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Cyan Forensics

Public Safety
Helping‌ ‌police‌ ‌to‌ ‌quickly‌ ‌and‌ ‌effectively‌ ‌scan‌ ‌devices‌ ‌for‌ ‌harmful‌ ‌content

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Cyan Forensics

Public Safety
Helping‌ ‌police‌ ‌to‌ ‌quickly‌ ‌and‌ ‌effectively‌ ‌scan‌ ‌devices‌ ‌for‌ ‌harmful‌ ‌content

Summary

  • Founded in 2016
  • Total funding £3 million
    • Latest venture round: £1.5 million
  • Investors include Mercia Fund Managers and the Scottish Investment Bank
  • HQ in Edinburgh, UK
  • 15 FTEs
  • Key clients/partners: Home Office, US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Northamptonshire Police
  • Key executives: Ian Stevenson, CEO: chartered engineer, entrepreneur, Saltire Fellow; Bruce Ramsay, CTO: engineer, lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.

Profile

Police forces need advanced technology to uncover and combat crime committed online.  Cyan Forensics offers tools to help police forces analyse data from seized computers and online sources. Their software, which the UK Home Office describes as “game-changing,” allows public safety professionals to scan for content such as illegal images of children and terrorist handbooks. The main difference between this startup’s offering and that of legacy software providers is speed: Cyan Forensics’ tools can complete searches in minutes that would take competitors hours or days. As governments increasingly seek to penalise technology platform companies that do not proactively remove harmful content, Cyan Forensics may find an increasingly captive private sector market alongside its government contracts. The UK Government’s Online Harms White Paper, published in December 2020 ahead of a likely bill, affirms a commitment to protecting citizens from digital crime. This policy attention is likely to be a boon for the safety tech sector.

Plans

  • Continue to expand internationally, building on its internationalisation in 2020 to France and Germany.
  • Expand offerings related to finding and blocking illicit material online.

Who Should Speak To This Company


Public safety bodies.

Company In Action

Cyan Examiner allows police to determine whether a device contains illicit materials. These searches can be undertaken both on the target device itself (via USB thumb drive) or on a police force’s forensic workstation. Cyan’s Responder product enables first responders with minimal forensics experience to quickly examine harddrives in the field. This is helpful in time sensitive cases, and for police working in remote settings with minimal access to forensics analysts. These products work by comparing content from a target device to what Cyan Forensics calls its Contraband Filter. This filter is a proprietary dataset that contains known illegal material. The algorithm compares the Contraband Filter to the content on the computer, flagging illicit content.  A further product, the Cyan Collector allows police forces to customise the Contraband Filter. It is useful for investigators looking to include data from a particular case alongside Cyan Forensics’ data. Unlike legacy products on the market, adding data to the Contraband Filter does not decrease search speeds.

StateUp View

Cyan Forensics is a strong player in the growing field of technology to support police and law enforcement experts. The company has proven nimble, pivoting and expanding its offering in the face of Covid-19. A partnership with Susteen enables rapid scanning of smartphones. The company is internationalising, and there are clear applications beyond the public sector. For instance, the proprietary Contraband Filter can be used by social media companies or cloud service providers wanting to minimise the sharing of illicit images.
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