Mobile forensics is more important than ever in criminal investigations and intelligence-led policing. We live in a world that mandates technology in order to accomplish the most basic tasks from creating shopping lists to paying for parking meters. As a result of these technical everyday necessities, more than 90-percent of criminal cases cite smartphones as their primary source of evidence. Because of the prevalence of mobile devices, police departments must outfit their agencies with the critical digital forensics lab equipment to accept the challenge of extracting and analyzing data from these devices, assist with case investigation to closure, and even exonerate suspects.  

More than 90% of criminal cases cite smartphones as their primary source of evidence.

As an examiner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in managing the everyday flow of lawful entry into devices to assist with criminal investigations. But, some examiners can readily fall down the digital forensics rabbit hole, become inundated with forensics work, and lose focus on the management of the hardware and software used within their agency. Regardless of where you lean, you want to think of your digital forensics lab as a “toolbox”, which typically consists of hardware, software, and other technology to aid practitioners during their investigative process. When evaluating your toolbox there are specific criteria to consider, including product efficiency and reliability, ease of use, and customer support. There are many components to my digital forensics toolbox, but the two that stand out to me are GrayKey by Grayshift and Magnet Axiom because these two trusted technologies work well independently and together to expeditiously support law enforcement with their mobile forensic investigations.    

GrayKey is an easy-to-use mobile forensics device that has an intuitive interface and offers next-level support for the latest smartphones.  It is designed to check off all the high demands in technical investigations and is praised for its ability to conduct data extractions in less than 24 hours.  Once the data is extracted via GrayKey, it is seamlessly handed off to Magnet AXIOM, a powerful and intuitive analytics tool that efficiently analyzes that dataset alongside data from other computers, cloud, social media, and mobile evidentiary sources in one case file.  When GrayKey is combined with Magnet AXIOM, this wealth of insight provides critical evidence and accelerates investigation speeds.  

The ease of use, depth, and breadth of data extracted by GrayKey combined with the analysis capabilities of Magnet AXIOM are why they are both essential tools in my mobile forensics toolbox.  As a digital forensic Investigator, time is of the essence and your tools must work for your agency, not against your mission. I encourage you to take the time to evaluate your digital forensics lab, ensure that you are offering the best results, and solidify your process for years to come.  

To get support for your digital forensics lab, contact Grayshift.

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David Smalley
Digital Forensics Manager