Big Data for Security & Investigations

There are more devices connected to the internet than people in the world. The amount of electronic data stored on corporate, government and individual devices, servers and networks is estimated to be over 500 times what is connected to the public internet. The bottom line: so-called “Big Data” challenges and opportunities are bigger and more complex than many think and are only becoming more so.

As our clients create, mine and seek to utilize exabytes of information for private sector and governmental purposes, VRI combines its core capabilities protecting lives, assets and reputations with established and cutting edge technology solutions that find, manage, and evidence answers from vast and contained repositories of 1’s and 0s.

Our core practices in computer forensics and e-discovery incorporate proven tools, technologies and methods to pinpoint and produce what’s relevant to attorneys, investigators and law enforcement in both small and large datasets.

Our ”Tracks Inspector” solution, developed by the forensic and cybersecurity experts at Fox-IT, places “Digital Evidence in the Hands of Detectives” and enables police and prosecutors to validate, verify, enrich and better manage forensic evidence with data and analytics provided by Lexis-Nexis.

Our work with Intrado’s “Beware” product delivers situational awareness information and insight to police officers in the field to improve their safety and effectiveness.

Whether maximizing the promise and practicality of Big Data for investigative, security and/or emergency response purposes, VRI works to ensure that clients maximize not only what Big Data technology can do, but how it serves core operations and helps achieve measurable results.

For more information about VRI’s Big Data initiatives and capabilities please call our New York Office at 212-537-5048 or email us at adam@vritechnologies.com

Security: Is It Ever Better to NOT know?

When is it best that no one in an organization – not even those capable of and responsible for maintaining secrets – know a piece of security information?

When obtaining that information is too expensive compared to its value? When such information violates the privacy of an individual or group? When the organization simply has no business in learning such information?

Let’s consider these questions as applied to employee screening, corporate due diligence and facility security to make a very simple but not always practiced point: ignorance is almost never bliss, an ostrich that allows its head to remain in sand simply cannot see.

Employees – prospective and current – are protected by, among other laws and regulations, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Limitations apply less to what information an organization may find and more to the written knowledge and notice it is required to give such employees when using such screening for employment purposes. Is the new employee in purchasing or finance struggling with overwhelming personal debt or bankruptcy? Have a history of fraud? Does a prospective trader have a track record of regulatory violation? The new soccer coach a restraining order? While there is nothing even close to a master database to answer such screening questions (e.g. despite the information age many jurisdictions have NOT digitized their current or past criminal records), “need to know” questions about employee backgrounds have progressively become less expensive and more capable of being thoroughly answered (whether with or without a computer). Likewise for an employee on the job who may leave written, oral and/or digital tracks of activities planned or completed to harm the organization. The key is to balance what’s important to YOUR organization and properly budget what you find out – and how you do it – both before and after an employee is hired.

Applying the same concepts and questions to the purchase of or investment in a business reveals that checking boxes for accounting purposes and/or overly relying on a belief that seller’s ownership and management have been as diligent as your organization would be in screening for and addressing prohibited activity may prevent acquiror/investors from really knowing what’s going on. Controls, audits, compliance and the valuable time spent among management teams building relationships of trust are undeniably important both to advancing and protecting a merged or newly capitalized organization. Equally important is the informed, professionally organized and objective opportunity to dig into the integrity and security soft spots that may harm any or all stakeholders.

Finally let’s apply the questions above to someone who enters your facility. What can and should you know about them? Their authorized purpose and destination? Restraining orders or issues they may have with an individual who works, lives or goes to school at your facility? Nobody likes a long line or cumbersome procedure and that should always be considered for the impression your business leaves with the great majority of people who enter your doors to do no harm. But for those who do, your organization’s ability to detect, deter, delay and deny their ability to do so with effective information management as applied to the door can be the difference between whether or not an incident occurs.

Of course, security information communicated to the wrong people, in the wrong way, at the wrong times becomes at best nuisance and at worst contributes to people and organizations losing lives, property and reputation.

VRI empowers individuals and organizations to develop and communicate useful security information to the right people, in the right way, at the right times.

Former Special Agent Jennifer Safir to join her father, former New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir at Vigilant Resources International (VRI) after 17 years of service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 23, 2013 – Jennifer Safir joins VRI to open their Washington DC office and spearhead their corporate and Federal Government Practices. Ms. Safir brings invaluable experience from her service with the Federal Government and is pleased to offer the services of the DC office to select clients and government agencies.

“It is a privilege to join VRI and I look forward to applying the same level of integrity and dedication to my clients as I did to my federal service,” commented Ms. Safir. “It is our goal at VRI to provide excellent resources and integrate the latest technology to assist both private and public organizations with viable solutions. Asset protection is no longer an added feature it is the platform on which organizations become and stay successful.”

During her tenure with the FBI, Ms. Safir specialized in introducing creative and innovative approaches to produce results, convictions and disruptions while maintaining safe practices and integrity. Over the course of her career, Ms. Safir has served in the Counter Terrorism, Criminal, Counter Intelligence and Administrative Divisions, was a member of the Organized Crime, Violent Crime Major Offenders, and Joint Terrorism Task Forces and held the position of HUMINT Coordinator. She has considerable experience working with other Law Enforcement, Intelligence Community (IC) and private sector organizations.

“Jennifer brings a wealth of experience and foresight to VRI,” commented Howard Safir, VRI’s Chairman and CEO, “There are many options for clients when it comes to security consulting. We provide clients with value and results, not invoiced promises. I am proud to welcome the DC office and Jennifer to VRI to provide quality services to the Washington DC metro area.”

Contact Information:
Jennifer Safir
Jennifer@vritechnologies.com
+1 202-379-4741
1725 Eye Street, NW
Washington DC, 20006

The Clock is Always Running. What Would You Achieve By Producing Better Evidence Sooner?

The difference between “just in time” and “a day late and a dollar short” is sometimes a matter of seconds, at other times measured in days, weeks, months and years. Knowing which clock is running – and the consequences of its ticking – can be the difference between lives and property lost or saved and money and manpower deployed effectively or squandered.

Consider the active shooter. With such high impact incidents typically lasting only minutes – every second that the attack is denied or delayed, and that an effective response is sped up, is a second where a person is either killed, injured or rescued. The ability of civilians in a school, mall, theater or other public space to move quickly and effectively from danger, and for police to rapidly execute an effective response to an active shooter significantly impacts the number of people who live and die. The quality of planning, training and supporting technology play a direct and obvious role.

Less direct and obvious – but undeniably related to who lives and dies over time – are forensic backlogs. The days, weeks, months and years that a DNA sample, a recovered weapon, a seized hard-drive or a dangerous counterfeit pharmaceutical wait in cue in a backlogged forensic lab are days, weeks, months and years that the murderers, rapists, robbers, burglars and narcotics traffickers who cannot be convicted without such evidence remain at large and repeat their crimes.

As successful as law enforcement nationwide have been at controlling violent and non-violent crime in the last twenty years – using both modern methods and technologies and approaches that involve little or no technology at all – case clearance rates remain stubbornly low for all crimes. From the roughly one in three homicides that go unsolved to the roughly six of seven burglaries where a perpetrator is never indicted, often the critical differentiator in solving a case and taking a criminal off the street is both a department’s ability to produce high quality evidence, AND their ability to do so quickly.The same can be said for the corporate track record in prosecuting fraud – where an estimated seven (7) cents on the dollar simply disappears from shareholder value.

For forensic evidence in the criminal context, when tied to speedy-trial rules or statutes of limitations, the ticking clocks are again direct and obvious. Likewise, identifying the people and circumstances of a crime or civil fraud as early as possible in an investigation can be the difference between a path to indictment being a warm, well-lit trail or one that is cold and closed.

Any unnecessary time it takes for outmoded, outdated technologies and processes – be it an hour here and a day there that adds up to weeks, or a week here and a month there that adds up to years – perpetuates a snowballing problem. At worst such wasted time drives DNA, computer forensic and ballistic labs to be dysfunctional and a “day late and a dollar short” as a standing operating procedure. At best, such labs struggle to handle the highest priority cases as they tread water in constant triage mode. Wherever labs are inefficient (or simply understaffed or equipped), the departments that they serve do not live up to a fraction of their potential in controlling crime. No matter how low the UCR numbers may go, today’s unsolved case is tomorrow’s crime complaint.

The vendor community has no lack of solutions to collect, analyze and present evidence better, faster and cheaper. DNA forensics in the field – long needed and envisioned – has become technically viable and should be rapidly adopted. Having your detectives review seized phones and hard drives with a single login (and, just as importantly, no need to be a “techie”) is now available to departments willing to invest the time and money in mining this evidence for prosecution and intelligence. As with other emerging technologies there’s wheat, chaff and changes in laws, processes and protocols that can be just as important and challenging to adapt as the substance of what the technology actually does.

In any and all cases the critical question isn’t only “what could my department do to control crime and protect the public if we produced better evidence?” but “what could we do if we produced better evidence sooner?”

VRI can help you produce better evidence sooner with both proven and emerging technologies and methods.

Vigilant Resources International, Fox-IT and LexisNexis® Partner to Accelerate the Analysis of Digital Forensic Evidence

NEW YORK, NY –October 23, 2013–Vigilant Resources International (VRI), Fox-IT and LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today announced a joint alliance to further develop and deliver Fox-IT’s Tracks Inspector solution in concert with LexisNexis’s public records platform, Accurint® for Law Enforcement. VRI will serve as the exclusive distributor of the Tracks Inspector solution in the United States and Canada.

Every day that a mobile device or computer sits in a police department’s backlog waiting to be processed is one that a criminal remains on the street. Tracks Inspector, a collaborative, web-based platform enables detectives to quickly process and extract valuable information from mobile devices and computers without having to wait for the digital experts in the forensic lab, resulting in quicker and more effective prosecutions.

“The information on seized phones, tablets and computers is highly relevant to investigators, prosecutors and crime analysts,” said Haywood J. Talcove, chief executive officer, Government, LexisNexis. “Unlocking this evidence from current backlogs and empowering non-technical detectives and federal agents to view it with our identity, location and relationship data creates a very powerful tool to solve and prosecute crimes.”

A police force in Belgium recently found that in less than two weeks, four criminal cases with twelve containers of digital evidence were investigated, analyzed and processed by detectives using Tracks Inspector. This task normally takes the police investigators several months.

“There are more devices connected to the Internet in the United States than there are people,” commented Howard Safir, VRI’s Chairman and CEO (former Police Commissioner, New York City). “As criminals continue to utilize these devices to commit both major and minor crimes, police departments need tools like Tracks Inspector to keep up with the demands of prosecuting offenders and to strategically develop this information into intelligence that prevents and solves crimes.”

Tracks Inspector Program Manager, Hans Henseler, founder of the Computer Forensics section of the Netherlands Forensic Institute commented, “The core idea is to have detectives who best know the case sort through the evidence themselves and enable mobile and computer forensic experts to work on what they know and do best. We are confident that VRI and LexisNexis will deliver a solution that builds on this core principle and helps departments and agencies throughout the United States and Canada better use seized devices to reduce crime.”

If you are interested in more information, visit LexisNexis in booth #1325 during IACP for an introduction and demonstration.

About Vigilant Resources International (VRI)
VRI provides an integrated suite of technology, capability building and training services for law enforcement agencies and organizations worldwide.

About Fox-IT
Fox-IT, one of the oldest digital investigation agencies in Europe, prevents, solves and mitigates the most serious threats as a result of cyber-attacks, fraud and data breaches with innovative solutions for government, defense, law enforcement, critical infrastructure, banking, and commercial enterprise clients worldwide.

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis Risk Solutions (www.lexisnexis.com/risk/) is a leader in providing essential information that helps customers across industries and government predict, assess and manage risk. Combining cutting-edge technology, unique data and advanced analytics, LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides products and services that address evolving client needs in the risk sector while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy. LexisNexis Risk Solutions is part of Reed Elsevier, a leading global provider of professional information solutions across a number of sectors.

Contact Information:
Adam Safir
adam@vritechnologies.com
VRI Technologies
+1 917-536-0370