January 27, 2021

Big Data + Mobile = Perfect Storm

Lee Reiber & Caitlin Murphy

One of the catch-phrases floating around the corporate and e-discovery landscape and scaring people these days is “Big Data”. This concept is not new, but companies have been slow in coming to the realization that they are not adept (to say the least) at handling the petabytes or even exabytes that now confront them. Mere storage of this data has plagued companies for years, but it’s not until they are called upon to conduct the collection, preservation and review of these vast amounts that the involved parties truly understand what ‘Big Data” is. Responding to these types of collection and review requests successfully is critical for companies, but that successful response depends entirely on how they prepare for the same.

To mangle a quote of Thomas Edison’s, this preparation is 99% more important than perspiration. And in today’s world the first step in preparing is for organizations to prepare for the reality of mobile device e-discovery. Recognize that over half of discoverable data in today’s ‘Big Data’ bucket will come from a mobile device of some kind. Sit for a moment and take that in. Half of the data you will have to collect and review going forward will come from a mobile device. Suspend for now the panicked realization that you don’t even have specific tools to collect from such devices at all and focus on an even more alarming idea; over 70% of communication and usage comes from applications on a mobile smart device and a mobile device management (MDM) tool (which some of you may have been relying on as an e-discovery stop-gap) will not preserve that critical third-party application data. Sound like a perfect storm? That’s because it is. Feel unprepared? That’s because you are.

But all is not lost. Instead of setting yourself up to overlook crucial e-discovery data, utilize a process and solution that can handle Big Data and mobile in an e-discovery context. Collection and analysis should be an easy and painless part of your routine e-discovery process and there is no reason why it can’t be when you have the right tools.

In today’s world of increasing litigation, data theft, company hacking, customer data loss and employee mobility you cannot afford to keep your head in the sand when it comes to mobile data. Whether it’s an external request due to litigation or an internal one due to an enterprise investigation or cyber security breach, you will held accountable to produce all relevant data which, now more than ever, includes data from mobile devices. It is time to get ahead of the incident and prepare your team, company and employer for the probable threat, because waiting for a triggering event to occur may cost considerably more than you anticipated. On the other hand, being proactive with policy, education and the proper solution will pay dividends by making you prepared to cover what’s next – namely Big Data and it’s mobile delivery system.

Feeling even more unprepared after reading this? Then come visit AccessData at LTNY booth #1303 for a demonstration of our exciting mobile device collection and analysis solution, MPE+. Or check out one of our LTNY mobile e-discovery super sessions to learn first-hand how to retrieve data from a wiped phone or an application!


Lee Reiber

Lee Reiber is the Vice President of Mobile Forensic Solutions in charge of overseeing all mobile forensic activities for the AccessData mobile forensic line. Shortly after joining the company in 2009, Lee refocused AccessData’s mobile forensics software and re-engineered the mobile phone tool Mobile Phone Examiner (MPE) to what is now Mobile Phone Examiner Plus (MPE+). Since then, MPE+ has grown to be an essential tool used by many Law Enforcement and Government agencies, eDiscovery firms and private corporations. Lee’s extensive experience and knowledge of the mobile forensic industry continues to be the key to MPE+ technology advancements. Prior to joining AccessData, Lee was the CEO and owner of one of the most prominent mobile phone training companies in the United States, Mobile Forensics Inc. (MFI). The MFI training curriculum was adopted by AccessData’s training group in 2009 and is one of the most comprehensive mobile device forensics training available today. Prior to MFI, Lee worked for the Boise Police Department where he specialized in the extraction, recovery, methodology and investigation of mobile devices. Lee frequently contributes to Law Officer Magazine as a writer dealing with electronic data discovery from mobile devices and cellular phone carriers. He also conducts presentations on various mobile device forensic topics at conferences around the world. Lee is an active member of IACIS, HTCC and HTCIA.

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