period, thanks to the secure, efficient workflow they’ve implemented with FTK Lab. They’re doing less with more—and you can, too. Contact Exterro today to find out how we can help your agency or organization.

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