It’s difficult to grasp today that, even in the mid 1990s, the legal industry struggled to understand how to properly prepare and present digital evidence in court. It took the emergence of digital information software like OpenText™ EnCase™ Forensic to begin to change everything. As EnCase Learning Services turns 21 this year, we look back at how Encase has shaped the computer forensics industry.
In the past 21 years, we’ve seen digital forensic investigations move from a new technology used by a few law enforcement agencies to a mainstay within the legal, security and corporate sectors worldwide. EnCase and the dedicated team of training professionals behind it can claim a good deal of responsibility for this outcome.
A history of firsts
When DNA evidence was accepted into court in the 1980s, it started a rush towards forensic evidence through the use of forensic science. However, dealing with digital evidence was tricky. Law enforcement, the military and security were capturing CCTV (invented during World War II), surveillance footage, computerized records (such as those used in finance, communication, and system logs) and other digital data, but presenting it in court was a challenge.
When EnCase Forensic launched in 1998, there was only one other solution attempting to help make sense of digital evidence. However, it only ran on Linux so most law enforcement agencies found it difficult to use. EnCase Forensic was available on Windows, opening up the technology for users and leading the creation of the digital investigation software category.
Since then the software has never lost its market-leading position. Over the past 21 years, EnCase has been at the heart of many landmark criminal investigations including the capture of the BTK killer, which is widely held as one of the most famous cases to be solved by computer forensics. Encase was also used in cases like Casey Anthony, Scott Peterson, The Unabomber, Mucko, and Danielle van Dam to name a few. Today, EnCase software has been part of many thousands of court cases throughout the world – often directly cited as the computer forensic solution used – and one fact stands out: There has never been a successful challenge to evidence presented by EnCase technology.
When EnCase Enterprise was released in 2002, it became the world’s first network-enabled computer forensics tool. This allowed the examiner to perform their acquisition and preservation duties without having to physically take custody of the computer equipment and users being investigated.
It’s not only in the criminal space that EnCase and the team of instructors have excelled. The software and evolving best practices have been at the forefront of the development of electronic discovery – the process of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a request for production in a lawsuit or investigation.
Today, there are over 42 million computer endpoints analyzed by EnCase software and our solutions are used by 43 of the Fortune 100 companies. Further still, over 300 universities and learning institutions have participated in our Academic Training Program since 2012 by incorporating hands-on learning of EnCase applications into their curriculum.
21 years of achievement
From new techniques to nuclear subs: An incredible training team
As with any software package, EnCase is only as good as the people who use it. Over the past two decades, EnCase Learning Services has created a highly professional and effective training team. It has developed a range of innovative training courses and taken them around the world. When dealing with the major military and security agencies across the globe, there can be requests to train staff in some unusual venues – including the security team onboard a nuclear submarine! After delivering over 240 unique courses offered over 6 thousand classes to over 85 thousand students, nothing fazes the EnCase trainers.
The training team prides itself not only on keeping on top of developments in computer forensics, electronic discovery, and security trends but also the latest training techniques using live targets running recent malware. They provide tailored training in the classroom, virtually, and on-demand to law enforcement, military, government, security and corporate organizations (currently over 11 thousand entities). The results can be extremely impressive. Once their staff have been trained, many corporations report that their use of EnCase has saved millions of dollars.
Meeting ever changing security threats
When independent certification bodies come to you for help developing their courses, you know that you’re held in very high regard in your industry. The team’s three certifications – EnCE (EnCase Certified Examiner) for forensic examiners, EnCEP (EnCase Certified eDiscovery Practitioner) for electronic discovery and investigations and CFSR (Certified Forensic Security Responder) for security organizations – are seen as industry standards and have led to independent organizations seeking advice on how to reach that level of professionalism.
These certifications and all EnCase training courses are constantly evolving to meet changing security threats. The EnCase Learning Services team refine the courses while continuously looking for areas where potential new threats may arise. By proactively responding to changing security requirements and delivering training that empowers users to make the most of computer forensics, the next 21 years are likely to be even more successful than the last.
Learn more about EnCase and EnCase Learning Services here.
In a Zero Trust world, law enforcement, legal, and security professionals need to continuously augment and tune their skills. Join us at Enfuse 2019 to learn, teach and share while exploring the latest updates and best practices across the spectrum of information security, eDiscovery, artificial intelligence and forensic investigation. Enfuse 2019 takes place November 11-14 at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.