Tech & Innovation

Daybreak acquires digital evidence specialist Cernam

By Business & Finance
13 February 2014

Daybreak, the specialist provider of IT services to the biotech sector, has acquired Cernam – a digital evidence and investigations business based at UCD.

Daybreak, an independent private company established in 2013 through Élan’s outsourcing of its entire IT function, aims to generate $10mn in revenues over three years from the $1.4bn digital evidence market.

As part of the acquisition, Owen O’Connor the founder and managing director of Cernam joins Daybreak as VP of Digital Evidence. In addition to the existing Cernam employees, Daybreak will recruit 12 new staff in Dublin and California to develop software and provide services in e-discovery and digital forensics – the two areas at the core of the digital evidence market.

Digital evidence is information stored or transmitted in digital form that may be used in court or during an investigation. Within the digital evidence market, Cernam is a leader in the online evidence space, meaning digital evidence coming from online sources – cloud services like Dropbox, social networks like Facebook, web-based applications like, corporate and government websites. Cernam’s technology essentially applies the principles of digital evidence to the online realm so as to allow online content be used as digital evidence, in the same way as email or electronic documents.

Announcing the acquisition, Daybreak CEO, Kevin Barrett said: “Given the nature of the biotech sector, companies are inclined to be involved in heavy compliance and litigation activity requiring digital evidence services. Through Cernam’s proven and highly complementary skill-set, Daybreak is adding much sought-after e-discovery and digital forensics products and services to our already specialist capabilities.”

He added: “Cernam represents the first acquisition by Daybreak and we intend to acquire other companies whose product and service offerings complement and expand our unique IT service capability to the biotech sector.”

Daybreak is entering the digital evidence market at a time of rapid growth, with industry analysts Gartner forecasting that the e-discovery software market alone will be worth $2.9billion by 2017.  At the corporate level, this growth is driven by increasing litigation and the emergence of new content sources. The market is also driven by employees’ increasing use of personal mobile devices and cloud services. These major socio-technological shifts and a blurring of the lines between work and personal data, mean that corporate IT structures are becoming outmoded in both governance and risk management terms.

Patrick Roberts, Daybreak’s chief information security officer, said: “This acquisition will enable Daybreak to offer valuable and innovative online evidence services and products to this growing market. We plan to invest several million dollars in the acquired products and services by building out our software development team in Dublin.  We will also grow our service delivery team in both Ireland and California where we are confident our combined service and product offerings will become a winning combination for Daybreak and its customers.”

Cernam founder and now VP of Digital Evidence at Daybreak, Owen O’Connor, said: “I’m delighted to join the Daybreak team. Daybreak has huge marketing advantage, considering its biotech focus. Daybreak not only has the financial resources to invest appropriately but also the vision to take Cernam solutions to a whole new level.” He added, “Given the blurring lines between work and personal data we believe a significant number of litigants will have to deal with increasing amounts of online evidence.  We also know that biotech firms face high levels of litigation and that they are also very conscious of technology changes, so we see a strong market for our services and products in addressing our clients’ digital evidence challenges.”