Sumuri Works to Fight Cybercrime From Magnolia

Magnolia’s Steve and Ailyn Whalen are protecting children from predators and leading a global initiative for safer communities.

In the heart of Kent County, nestled in the town of Magnolia, Steve and Ailyn Whalen are leading the charge with Sumuri, a digital forensics company that is not only a local business but also a global force committed to making a difference. Steve Whalen, a former Delaware state trooper and the co-owner and co-founder of Sumuri, shares insights into how the company is contributing to safer communities for children and extending its impact beyond his home state.

Sumuri—a Tagalog word meaning investigate, chosen as a nod to Ailyn’s Filipino roots—is not your typical tech company. With decades of experience, the couple has turned a local business into an international resource for law enforcement agencies. They’ve created the widely used forensic software Paladin and custom workstations, and Whalen is rightfully proud of their global initiatives. “We’ve been working in this field for decades now, providing international training and assistance,” he says. “Our goal is to use our experience to support law enforcement globally in their fight against cybercrime.”

Situated in a former peach-processing facility and furniture store in Magnolia, Sumuri is not just preserving data but history too. Since acquiring the property, the Whalens have invested significantly in the building, contributing to local historical preservation efforts while filling it with their high-tech equipment. Says Whalen, “We’ve invested quite a lot of money in restoring and preserving the building and trying to keep it as original as possible. It’s like old and new mixed together.”

- Advertisement -
Sumuri
Courtesy of Sumuri

While Sumuri’s influence spans the globe, the Whalens have also focused on making a local impact. “Our commitment is not just global; it’s also local. We aim to make a tangible difference in the communities where we operate,” Whalen says. Annually, through the Sumuri Gives Back initiative, the company provides essential workstations to nominated law enforcement agencies facing budget constraints. These forensic workstations are a specialized computer system designed for digital forensic investigations. They are built with hardware and software that enables investigators to extract, analyze and document digital evidence. It’s essentially a plug-and-play, user-friendly system that is typically isolated from the internet and other external networks to prevent contamination of evidence and maintain chain of custody.

Beyond their corporate endeavors, the Whalens are on a mission to combat child exploitation. Sumuri has developed powerful software and makes a unique tool (catchapredator.org) available to the public for free. It empowers civilians to identify potential instances of child exploitation, allowing them to play a proactive role in reporting crimes against children. Whalen explains, “We exist to help. We aim to simplify forensics and, in doing so, contribute positively to the world, particularly in protecting children.”

Situated in a former peach-processing facility and furniture store in Magnolia, Sumuri is not just preserving data but history too.
Situated in a former peach-processing facility and furniture store in Magnolia, Sumuri is not just preserving data but history too. Courtesy of Sumuri.

The Whalens have incorporated a family-oriented approach into Sumuri’s DNA. In addition to being co-owners, they have involved their daughter in the business. “Our company is a family affair, and it’s not just about running a business. We’ve involved our daughter in our efforts, creating a tight-knit, supportive environment,” Whalen says.

With the success of Sumuri, the Whalens could have easily retired, but they remain committed to social responsibility. “We exist not just to make money but to help. There’s still work to be done.” Their story exemplifies how a tech company, driven by a family-oriented approach, can have a profound impact on local and global communities. By combining technology, community initiatives and a commitment to safeguarding children, Sumuri is making Kent County—and beyond—a safer place for all.

For more information, visit the organization’s website.

- Partner Content -

Related: Delaware Expert Dr. Sheng Lu Provides Insight on Fast Fashion

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.