Top Ten Companies in Forensics Technology

Published - Sep 2013| Analyst - David Christofides| Code - SAS020A
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Report Highlights

Report Includes

  • Identification of the top 10 companies in the market for forensics technology, and the rationale behind these selections.
  • Factors taken into account, including technical innovation, market leadership, and commitment to this market via investment in products.

When selecting these top 10 companies, BCC Research looked across the industry spectrum and selected the most active and significant contributors while recognizing that there are many other contenders. Some of these “significant others” are  included in the report but are detailed to a lesser extent than the top 10 companies.

INTRODUCTION

Broadly defined, “forensic technologies” is the application of a wide–ranging spectrum of science and technology to establish and investigate facts, generally pertaining to the legal system. The forensic science industry (often simply called forensics) is currently undergoing rapid growth as well as dramatic change due to several factors. Technological change is resulting in the development of new forensic techniques, lowering the cost of implementation and enabling forensic technologies to gain broader reach throughout our entire economy.

The demand for forensic–related products and services continues to grow at a robust pace, a trend that is likely to continue over coming years. Spending on DNA–related government lab testing is rising and the U.S. and other national governments are spending on many large initiatives in biometrics. On a private level, labs are gaining traction and benefitting from a larger role in establishing forensic results for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Private company spending in other forensic–related areas is also growing, as well as human identity analysis, toxicology testing, computer–forensic services and demand for biometrics products and services. Technological advances are increasing accuracy and quality, lowering costs, and generally benefitting all areas of demand for forensic–related products and services. These changes in technology are lowering the cost of implementation and advancing execution of forensic capability, while also leading to new and more efficient techniques for investigation. Greater portability and accuracy are also resulting in new and improved methods. These factors will continue to lead to sensational growth and change in the forensics industry.

The broader forensic technology industry can be sub–divided into several different component categories that include DNA testing and analysis; analytical instruments and equipment; toxicology/immunoassay; biometrics; computer/ database forensics; and forensic consulting. The following is a brief description of these forensic market segments:

  • Forensic DNA testing and analysis – The use of DNA to identify individuals for purposes of legal investigation. Advancements in DNA testing, new protocols by the FBI, changing legal standards and the DNA services provided by private and public crime labs are generally included in this category.
  • Forensic analytical instruments and equipment – Analytical instruments and supply makers; this also includes drug identification kits. DNA testing equipment, systems and instruments are included in this category, and are generally supplied to the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies and both government and private crime labs.
  • Toxicology/Immunoassays – Forensic toxicology is the use of toxicology and other disciplines such as analytical chemistry, pharmacology and clinical chemistry to aid medical or legal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. The primary concern for forensic toxicology is not the legal outcome of the toxicological investigation or the technology utilized, but rather the collection and interpretation of the results. A toxicological analysis can be made of various kinds of samples including urine, blood, hair, and oral fluid (generally saliva). Post–mortem autopsies may use other fluids or bodily samples to conduct testing.
  • Biometrics – Biometrics is the automatic identification or identity verification of an individual based on physiological or behavioral characteristics, the authentication of which is done with computer technology in a noninvasive way to match patterns of live individuals in real time against enrolled records. Biometric products recognize faces, hands, fingers, signatures, veins, irises, voices, skin and fingerprints.
  • Computer/database forensics – Techniques used in recovering and investigating data from digital devices, including development of algorithms and software for forensic purposes.
  • Forensic consulting – Often closely intertwined with computer forensics and other areas of forensics, but also including forensic accounting and financial analysis.

The digital era is also having a profound effect on forensic investigation techniques and demand. With the Internet emerging into a universal vehicle for communication, and the digital transfer and storage of sensitive data, there has been a surge in Internet related crimes, and abuse of corporate and government information assets. The hacking of secure networks for unauthorized access to data results in identity theft and unauthorized use of credit/debit card information. These cyber–crimes are creating a massive market for computer forensics technology, including tools for collecting and analyzing electronic data in order to present it as evidence in a court of law.

Another noteworthy driver for this market is the growing prominence of DNA testing. Forensic DNA diagnostics products and testing/analysis services are used with more prevalence throughout many markets, and are no longer part of a small niche.

Biometrics is another area where advancements in forensic technologies are creating explosive demand globally and in the U.S. Lower–cost and more accurate recognition techniques are leading to greater penetration of biometrics products into private and public company budgets. Government identification initiatives along the U.S. border and in the country of India are boosting global demand for biometric services and equipment, along with several other large global initiatives. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is the largest human biometrics identification project in world history, with an end goal of providing a unique ID card to the country’s 1.2 billion residents. Other large corporate and government biometric initiatives to identify employees and general populace are also driving demand.

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

This document is a specialty report related to the BCC Research report SAS003D. The goal of this document is to provide a more in–depth look at the top–tier forensic technology companies.

The objectives include identifying companies that are considered leaders and the technologies or management contributions that make them leaders. There are certain market drivers and some constraints to both the companies and to the evolving technology they seek to dominate. There is a desire to ascertain if these companies will be able to meet the continuing demand for their products by proprietary technology, strategy alliances, superior marketing or other sought after advantages.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This report is intended for suppliers of forensic technologies and those with a need to understand the status and dynamics of the market for these products. The report is largely nontechnical in nature, providing an overview of the products, markets, and trends used in forensics work. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings concern the market for their work.

BCC expects the report to be especially useful for executive management personnel, marketing and financial analysts, investors, and anyone interested in the forensic market for analytical instrumentation, drug and toxicology analysis, DNA profiling, and fingerprinting/biometrics.

SCOPE

The scope of this report is focused on a select 10 companies in forensic technologies. This is in many ways a selected due diligence of the key companies and drivers in the forensic technology market sector.

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DISCLAIMER

The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is of a speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

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