2022 was a year when many of the challenges of the COVID era finally stepped back. Yet the team had to learn to work around a new Force Majeure factor. If possible, the new circumstance has made us even more determined to follow through on our development and production plans. We are finishing this year with a number of great achievements. So let’s have a look together at our 2022 year in review!
Atola TaskForce firmware updates
The RAID module received more enhancements this year. Two additional stages of the configuration detection algorithm to address the situation when a configuration has not been identified:
- Stage 3 for less probable configuration variants resulting in less than 100% of verified file structure
- Stage 4 to test an assumption that the RAID may be missing a drive (this helps identify if RAID 5 is incomplete).
On top of that, the RAID page was enhanced with additional tags and tooltips. There were other smaller improvements to the module and it remains one of our priorities for further development: you can expect more RAID types and file systems to be supported in the upcoming releases.
By adding a Logical imaging module we enhanced the work with both RAIDs and large media. The feature was an immediate success with users and a great improvement to their workflow. The smart filters allow you to select documents manually, search for file names or files types and fine-tune the selection by date and size, all in one easy action. In November, we added a Check button to let you export the list of files that matched your search parameters. This is a handy feature for planning your logical imaging, to ensure that the selection really results in the output you expect. Additionally, there is a pause and resume capability to address any disruption, whether planned or accidental.
We supported APFS in Insight years ago and now TaskForce got it too! You can unlock volumes with a known password or recovery key. RAID module now also supports physical and logical imaging of arrays with unencrypted APFS volumes.
This year, we added Format NVM wiping method, which uses SSD controller’s internal wiping algorithm.
We extended the Web API command set to accommodate the need for more workflow automation scenarios including logical imaging.
TaskForce is often used by multiple users simultaneously. To address the situation when access to tasks, drives and cases must be restricted according to internal procedures, we introduced the User management system. By activating the multi-user mode and assigning Admin and User roles to different colleagues, you are able to restrict access to each individuals’ work.
It is also now possible to restrict access to TaskForce after a period of inactivity as indicated in TaskForce settings.
Our customers asked us to set up a Cross-relational case management system: it now allows one case to contain multiple drives and the same drive to belong to multiple cases.
Atola Insight Forensic software updates
The May release brought Multi-launch of Fill or Erase and SSD Trim operations. This feature lets you wipe all connected drives in a few clicks.
Imaging settings now have an option of launching CLI app against the created target image file upon imaging completion to enable workflow automation.
Not only did we expedite the imaging of drives with smaller blocks by 50%, but we also updated the imaging module further. For instance, we improved the way Insight handles freezing drives with a damaged head and we improved partition validation algorithms for FAT and NTFS file systems.
A new Insight software is in the making and will be released in early 2023.
We are in the final stages of completing a project that has been taking up a significant part of our development resources in 2022. Our R&D lab is buzzing with excitement and we can’t wait to share the news with you. Stay tuned!
Record hardware assembly and sales
This year, our hardware and sales teams combined achieved another milestone in Atola’s history. They pulled an impressive effort to drive sales through our partners and directly, and coordinated a massive logistical operation to timely manufacture and deliver the devices worldwide.
Training and demos
In 2022, we held an unprecedented number of online and offline meetings, webinars, demos and training sessions for potential and existing customers. This has been an extremely fun and insightful activity for us and we look forward to having more opportunities to share our knowledge and learn about your experiences and current needs. Just message us, and we will arrange a session for you too!
Participating in DFIR events
2022 looked way better in terms of digital forensic conferences. And it is truly exciting: there is nothing like a face-to-face interaction with forensic practitioners! We visited around a dozen of such events this year and saw the number of participants growing throughout the year. This promises a great conference season in 2023.
In 2022 we hired 5 great people and amazing talents!
In January, Atola welcomed Denys to the software development team, where he is now one of the lead Insight developers. In particular, he is focused on optimizing low-level work with all drive types.
In March, Ania and Stas joined the QA team. Today, they help keep the stability of Atola products on the highest level and contribute to the design of new product features.
In September, our marketing department received two new colleagues: Yaroslava and Sergey. Sergey is a skillful writer and now contributes with excellent content about Atola products. Yaroslava is an SMM expert who drives Atola’s communication through our social media accounts.
All 5 of them have already become an integral part of Atola team and we are proud to have them on board!
Staying together at work and beyond
The war in Ukraine has transformed our lives to a great extent. But no matter the circumstance, our team is striving to stay positive and help each other out in every task. When it comes to extra-curricular activities, we also enjoy each other’s company and this year was no exception. Whenever there was a chance, we played a game or two, attended first aid trainings, went on cultural trips, enjoyed lunches with our new colleagues and created other great moments together.
Relief for Ukraine
The war has devastated the lives of millions of Ukrainians. Our team has been actively supporting humanitarian and other causes, as individuals and as a group. In one of these initiatives, the team funded and helped arrange hearing aids for Ukrainian military people whose health has been affected by the war.
We encourage you to be a part of the effort to help Ukraine achieve peace and rebuild. There are dozens of great organizations out there. Here are just a few of them:
See you in 2023!
As challenging and fulfilling as 2022 was for us all, we look forward to 2023, a year, for which we wish you all peace, health, well-being and joy!
PS. More about this year for Atola and our outlook for the future in my recent interview to ForensicFocus.com.
Director of Marketing Yulia believes that with a product that is exceptionally good at solving tasks of forensic experts, marketing is about explaining its capabilities to the users. Yulia regularly represents Atola at DFIR events, holds free workshops and webinars about Atola imagers functionality and advocates on the users' behalf to ensure that Atola keeps on adding value and raising the bar for the industry.