You’ve probably watched enough CSI or Law and Order to know what forensics are. Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of criminal or civil investigations. But what happens when the evidence of an offense is on a computer or hard drive?
Understanding Digital Forensics
Digital forensics is the relatively new science of identifying, recovering, preserving, analyzing and presenting digital evidence found on computers or digital media devices. When is it used the most?
- Criminal Investigations
- Employee Misconduct
- Internal Investigations
1) Criminal Investigations
In criminal investigations, digital forensics teams will gather any relevant location data, search history, communications, and activity from smartphones, hard drives, laptops and more. Data that has been deleted, such as text messages or emails, can often be recovered using cutting-edge software and technology. The evidence is then analyzed and presented as an unbiased, compelling witness to the crime, or lack thereof.
2) Employee Misconduct
When companies become suspicious that an employee may be engaging in illegal activity on their computers, or doing something that is against company policy, it can be difficult to approach the situation. A digital forensics team has the skills and unbiased ability to collect evidence found in computers, smartphones, digital storage media, cloud services, and social media, even restoring data that may have been deleted. With the information uncovered, business owners can analyze any evidence to prepare it for presentation to the court systems or take measures to remove the offending individual. If information has been stolen, shared or compromised, digital forensics may be needed to get to the bottom of the breach. Click To Tweet
3) Internal Investigations
There are several industries in which breaches of conduct by any employees can significantly damage the business. In these instances, employees may launch an internal investigation, the bring their findings to the offending party to order dismissal and/or restitution. This is especially common in wealth management or accounting, where fraud or embezzlement could cause clients to withdraw their interests and take them elsewhere. Even if no wrongdoing is suspected, an audit performed by a digital forensics team is often seen as a preventative measure to protect the company from liability.
Protect Your Business
Much of the illegal or inappropriate activity that takes place on company networks, computers, and hard drives can be avoided by properly protecting your sensitive information. Most of your employees do not need access to the highest level of data, and should not have the power to access, edit or share such information. IT security is the first step to avoiding actions that would require digital forensics.
Contact Us to learn more about protecting your business from breaches or illegal activity.