Computer Forensics embarks on new path after buyout

Computer Forensics embarks on new path after buyout

Forensics lab shifts into assessments and data loss prevention

Tom Orton and Nicolas Thomas (Computer Forensics)

Tom Orton and Nicolas Thomas (Computer Forensics)

Credit: Supplied

New Zealand digital forensics and data recovery company Computer Forensics is pursuing a new SMB-focused strategy after its buyout a year ago by two employees.

Co-directors Tom Orton and Nicolas Thomas are now also looking to provide cybersecurity assessment and advice to what they see as an underserved SMB market.

Under founder Brian Eardley-Wilmot, the company developed a reputation as a computer forensics lab, providing data recovery and computer forensic investigations  to clients including educational institutions, large multi-nationals, government and public organisations and legal defence teams.

Orton, also the company's chief technology officer, said the time has now come to take more of a preventative role.

“We are moving into the cybersecurity realm in a big way and will be providing cybersecurity assessments and gap analysis ,” Orton said.

“Right now, there are only a handful of companies in New Zealand along with the big four accounting and professional services companies, who specialise in this work. 

"We’re looking to offer similar services to the SMB market, particularly those with ten to 15 employees – providing the same level of effectiveness as those firms but in a more cost-effective manner.”

With the move to cloud and managed services, along with increasing regulatory requirements around data protection, companies are facing growing pressure to ensure they secure their data and do everything they can to prevent breaches – and to minimise impact when breaches do occur.

“We are stepping away from just being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to be the fence at the top, taking a more proactive approach to cybersecurity and data security and protecting New Zealand businesses,” Thomas, who is also chief operating officer, said.

“We can assess business’s data security and find holes they might easily overlook, because we think of things differently after having had 20 years of people calling us with horror stories of what has happened to them.”

The two long-time Computer Forensics employees took over the business from founder Eardley-Wilmot, who was retiring, in a management buyout.

Orton said with information governance being one of the big buzz words of the last few years – a trend he tips to continue into the 2020s – companies increasingly need to take a more proactive approach to their cybersecurity, including from a compliance and auditing perspective. 

“IP theft, accidental deletion when there is no backup in place, fraud, ransomware and cybersecurity are all becoming mainstream topics for business," he said. 

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