Digital Forensics Expert: An Overview

If you are unfamiliar with the world of digital forensics or are looking for more information in this field, you should look no further than a digital forensics expert. This is someone who specializes in gathering and investigating potential evidence from data seized, including data still stored on the device, data that has been previously deleted, encrypted data, and damaged data or devices. 

The data forensics profession is highly specialized due to the complexity of the tasks that are completed and the difficulty in completing the required tasks. However, while you may think that the world of digital forensics applies only to criminal investigations, that is untrue. 

Digital forensics is also widely used by companies across the world on a daily basis and can significantly improve your business working practices and safety operations. Below we give an overview of how digital forensics, and the associated expert witness can support your business to run more efficiently and give evidence during litigation. 

How a Digital Forensics Expert can Help your Business

While digital forensics is an important part of business practices, it is usually only needed if something has gone wrong. Some businesses will never need a digital forensics expert. Therefore, the majority of businesses will not have a permanent member of staff in this position. Also, in the case of litigation, an expert witness in digital forensics would have to be impartial, so having a permanent member of staff in this position would be costly and unnecessary. 

If you find yourself in need of a digital forensics investigation, it would be more cost-effective long-term to hire an expert when needed. At Corporate Investigation Consulting, our digital forensics expert has extensive experience in digital investigations due to previously working as a Computer Forensics Examiner for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. 

A digital forensics expert will be able to precisely identify the source of any network breaches and uncover fraudulent practices, in addition to recovering data that has been deleted or damaged during either of these incidents. Most forensic investigations are extremely time sensitive, with more harm being done by delaying any part of the investigation, so it is best to have an idea of which expert or company you would use before an issue arises. 

Investigative Practices

A digital forensic expert will complete a variety of tasks employing numerous techniques. They may have a standard working practice or create a bespoke service depending on each customer’s needs. It is best to check exactly what they offer before employing their services. As an example, below are some of the tasks that a digital forensics investigation could require for a business. 

A simple examination of devices and networks for your business should always be completed by a forensics expert. There can be more damage done if this is carried out by someone who has only a small amount of knowledge in this field. If there is any possibility of litigation as a result of the investigation that you are commissioning, it is important the investigator has a working knowledge of evidence practices to avoid evidence being ruled inadmissible. 

Examining the discovery data in civil or criminal investigations is becoming increasingly difficult due to the volume of information that is gathered during these investigations. Therefore, it is important that the company you employ to complete any discovery examinations is experienced in completing this task. If data has been gathered from a large company or over a longer period of time, this will increase the amount of data to examine during discovery. If the volume of data is excessive, there is a high chance that someone without experience would miss important information. 

Discovery fraud is becoming increasingly apparent in digital forensics cases, either because of deliberate fraud or genuine mistakes. An experienced digital forensics investigator is more likely to identify both deliberate and accidental instances of discovery fraud. It is also much less likely that an experienced investigator would inadvertently miss something from the information your company submits as discovery. 

Digital forensics experts will also be able to provide your business with information and advice throughout the preparation and trial stage of any litigation. They will be able to assess the validity of the evidence that has been found and advise whether it will be admissible in court. 

If your investigation is not for litigation purposes and is being completed due to a data breach or the misconduct of a member of staff, it is also important that evidence is gathered and documented correctly for HR purposes. This will also reduce the risk of an employee being successful if they try to begin litigation in the future due to the outcome of a formal investigation. If customer data has been compromised during a breach, you can utilize the results of any investigation to give full outcomes to your customers and make them aware of the exact information that has been accessed regarding them. 

Following the conclusion of the investigation, a digital forensics examiner will provide a full report of everything that has been assessed, accessed, and found. This outcome report will provide more information for your company while enabling your business to tighten data security weaknesses. The outcome report that you will be provided with will be written to ensure that it is accessible to business owners who do not have the level of experience as the investigator, ensuring working practices can be updated and understood. 

When to Hire a Digital Forensics Expert

We recommend that you hire a digital forensics expert in every discovery scenario to ensure that the discovery information is understood. This will ensure the accuracy, validity, and admissibility of the data being presented and ensure that you are well prepared for trial. You may decide that you do not need to hire the investigator to give evidence at trial based on the information found during discovery. If you are unsure whether or not this is necessary, you should discuss this with the expert you have hired for their expert opinion of if they are needed. 

 

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