Smart forensic experts in Cape Town

I like smart people. I especially like to meet smart people in my new home town of Cape Town. Last Thursday evening I was very pleased to be the guest speaker at the regional Chapter of ACFE and there were smart forensic investigators and technical people in the audience. We had an excellent evening together.
Firstly, they had to listen to me for about 45 minutes talk on the subject “From Forensics to eDiscovery”. I ran through the history of discovery and then reminded them that the definition of eDiscovery is “the collection, review and production of documents that are stored in electronic format”, noting that collection is usually done by Forensics experts. Then I outlined the EDRM and showed them the integral part that they play here in what is now the de facto global reference model for eDiscovery.

I spoke of the fusion of the two industries, forensics and litigation support, and reminded them that it is not just about A versus B litigation, but the same software and skills are used in internal and regulatory investigations; competition matters; employment cases; and of course cybercrime investigations.

I was able to inform them of some of the many features of eDiscovery software, such as email threading; finding near duplicates; clustering; keyword searching; concept searching, visualisation techniques; speech and dialogue searching; and technology assisted review. Some were aware of these features and understood what they could do and were already using them in their investigations.

We had an interesting conversation about specific software solutions and I was able to point out that these were in use by both of our industries and another aspect of what brings us together.

There were a few of my past case studies, examples, and humorous (hopefully!) stories all emphasising the point.

I rounded off by congratulating them on the work they do and commenting how delighted I was that ACFE is flourishing here. I reminded them that we were all relying upon them to help fight the cybercrime that affects us all. They are experts and their fantastic work should never be commoditised.

Afterwards, helped with some splendid hospitality at the host venue of Deloitte in Cape Quarter we enjoyed some fascinating conversations over good wine and snacks. Many felt that the talk had helped them to appreciate the links between us and they amazed me with some of their stories of their investigations. In all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I was embarrassed to receive a gift for speaking to them.

As I said at the beginning I like meeting smart people. The more I work here in Cape Town and SA generally, the more people I am in communication with and the more excited I am about what I am trying to do here. It gives me great pride and appreciation that geographically, my blogs are being read by more people in Cape Town and Johannesburg than elsewhere. Together we can grow eDiscovery here to match the rest of the modern world.