DIGITAL forensic experts Cyacomb has received a funding package totalling £3.8m, including £2.6m from the Scottish National Investment Bank.
Based in Edinburgh, the firm uses cutting-edge technology to detect and block harmful online content. This funding will help to scale up operations.
They have developed safeguarding software already being used by law enforcement agencies around the world that is 100 times quicker than existing tools on the market.
Cyacomb will use the support, explore new markets, and continue the push for an online world where no harmful digital content can be hidden or shared.
Ian Stevenson, CEO, said: “Our forensics products help law enforcement find evidence fast, speeding investigations and supporting prompt safeguarding actions for children and the wider community.
“We are now turning our attention upstream too, tackling one of society’s most pressing issues – the rising levels of child sexual abuse material being shared in our increasingly encrypted online world.
“Cyacomb Safety detects and blocks child sexual abuse material within the end-to-end encrypted environment whilst protecting user privacy and security.
“This funding comes at a strategic time for us as we expand our market reach and appoint a new non-executive director, Richie McBride.
“Richie, founder of Edesix Ltd, brings a wealth of experience in scaling software businesses, particularly servicing law enforcement and government clients.
“The Bank’s support will ensure we are able to grow as a business, introduce our software to more organisations and ultimately protect children and improve online safety.”
Cyacomb’s forensic tools provide a rapid triage service for law enforcement agencies that allows them to make critical decisions quicker than ever before.
Illegal images and videos can be detected in seconds, rather than hours, including material that has been deleted.
Dallas Police Department is one law enforcement agency using Cycacomb’s platform to detect illegal material shown in a recent case.
Detective Mike Fontenot, Dallas Police Department, said: “Cyacomb’s products offer true potential to hasten investigation and assist police departments across the world in protecting children, holding predators accountable for their crimes.
“The idea of triage is the rapid examination of devices to determine if illegal content is present.
“Cyacomb has managed to create software, that would have previously taken hours to complete, and condensed it to less than a minute.
“This was a real-world application of seized devices from an actual search warrant.”
Dan Sexton, chief technology officer at the Internet Watch Foundation, added: “Innovation is vital in the fight against online child sexual abuse, and we have been pleased to work with Cyacomb on this cutting-edge technology.
“As a part of our long-lasting collaboration, we’re now pleased to be running a pilot project to demonstrate how IWF data can work with secure-by-design Cyacomb technology to combat the spreading of child abuse material to keep children from harm.”