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Five Things you need to Know About EnCase® Forensic 8

Digital Forensics | Jul 13, 2016

The long awaited release of EnCase Forensic 8 is here.

Working with the forensic community, we developed EnCase Forensic 8 with the users in mind. Our product management team spent time talking with customers, reviewing user requested enhancements, and researching how the digital investigation landscape is expected to evolve in the coming years. With this information in hand, they began working on a roadmap that will address the challenges you, the forensic examiner, face on a daily basis.

Today, I want to talk about the five most important things you need to know about EnCase Forensic 8 and give you a peek into what we have planned for the future. Let's dive in.

  1. EnCase Forensic 8 is not a new Platform: You may have heard that Guidance planned to introduce a new forensic platform with the release of version 8. At one point, yes that was the plan but after talking with all of you we changed directions. We heard from you, that what our forensic customers really want is for EnCase Forensic to enable them to complete investigations more efficiently, not to slow them down. Bottom-line, it just has to work. You made it clear, what you do not want or need is a new investigation platform. We are pleased to report that EnCase Forensic 8 includes more than five years of enhancement we have made to EnCase Forensic 7, but it is not a new platform.
  2. EnCase Forensic 8 and EnCase Forensic 7 are Simpatico: One of the main objectives for the EnCase Forensic 8 release was to make moving to this new version simple. Because the infrastructure for this release remains the same, that is exactly what we are delivering. All of your version 7 EnScripts, report templates, conditions, filters, and cases will work in version 8. That’s right, no conversions required. In fact, you could start a case in version 7, work part of it in version 8, and go back to version 7 without issue. EnCase Forensic 8 is 100% backwards compatible with version 7.
  3. EnCase Forensic 8 is loaded with usability enhancements, and this is just the beginning: We are committed to a process of continuous innovation that is driven by your needs. In this initial release of EnCase Forensic 8, we are delivering solutions to the most requested usability enhancements and we will continue to update our software as your needs change. 
    1. For example, in version 8 when you select (aka blue check) a file, it will stay selected. You can save the case, re-open, and, boom, the selected files are still selected.
    2. Another usability improvement is the addition of a refresh button. This button allows you to refresh what you see on the entries view after you perform an action, like run hash/sig analysis. This is a huge time saver over previous versions. 
    3. These are just two examples of how we are committed to making EnCase Forensic work the way you want it to work. With each release you will see more and more of your requested enhancement show up in the product, and don’t be surprised if you get a call from a product manager wanting to talk about your request.
  4. Managing your EnScripts, Conditions, and Filters just got a whole lot easier in EnCase Forensic 8: Another of the most requested enhancements was the ability to manage EnScripts, conditions, and filters from the main user interface of EnCase Forensic. I’m happy to report that we brought that capability back. As in previous versions of EnCase Forensic, now you can manage your EnScripts, conditions, and filters from a pane on the main user interface, affectionately referred to as “the fourth pane” by long-time EnCase users. You will also see that we are providing default conditions and filters, making finding the files you need that much easier.
  5. More Release, More Focus: Finally, Guidance Software is committed to delivering more frequent releases of EnCase Forensic 8 aimed at helping you get through your case backlog more efficiently. In this initial release we added three great new features (shown below), and you can expect more of the same, on a regular basis:
    1. Project VIC integration that will help you identify known victims of child exploitation crimes
    2. Investigation workflows to reduce the ramp time of new forensic examiners
    3. Triage reporting for your ad-hoc reporting needs during your investigations

So that’s it, the five things you need to know about EnCase Forensic 8. Whether you are currently using version 7 or version 6, download it today and give it a try. I think you will like what you see.

At Guidance, we are committed to working with you, the forensic community, to understand how we can continue to make the EnCase Forensic better. If you have any comments, suggestions please let us know.

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