Dell Gets Into the Digital Forensics Business

LONDON — Computer giant Dell has entered into another segment of the digital marketplace — forensics.

Dell Digital Fortress seeks to help authorities analyze data more quickly by employing a Dell workcenter where high-powered servers can analyze multiple devices simultaneously. Cloned copies of each case will be archived inside the workcenter.

Currently, investigators analyze data through individual workstations and burn data to DVDs. Police departments being backlogged with a years worth of digital evidence to analyze and archive is not unheard of

With Dell Digital Forensics, the company has teamed up with other companies, including Intel, EMC Corp, Oracle Corp., Symantec Corp. and AccessData to help police search suspects digital devices.

Dell launched the new solution at the International Policing Exhibition and Summer Conference run by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The new forensics system could be particularly of help to investigators probing child porn cases.

“This is a very challenging technical issue for law enforcement to be able to do the forensics in timely fashion," ASACP's Tim Henning told XBIZ. "[Police] have limited time and resources and far too many cases to get through.

"As long as all the obvious issues are addressed such as data security and privacy issues, I see this as a positive step in the right direction which should help to protect children better by allowing law enforcement to process more suspected child pornography cases and in a much more expedient fashion," said Henning, who directs the organization's technology and forensic research.

The initiative also could add to Dell’s bottom line.

Already Dell does about $15 billion in the general customer service market. Market intelligence firm IDC forecasts that the digital forensics market will climb to $630 million in 2009, up from $252 million five years ago.