by Chris Palmer, Ilse Raven, Diane Mallare, Megan Ward
Years ago, businesses only had to worry about things like natural disasters when assessing risk. But with today’s rapid growth in technology, businesses now have to consider computer security as a type of risk as well. A large retail chain that has an online presence as well as bricks and mortar stores, for example, needs to consider what measures to put in place so that its customers’ credit card information is not compromised since the store deals with thousands of transactions per day. And cmdLabs, based in Baltimore, MD, a cybersecurity company specializing digital forensics and computer security helps companies manage this.
The company was founded by Chris Daywalt, Eoghan Casey, and Terrance Maguire in January 2009. The idea to start the company was formed after they realized there was a business opportunity within the industry and the need to provide an unmatched level of consistency and service.
Digital forensics deals with computer systems and digital media, such as cell phones, while computer security “protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data” explains Daywalt. This concept is key since it overlaps with risk management for businesses. There is a cycle in trying to manage risk, Daywalt explains. In assessing a company’s risk, they must first ask,”What do I have that’s valuable?” “Who might want it?” “What are the chances they might come after it?” and “What current measures do I currently have in place to protect it?”
If one finds that these current practices are not at an acceptable level, Daywalt said, he should take the necessary measures to get it there, such as installing anti-virus software or firewalls. The third step is to monitor the environment and make sure that nothing bad is occurring. If an event is uncovered, one should investigate and respond in order to fix the problem. That’s where cmdLabs come in. When a business is involved with an unfortunate event, such as a large retailer’s computer security being hacked, cmdLabs investigates and responds, so that they can help to secure their clients’ businesses.
Eoghan Casey has written several books about this area of study, including The Handbook of Digital Forensics and Investigation and Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, 3rd Edition. Casey has been working with digital forensics since it was created about twelve years ago, giving cmdLabs a major advantage in this field.
What makes cmdLabs unique is not only the fact that they have been working with digital forensics since its inception, but with all of today’s advancements in technology, they still remain somewhat traditional by keeping hard copies of their books on hand.
Daywalt explained that not only do people like to have a physical book in their hands to reference, but in some cases, they are unable to get online to reference materials when working on a job.
“If a computer is being investigated, it is at risk for exposure to spyware and viruses. This leads to a lack of security for the data in question so cmdLabs believes it is best to keep hard copies for this purpose,” Daywalt said.
Since its founding two years ago, the company has grown to 9. Some of their major clients include the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.