Software company that combats cybercrime setting up office in Calgary
Magnet Forensics says its investigation tools can help police forces
A Canadian company that makes software to fight cybercrime is expanding into Calgary after discovering the wide variety of talent the city has to offer.
Magnet Forensics is a software firm based in Waterloo, Ont., and its clients include Scotland Yard and the FBI.
Neil Desai, vice-president of corporate affairs at Magnet Forensics, told the Calgary Eyeopener that the company's programs can help with human trafficking cases, child exploitation, ransomware and terrorism.
"A crime like the Boston Marathon bombing incident, our software is used by the FBI to recover and analyze evidence from smartphones and computers," he said.
"There were thousands of individual pieces of evidence that were critical to understanding the premeditation of the suspect."
He says shows like CSI create the expectation that police agencies have the latest tools to address cybercrime; however, most still use dated technologies.
"The reality is today, if someone has basic technical skills and is unscrupulous in their nature, they can commit heinous crimes," he said.
"Our role at Magnet Forensics is to level the playing field and get [police] the technologies they need to lawfully acquire [and] analyze digital evidence so that justice can be pursued."
Despite being a tech company, the executive says the real mission is making a difference in public safety.
"This has actually grown quite significantly through COVID, given that some of our most vulnerable populations, children and seniors, have been forced online for their essential services," he said.
"This is why we're investing in so many people in our company, because the nature of the threat is evolving and growing."
Desai says a global shortage of technology talent prompted the company to look at what other jurisdictions had to offer, like Calgary.
"We saw really high quality talent right from entry level up to experienced folks. We were really impressed with the post-secondary institutions, the universities and the colleges, and we saw a real opportunity there to grow."
The company hasn't set specific targets for its Calgary office but has 50 jobs open.
"We're starting off with computer science and data science. But any open requisite, whether that's sales, marketing, operations, legal … we're open to having folks anywhere where Magnet has a footprint."
With files from the Calgary Eyeopner.