Office No. 20-118, 20th Floor, Commerz II, Off Western Express Highway, Oberoi Garden City
400 063, Goregaon (E) Mumbai, India
Peers and clients say:
"A go-to name for companies under complex cyber attacks and breaches"
"His technical knowledge is mind blowing and his communication skills are second to none"
"Clients have full confidence in him"
Amit Jaju is a senior managing director based in Mumbai, India. He leads the data and technology segment in India and has over 17 years of experience in forensic technology consulting covering data analytics, cyber, e-discovery, software licensing and information governance. He has created market-leading solutions to solve data-related challenges for clients around a wide spectrum of areas such as financial crime, bribery and corruption (FCPA / UKBA), sanctions and AML, transaction monitoring, cyber incident response, piracy and threat monitoring, analytics and software licensing.
What is it about being a digital forensic expert that you enjoy most?
Digital forensics as an area continues to evolve as businesses and regulatory ecosystems become more technology-driven. I enjoy the fact that no two cases are the same and though there are strict guidelines that we follow to ensure the integrity of the process, there is ample room for innovation and discovering new ways of differentiating my work. Whether it was remote data collection during the lockdown period, investigating tampering of WhatsApp chats, detecting espionage on senior executives, detecting manipulation of financial transactions in an ERP system, investigating a crypto Ponzi scheme and now potentially investigating a crime on the Metaverse, there is a good mix of reliance on processes and innovating new solutions.
An increasing number of countries are becoming more active in investigating allegations of corporate misconduct. What are the main challenges for companies in your jurisdiction facing corporate misconduct investigations?
India is one of the fastest-growing world economies and attracts significant foreign investments. The overseas investors are required to ensure that investee firms adhere to both local and global corporate governance and compliance norms around bribery and corruption, data protection, cyber breaches, financial crime, capital markets regulations etc. The challenge companies face is to detect, investigate and prevent non-compliance around various applicable statutes in an ongoing manner. The key to addressing these challenges is by designing and implementing technology-based early warning systems.
How do you effectively prepare for multi-jurisdictional investigations?
When preparing for a multi-jurisdictional investigation, it is important to understand the different legal systems that may be applicable and how they might conflict with one another. One should also develop a plan for coordinating with and sharing information between the various jurisdictions involved in the investigation. By taking these steps, one can help ensure that your investigation proceeds smoothly and efficiently. At Ankura, we follow the mantra of collect, communicate and collaborate to effectively deal with multi-jurisdiction investigations. This involves collecting data and information locally and centrally, establishing effective communication channels that are well documented on a central platform for issues tracking and effective collaboration between internal teams and external stakeholders in a transparent manner. We use multiple technologies, dashboards, logging and real-time updates to manage such complex investigations. We also ensure that all our processes, technologies and people speak the same language as a standardised approach. For example: for eDiscovery, we follow global consistency when it comes to the collection, processing, review and production of data, which helps improve the efficiency of the investigation when data is hosted at various locations.
To what extent do you see a need to reform current laws for them to be in pace with the growing sophistication of cybercrime?
Cybercrime laws are constantly evolving and adapting to the changing landscape of the internet and technology, and reform is the only way these laws can keep pace with the growing sophistication of cybercrime.
There are a number of ways in which current laws could be reformed to better deal with cybercrime. For one, penalties for cybercrime offences should be reviewed so that they remain effective deterrents for would-be offenders. Another reform that we can look at is the topic of cross-border information sharing for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cybercrime cases. This continues to be a challenge as oversight standards differ internationally. What is perceived as acceptable in one country may not be so in another. Ideally, countries all over the world could come together and agree on a common minimum charter to deal with cybercrime. I’m aware that this is very much a “wish-list” item but if we can crack this, we can help to make the internet a safer place for everyone.
Has the coronavirus pandemic affected the way authorities and stakeholders perceive and react to cybercrime? Are you seeing any changes in their approaches when pursuing relevant investigations?
Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the way authorities and stakeholders perceive and react to cybercrime. As companies adapt to the remote working arrangements, some compromises were made in terms of balancing physical and logical security to provide access to users working from home. This opened up new vulnerabilities that were exploited by threat actors. We are seeing more aggressive approaches used by malignant parties as well as more incidents involving employees/insiders in our investigations.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it is important for organisations to put in place robust security measures to protect themselves from potential attacks. Cyber insurance can also be a valuable tool in mitigating the financial impact of a successful cyber attack, which as a sector has seen tremendous growth recently. Similarly, newer security models such as the zero-trust model are seeing wider adoption.
It is essential that organisations continue to invest in robust security measures and remain vigilant to the evolving threat landscape.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never claim to be the smartest person in the room and always believe that the first hypothesis that gets validated by a piece of evidence may not be the only hypothesis; always maintain professional scepticism.