November 25, 2020

What do the new iPad 3 and the new National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers” have in common?

I’m not really sure, but the title sounded catchy!

Actually, I do know……

I’m not on board with the Theories of Nostradamus, nor was I worried about the Rapture predictions last year from Harold Camping predicting that the world would come to an end (TWICE, I might add).  However, I do feel that for those companies whose eDiscovery practices are not factoring in their employees’ mobile devices, doomsday is a lot closer than you might think.

In the next two or three years, being able to adequately monitor, secure, and collect forensically sound data off of mobile devices will become more and more important.  I would even suggest that within the next five years it will become more important than being able to retrieve data from your standard company-issued laptop.  While our spreadsheets, documents, and other bulky software programs will most likely remain on our computers for the near future, our communication rituals will continue to drift toward our handhelds.  More and more software products are moving to the Cloud and as we migrate to a more thin-based client interface, the easier it becomes to use our tablets and smartphones to utilize these solutions.

Test yourself.  Take the last week for example.  How many times did you either email or text from your cell phone or tablet compared to your computer?  I was sitting in Newark Airport last week and unable to pull out my laptop, so I conveniently downloaded my WebEx app and, voilà!  One more thing I can use on my cell phone as opposed to my PC!

When iPads hit the scene back in April 2010, there were a lot of people thinking that this “fad product” would quickly die out.  So with the release of the “iPad 3” looming, and unofficial unit sales totals for the previous iPad models being somewhere around the 53 million mark, I would argue that “Doomsday” is getting much closer for those not adequately prepared.

Speaking with Forensic Computer Examiners, Private Investigators, Police Officers, and Chief Technology Officers throughout the year, I continually hear one thing: “How do we stay ahead of the mobile tidal wave?”  The only bit of advice I can offer is to be familiar with what your employees or suspects have in terms of technology and understand how to secure it and pull forensically sound data from it.

If you’re a CTO or Director of Technology, take a look around.  How many employees have either tablet devices or smartphones?  A better question would be, how many of those devices were paid for by the company, and how many of those devices have data plans that are paid for by the company?

The purpose of this blog is not to attempt to instill panic or fear in you, but merely to point out that many have not figured out the current state of affairs as they relate to mobile devices, much less what the future may hold.  The important thing to take away from this is that if you are not bringing in the eDiscovery technology that can protect you, you need to be.

I’ll leave you with this thought.  My son who is 4 years old now received an iPod touch when he was 2 years old.  My 7 year old daughter strong-armed my iPad from me when she was 5.  To watch them navigate these devices now is truly amazing.  Here’s a recent Nielsen Study that claims 70% of tablet owning households have children under 12 that are using the device:

And yes, while I will admit that I’m no Nostradamus, I am willing to bet the younger generation will probably always gravitate to a tablet-like device when it comes to their future technology.  Set a Blackberry Bold in front of child who has mostly only used tablets and watch how often they press the screen thinking it will react.

Migration is happening right before our eyes.  Whether we use a tablet or not, it’s time we all realize…… this is no fad.


Rob Jones

Rob Jones is a Corporate Account Manager for AccessData and focuses on strategic partnerships with eDiscovery Service Providers in the Northeast. Rob assists eDiscovery Service Providers by providing solutions for cyber security, forensic collections, ediscovery processing and litigation review. Before joining AccessData, Rob spent ten years consulting with financial institutions on products and services that would help enhance their web presence. Rob was recognized in late 2010 as being a thought leader in the area of social media marketing and online based marketing initiatives for his extensive experience working with organizations to help manage both web page optimization as well as social media presence. On a yearly basis Rob has consulted with websites whose total monthly visitors reach nearly 480 million views.

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  1. Bob Knudsen says:

    Nostradamas strikes me as an iPad user, first generation….

    I’m seeing the same trends on analysis jobs, more frequently smartphones and mobile devices accompany the computer / hard drive submitted. It’s very helpful to have an app like MPE that can support these devices and process them in the same case as the hard drive.

  2. Brent Batchelor says:

    .Great post Rob. You’re right on the money. I think that every day, more and more people are harboring data on their mobile devices as opposed to what’s on their desk at work. Discoverable data is becoming more and more “in the wild” than it is as a part of basic desktop set up. I’m not sure you’re on the same level as Nostradamus, however, I’d hire you for a children’s party in a second. Good work sir.

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