I starting working on Monolith for three main reasons:
- My disdain for other similar products.
- The price.
- To see if I could.
In my career, I have used a few different case management product for digital forensics, which I won’t name here. I found that they got the job done but they were difficult to learn and use, plus they are ugly and seem to have a lot of feature bloat.
I felt that these applications could have been engineered a little better and could be made with a better user experience. Monolith is still in its early stages, but so far I think I have it on a path that I’m happy with, though it still needs a lot of work.
Some solutions out there have enormous price tags that come with them – I’ve seen and heard prices from several thousand to close to $100k for case and evidence management systems. The truth is that most case management for digital forensics can be accomplished with cheap products like Excel.
Most organizations want to spend their budget on forensic software that is mandatory for the work (X-Ways, EnCase, Write Blockers, etc.). These tools mostly don’t have cheap or free alternatives, so they are mission critical purchases to keep the lab running.
There are tons of smaller or independent forensics labs that simply can’t afford high priced management systems. I haven’t publicly released the pricing strategy for Monolith yet since it hasn’t officially launched, but my goal is to find a sustainable and affordable price that will work for all labs – from 1 examiner to 50 and beyond.
Can I do it?:
I’ve had a decent amount of programming experience in my background, but never developed a full fledged application. I typically thrive on solving problems and I enjoy working on projects so this was one of the big motivations for me to work on Monolith. I wanted to see how hard it would be and whether it was possible.
I started with a little research and picked an application framework to use. I then just started coding parts of the project and created a rough user interface that would become the basis for Monolith. Then I just focused on one thing at a time until it started coming together. It isn’t easy, and it took me a lot of research to solve several problems, but I eventually solved each little problem I ran into and now have a beta version of the product.