Entrepreneurs with a touch of innovation are rarely to be witnessed in today’s scenario. Integrating technological innovations in most of market-based business ventures has become more of a requirement than a want. With a proper balance of technological inventions, many leaders and business owners can grow their ventures to heights.
Meet, Amber Schroader, Founder and CEO of Paraben Corporation, understand need of technology implementation and has contributed various innovations through her venture. For past two decades. Amber has proved herself a driving force for innovation in digital forensics and is continuing to offer more. She also coined the concept of “360-degree approach to digital forensics” for a big-picture consideration of the digital evidence acquisition process.
CIO LOOK admires such leaders and appreciates their contribution in evolving the technological sector. It takes pride in featuring Amber in the special issue entitled “Women in Tech 2019”.
Here is her story:
She started in the DFIR industry at 14 and really worked my way up through the field. As someone who is dyslexic it was great, for her, to find an area where thinking differently was a benefit. Digital forensics is such a unique space with a constant change in technology and the need to be able to solve problems that are not typical.
Amber and her team work hard to look at all digital data as potential information that people will need to review in an investigative scenario. Whether, it is civil or criminal the need to review it and refine it is all part of the investigative process. They were the first company to support mobile data back in 2001 and that has been an area they have maintained strong support with as it has grown. Over the past few years, the company has spent the time with cloud and IoT data as well as the digital landscape is always in a flux.
They always remind themselves of the investigator perspective. Many companies come into the DFIR arena to offer technology, yet are not familiar with the work flow and massive overwhelmed that many of the investigators experience in the space. Amber always keep that in mind as she, and her team, make a game plan as their solutions need to be feasible to be brought up to speed with any level of investigator with a large variety of data in days not weeks. Amber always knows that her company has to be intuitive and easily deployable so it can work in any workflow.
“You have to be flexible and always have a fresh perspective. Many times, you get into a set pattern and you expect a lot of the business world to adjust to that pattern. However, every day holds a new challenge and you have to approach that challenge with a fresh perspective each time and be ready to adjust,” says Amber.
There were many roadblocks that have come in the way and some that still exist. When she look at the history of what the company have overcome it is hard to focus on just a few. She thinks the biggest one that she can pin down is being an introvert. One might not think of that as a business challenge, but when an individual is growing a business then it can be difficult. Those like her, who came into business as nerds were not the best at networking. She understood what she needed to do to build solutions to problems, but having to grow those solutions through networking always created a barrier. She worked hard to fix this with public speeches and lectures and feel that had made a difference in the reach out to the community with good information and it shows the company is willing to work with others. Being shy is not always the easier barrier for a business leader to overcome.
This is a challenging topic. From her perspective the first problem comes from trying to identify “merit”. What qualities and characteristics in a person at merit-able as a point of judgment? Typically, in today’s culture, merit means how much money one makes. She would hope to see a more balanced view of someone’s merit as not just what someone earns, but what someone is like as well. The other measure of “merit” comes down to education where many people who worked there way up in the field should be ranked just as high as those with formal education. In fields like technology, she think the second point impacts things even more where real skills are required to show true success.
For a nerd like herself, technology disruption is what keeps it so interesting and exciting. She is always in a state of learning that is probably the biggest impact on her personal growth as well as to the growth at Paraben. By keeping a pulse on trends, she and her team are able to respond quickly with solutions that can fit into organization workflows. From simply things like the security of fitness devices in an organization to collection of data from the cloud it keeps the team up on trends and on the solutions to those trends.
My future always holds innovation. As she explores new areas that need a “forensic” perspective she can see a myriad of problems that are waiting to be solved. From IoT cities and the future of their data sharing to personal endeavors such as evidence collection against animal cruelty. The world is waiting for new solutions to problems and a perspective that can move it forward.