News & Views

Exterro 2022 tech  predictions

Shining a light on the major tech advances we can expect to see in 2022 is Simon Whitburn, General Manager and Vice President of International Business, Exterro (www.exterro.com).

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform legal GRC by helping to sharpen the focus and direction of investigations.  In particular, advanced computer processing techniques, together with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep learning will be used in other disciplines that come under the legal GRC banner, such as digital forensics.  These processes typically share many of the same evidence processing and review stages as used in e-discovery.”

“In the forensics process, AI is currently being used for tasks such as image labelling to eliminate time spent on repetitive tasks but we expect it to give rise to truly smart technology during 2022.  The emergence of a ‘virtual partner’ who can work alongside the investigator promises to transform working practices.  The virtual partner’s role will go beyond simply expediting tasks, to reveal contextual insights across the data.  It will even be able to guide the investigation, helping to significantly reduce workloads and shorten time to resolution.”

“Smart view processes will enable teams to quickly locate Personally Identifiable Information (PII) within compromised data.  These processes will be self-learning so will become more adept over time at recognizing specific data types.  Smart analysis will also provide the ability to view live data directly at the endpoint.  This will ensure faster, more targeted investigations that give teams everything they need to quickly understand and respond to even the largest of breaches.

Having a quicker, more robust and effective post-breach response process has now become necessary in order to comply with the various global data protection regulations, like the GDPR in Europe.  Having the right technology in place can help to proactively identify risks prior to incident and categorise into different levels of consideration for review and action.  Automation will also ensure breach management keeps pace with any regulatory changes, such as those we saw to GDPR in the form of a new Data Protection Act post-Brexit.”

“As privacy and compliance regulations and risks increase, as has the demand to for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC).  As a result, the process of managing such a diverse set of GRC actions has become increasingly complex and the strategy and approach to this has seen huge changes.”

“While most organizations are familiar with GRC in the context of departments such as HR, IT and finance, we are now seeing a growth in demand for Legal GRC, with legal leaders in particular, being faced with much of the orchestration and complex interconnections of legal operations, digital forensics, data privacy and cybersecurity compliance.”

“Managing the complexity of business from a legal perspective while keeping continuous business and legal change in sync is a significant challenge for boards, executives, as well as the legal professionals in the legal department.  We expect to see this necessity for Legal GRC to continue and organisations will need to clearly define and develop the breadth and depth of their Legal GRC management strategy and process requirements.  This will involve adopting an integrated strategy, process, information, and technology architecture to govern legal, meet legal commitments, and manage legal uncertainty and risk in a way that is efficient, effective, and agile.”

“The cloud brings both opportunities and challenges to digital forensics.  While investigators know the cloud hosts a wealth of information to help fight crime, provide evidence, and solve cases, that’s true only if they can get their hands on the data to analyse.  In our survey ‘The Future of the Public Sector’, data collection was the biggest challenge in cloud-based investigations, followed by cooperation with cloud providers (65%), preservation of the data (49%), chain of custody (37%), and identification (40%).”

“As data collection in multiple cloud platforms continues to grow, we expect that digital forensics investigators will need to remain steadfast in their diligent and exhaustive efforts to collect, cull, analyse, categorize, and find patterns in data that become the conclusive evidence to solve crimes.  As more and more data is stored everywhere, forensic technologists must have the capabilities to deliver greater stability, almost limitless scalability and real-time collaboration in the cloud.”