New software tool to tackle digital ‘blind spots’ in the cloud

25 May 2012

Owen O'Connor, managing director of Cernam

Dublin start-up Cernam has pioneered a free software tool to tackle the prevalence of so-called digital blind spots as a result of companies migrating to cloud computing services.

The new tool is called Watson, and Cernam launched it this week at the Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference in Nevada.

The software aims to allow legal and IT professionals to determine whether potentially problematic cloud services are being used within a corporate network.

Cernam itself is a new spin-in based at NovaUCD that is pioneering technologies to change the face of digital evidence and forensics in the web space.

Managing director Owen O’Connor said that while cloud services offer productivity benefits they also present new challenges.

He said that the increasing adoption of cloud computing has created a digital blind spot, which poses new risks for IT and legal departments within companies.

“For organisations relying on digital evidence in litigation, investigations or disciplinary matters, the cloud potentially reduces visibility and control around corporate records.”

According to O’Connor, many cloud services can be obtained and adopted without any IT involvement.

“This means IT and legal departments are developing a digital blind spot where they cannot find or obtain digital evidence,” said O’Connor.

He said companies should be considering cloud and other online content in every digital evidence project.

“If it is important enough to search email, it is essential to also address online evidence. As cloud services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Huddle and Podio become more popular and more visible, it becomes far less defensible to ignore cloud sources and to remain focused on data within the walls of a company.”

O’Connor said that running Watson requires no special access to servers or networks.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic