Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

DIGITAL DETECTING: Doug Parker turned a tech hobby into a second career in digital forensics.
Cynthia Reeves | SBJ
DIGITAL DETECTING: Doug Parker turned a tech hobby into a second career in digital forensics.

Longtime banker pivots to tech-oriented career path 

Doug Parker establishes Digital Forensics Group

Posted online

 After accruing nearly 20 years of experience in banking, Doug Parker recently decided to turn a leisure pursuit into a full-time career.  

Parker exited Encore Bank at the end of March after serving 18 months as its southwest Missouri regional president and started Digital Forensics Group LLC.

The solo practitioner firm launched in early June after he earned certification by digital intelligence company Cellebrite (Nasdaq: CLBT).

“I’ve always been interested in computers and artificial intelligence. It was a hobby that turned into something else,” he said, noting he’s taken classes in cybersecurity from Kansas State University. “Over the last couple years here in Springfield, I’ve taken classes online three or four nights a week. That’s my hobby. When everybody else is watching TV, I’m taking classes from 6-9 p.m.”

With his new venture, Parker contracts with law firms and corporations to extract data off mobile phones, drones and GPS devices through court proceedings and judge’s orders.

Traditionally, law enforcement agencies are first to sift through the data before sending it to law firms and corporations as part of criminal and civil case investigations, he said. Examples include corporate espionage, child pornography, human trafficking and credit card fraud cases. However, Parker said because law enforcement investigates so many crimes every day, the wait for digital forensics data can be a lengthy process. 

Parker plans to bring data more quickly to clients, noting he’s made an undisclosed investment in software and equipment from Cellebrite. The Israel-based company’s products are used by U.S. government agencies such as the FBI, CIA and Secret Service, according to company officials. 

“You can be tracked on your phone to the day, to an hour, to a minute in locations,” he said, adding he must be recertified by Cellebrite every two years and pay an annual service fee to use the software. 

Using Cellebrite technology, contents of iPhones and Android phones can be downloaded onto a computer. The software can filter the content to do quick, specific searches, Parker said.

“If a client comes to me with a court order that says I can do this, I just plug it in and do my extraction work,” he said. “It takes about 45 minutes.”

Cell phones store information such as all calls, voicemail, emails, chats, audio, picture and video data, as well as capture GPS locational cell tower details. Parker said digital forensics can even recover deleted items from phones.

Attracting clients
The initial coverage area for Digital Forensics Group is Springfield, Kansas City and St. Louis, although Parker said he’s also looking at northwest Arkansas, where he previously lived. Parker said he’s frequently been out of town in recent weeks, visiting with Kansas City and St. Louis law firms about his company. The work has resulted in seven undisclosed clients to date, he said, noting he’s done multiple data extractions over the past month. Parker is paid per job, declining to disclose rates.

While not a client yet, Kansas City-based Monsees & Mayer PC expects it will use Digital Forensics Group’s services in the near future, said partner Ryan Frazier. He said the firm, which has had a Springfield office since 2013, heard a presentation from Parker in Kansas City on June 29. Frazier said he’s known Parker since the former banker worked for Simmons Bank. 

“I thought it was a good idea,” Frazier said of Parker’s digital forensics work. “It would depend on the type of law that the firm he’s approaching does as to whether or not they utilize his services.” 

Frazier, who is based in the Springfield office, said Monsees & Mayer solely focuses on personal injury, mostly in connection with sexual abuse against children. The firm represents victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in civil cases against the perpetrator or people who could have prevented the crime from happening, he said.

“In our litigation, we’re trying to find out who knew what about prior accusations about perpetrators,” he said, noting Parker pointed out during his presentation “almost everything in a person’s life is on their cell phone.”

“There’s a lot of use we can have for Doug’s services and requesting the cell phone of the sexual abuse perpetrators and their employers to find out what was known and what accusations have been made before,” Frazier said. 

Frazier said Monsees & Mayer occasionally uses electronically stored information discovery in its cases, where the firm asks a judge to grant permission to search a company’s or individual’s internet server or cell phone. It has used Kansas City-based Complete Legal Services LLC in the past but also plans to add Digital Forensics Group for its work. 

Legally obtaining a person’s cell phone is a time-consuming process, Frazier said. The law firm files a request for discovery with the court, and this will likely be objected to by the defendant. That can take 30 days to be processed when filed, followed by a hearing for the judge to rule on the motion. That can take weeks, if not months, he said. If the ruling is in the firm’s favor, then digital forensics work can take place immediately.  

While not naming any competition, Parker said several large national corporations are in the digital forensics space. One of those, Irvine, California-based ModeOne Technologies Inc., announced this month that it has entered into a managed forensics services partnership with Kansas City-based law firm Spencer Fane LLP to provide smartphone data collection and forensics services, according to a news release. Spencer Fane also has a Springfield office.

Personal touch
Parker said his history as a banker has helped open doors for his new business. It also allows him the opportunity to show a personal touch by meeting potential clients in person and showing his willingness to appear in court for cases, if needed. 

“Being a past banker here, I know a majority of the attorneys,” Parker said. “It was not hard to just go out, drop off a business card and say, ‘Here’s what I’m doing now.’”

Parker was hired in late 2020 to launch a branch of Little Rock, Arkansas-based Encore Bank in Springfield. The bank opened its first Queen City branch in September 2021, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Prior to Encore Bank, Parker worked for nearly four years as the local regional community bank president for Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC).

Parker said he contracts out his services and hopes to add employees as his workload expands. Brick-and-mortar office space also is planned in the future for the company, and he noted his role in it is straightforward.

“I just pull data and testify to the data if necessary. That’s all I do,” he said. “My concern isn’t the crime or anything. I just say who, what, where, when and how. You all figure out why it was committed.” 

Digital Editor Geoff Pickle contributed.  


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick
From the Ground Up: Finley Ridge Apartments

Plans for the Finley Ridge apartment complex in the growing community of Ozark call for four buildings, four stories apiece, with 48 units each for a total of 192, as well as a 1,500-square-foot shared community and fitness room.

Most Read
Update cookies preferences