Full Access to Grayshift Digital Forensics Director, David Smalley

Episode 8

Full Access to Grayshift Digital Forensics Director, David Smalley
Episode Summary

Listen now for Full Access to David Smalley, Director of Digital Forensics at Grayshift. Smalley came to Grayshift with a background in both law enforcement and the private sector and takes listeners on the journey of his career from loss prevention officer to DF Director. 

Listen Now

Listen to Full Access Podcast on Apple Podcasts Listen to Full Access Podcast on Podbean
Listen to Full Access Podcast on iHeart RadioListen to Full Access Podcast on Spotify
Listen to Full Access Podcast on Amazon MusicListen to Full Access Podcast on Google Podcasts

Show Notes

[1:46] Meet David Smalley, Director of Digital Forensics, Grayshift. 

  • Smalley tells listeners about his non-conventional entry into law enforcement 
  • Smalley recalls some incidents on the job early in his career such as almost getting hit by a car, being pepper sprayed, and a 2-mile foot chase  
  • At one point, Smalley began to handle the coordination of CCTV at various stores across the east coast 

[5:10] Full Access Host, Debbie Garner, directs the conversation towards taking a proactive approach to getting the job you want. 

  • Smalley explains to listeners that he started his law enforcement career in 2006 as a Community Service Officer and the world of working with the public sector 
  • Garner, Cleveland, and Smalley discuss the technical inefficiencies in the public sector at a global level 
  • Smalley praises his mentors along the way that helped him find his footing within his department 

[10:02] Cleveland asks Smalley to tell listeners about some of the training he attended related to digital forensics when he first got started in the field. 

  • Smalley says he was self-taught about investigative technology but took the initiative to request formal (extensive) training in digital forensics – the most notable of which were at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia 
  • Smalley also calls out the most influential month-long training he’s participated in to date and how it led him into the criminal investigations division 
  • Garner asks Smalley how his agency was able to help him get this training 

[13:35] Garner touches on the issues agencies face when it comes to funding for training. 

  • Garner and Smalley talk about Smalley not having a GrayKey while he was in law enforcement and how he was the go-to tool for mobile forensics within his department 
  • Cleveland asks Smalley to discuss his most interesting and impactful case while he was in law enforcement 

[17:29] Garner and Smalley talk about the variety of investigations that digital forensics investigators and examiners get to participate in. 

  • Smalley notes that a lot of people fail to realize that digital forensic investigators aren’t assigned to specific groups within an agency; they take on whatever’s needed 
  • Smalley says being involved in a variety of investigations creates a well-rounded law enforcement professional 
  • Garner and Smalley agree that passion and persistence are imperative to a successful career as a digital forensics investigator 

[19:58] The conversation shifts to Smalley’s time in the public sector. 

  • Smalley tells listeners how he almost joined the Federal Law Enforcement agency in Lorton, Virginia as a Senior Digital Forensics Examiner and what he did instead of accepting that position 
  • Smalley recalls his time managing the Philadelphia Forensics Laboratory with a niche specialty in mobile forensics and video forensics 
  • Smalley teases some of the civil litigations and Hollywood scandals he worked 

 

[22:20] Smalley comes to Grayshift. 

  • Smalley was looking for something more rewarding and wanted to get back into investigative work when he came across a LinkedIn post by Grayshift CEO David Miles that led to him applying for his role at Grayshift 
  • Smalley tells listeners about his April Fool’s Day job offer and what made Grayshift feel like home to him 
  • Smalley informs listeners what it’s like to work on a small but mighty team dedicated to helping law enforcement 

[26:54] Smalley explains the main functions and responsibilities of his role, and the roles of his team members, at Grayshift. 

  • Smalley talks about the digital forensics team at Grayshift and how his team acts as the glue between customers and internal Grayshift teams focused on research and development 
  • Smalley has two main objectives: ensure that products work for Grayshift customers and meet with law enforcement and actively listen to their needs 
  • Smalley notes that his team has grown rapidly, and he now has 9 specialists on board with unique specialties in the digital forensics space 

[33:00] Garner asks Smalley to tell listeners why his team travels with test devices wherever they go. 

  • Smalley calls his team “road warriors” and shares how much they enjoy meeting with customers face-to-face 
  • Smalley says it’s important to travel with test devices because they understand the need for actual real-life information that resonates 
  • Smalley thanks listeners who allow his team to work closely with their agencies and states that the moment we stop listening to our customers we become useless to them 

[37:10] Cleveland tells listeners about the Investigators Corner available on Grayshift.com to those who have a Grayshift account. 

  • Smalley and team share a lot of great digital forensics and GrayKey information in the Investigators Corner 
  • Smalley explains how you can get to know the team in the Investigator’s Corner and the resources you can find there 
  • Garner prompts Smalley to discuss a blog post he recently authored about imposter syndrome 

[41:30] Cleveland asks Smalley what he thinks the biggest challenge facing law enforcement is today. 

  • Smalley states that gaining the public’s trust is the biggest challenge for law enforcement today, and discusses how it’s law enforcement’s responsibility to earn and keep that trust 
  • Smalley also states that for his group specifically, his biggest challenge is figuring out how we (Grayshift and law enforcement) can work together to solve crimes more efficiently 
  • Smalley believes the solution to these challenges is better communication and sharing intelligence 

[45:05] Closing out the episode. 

  • Smalley encourages listeners to check out the resources available to them on the Grayshift website 
  • Smalley reminds listeners that he and his team love to meet with law enforcement and how you can find them at many digital forensics’ conferences in the US and abroad 

Subscribe to Full Access

Listen to Full Access Podcast on Apple Podcasts Listen to Full Access Podcast on PodbeanListen to Full Access Podcast on iHeart Radio
Listen to Full Access Podcast on SpotifyListen to Full Access Podcast on Amazon MusicListen to Full Access Podcast on Google Podcasts