Bay Adelaide Centre – West Tower, 333 Bay Street, 14th Floor
M5H 2R2, Toronto, Canada
Peers and clients say:
"Joel is very knowledgeable of digital forensics practice"
"He is a top choice and a well versed practitioner in investigations proceedings"
Joel Bowers is a managing director in the cyber risk practice of Kroll. Based in Toronto, Joel has overseen the cyber risk practice in Canada since 2012. Joel and his team specialise in litigation support matters and sensitive data reviews following breach incidents. Over the years, Joel has led thousands of cases involving digital evidence ranging in size from single computer investigations through cases involving hundreds of electronic devices with over 20 terabytes of information.
What inspired you to pursue a career in digital forensics?
I learned about the field in school and was immediately drawn to the combination of investigative problem solving alongside the opportunity to work with many different types of computer systems.
What do clients look for in an effective digital forensic expert?
The most important aspect of an effective digital forensic expert is responsiveness. Clients are always going through a very stressful situation when digital forensic services are required, so it’s important to respond to new requests quickly, and then remain in communication and not leave them waiting and wondering what is happening with their case.
What do you find most interesting about assisting clients in data breach investigations?
The most interesting thing about assisting clients with data breach investigations is finding creative solutions to their unique review challenges. Anything we can do to defensibly reduce the amount of data that needs to be manually reviewed or apply automation to expedite a review goes a long way towards decreasing cost and increasing the speed of any sensitive data review.
How has the role of a digital forensic expert changed since you first started practising?
The biggest change over the years has been the increase in specialisations within the field. When I began, everyone had to be a bit of a generalist as every customer used different technologies, and the case volume was much lower. Those elements combined to mean investigators had to be flexible. Now we have subject matter experts that only work on incident response cases, or only work on malware analysis.
Where, in your opinion, does the future of digital forensics lie?
I expect information technology systems will continue moving towards cloud and “software as a service” based solutions, and digital forensics will have to continue to innovate, develop new tools, and adapt to that ecosystem.
As managing director of the cyber risk practice at Kroll, what are your main priorities for the team’s development in the coming years?
I think it is important to scale up to keep up with demand for our services, and to continue to refine processes and implement automation where possible to increase efficiency and to improve work life balance for the team members. Cyber is an extremely demanding industry and I would like to work towards making it easier for people to stay in the industry and with the company for extended periods of time.
What makes Kroll stand out from its competitors in the market?
Kroll experts provide rapid response to more than 3,200 cyber incidents of all types annually. We help countless more clients with litigation support (including expert witness services); managed detection and response services for both active threats and as an integral part of network security; notification solutions, including multilingual call center support; and proactive services, including general and threat-focused risk assessments, response planning, tabletop exercises and more. With years of public and private sector experience and law enforcement service, our cyber security experts can provide invaluable leadership at any point in the cyber risk continuum.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Take a step back. It’s truly amazing how sometimes stepping away from a problem can make the solution immediately obvious.