Computer Forensic Services
What are Computer Forensics Services?
Computer forensics services are commonly employed by law enforcement and legal professionals hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the activities, psychology, and motivations of an individual by analyzing the data stored on a computer(s). Using the same principles pioneered in other forensics sciences, digital forensics examiners analyze the digital artifacts (pictures, documents, emails, web browser history, etc.) stored within a desktop or laptop computer. These digital artifacts can have a profound impact on the outcome of criminal and civil litigation, either on their own, or when coupled with other pieces of evidence gathered during an investigation.
Common Uses of Computer Forensics Services
It’s a common misconception that computer forensics services are only utilized in high-profile cases involving multi-million dollar lawsuits or international cyber warfare. In reality computer forensics services are leveraged in cases both big and small. In fact the majority of computer forensics cases that Praetas handles come from business clients seeking to resolve a dispute between an employer and a former employee or two co-workers who have differing opinions about what an appropriate working relationship is. From the mundane to the exceedingly fascinating, Praetas handles every situation with the same level of rigor and professionalism. It’s what we do and what our clients love
Employee Data Theft and Exfiltration
When employees leave employment and take data with them, it can cause huge problems for a company looking to protect trade secrets and intellectual property. Whether the ex-employee intends to use the information to form their own competing entity, or to provide the data to a competitor, cases of industrial espionage and data exfiltration are both common occurrences where computer forensic services can be employed.
Human Resources or Employment Disputes
In the digital age, the majority of business is conducted on a computer. Likewise, a good portion of employee misconduct can also occur on an employee’s computer or mobile device. When an employee is accused of inappropriate conduct over email or through Internet use, a computer forensic investigation may be necessary to assess the full scope of the incident.
Other cases that require computer forensics may involve disgruntled employees intentionally deleting data or sabotaging systems or equipment. Whether they are attempting to get back at a company that terminated their employment, or trying to hide potentially incriminating activity on company-owned hardware, the potential exists for employees to remove or modify data on company networks. Computer forensic investigations can retrieve maliciously deleted data and trace the activity of the employee behind the incident for any necessary legal recourse.
In many industries, regulations govern the retention policies of important data. Especially in the healthcare and financial industries, data stored on employees’ computers can contain sensitive information and require secure archiving after an employee is no longer using a device. For this reason, computer forensic analysis of the contents of an employee’s device may be necessary as part of the exit process at the end of an employee’s tenure. Proper decommissioning of equipment should include a full forensic report of the data stored on a device and whether any suspicious activity took place prior to the employee’s departure, as well as confirmation none of the company’s data still resides on the ex-employees equipment.
Although they are not the most common type of case we receive, Praetas is able to perform computer forensic analysis and investigation for criminal cases. In many situations, the crime being investigated is conducted on a computer, leaving most of the evidence contained on a desktop or laptop computer. Computer crimes such as fraud, forgery or identity theft leave a trail of evidence that forensic investigation can uncover. Even crimes conducted outside of the digital world, including drug investigations or homicides, can be assisted by forensic analysis of a suspect’s computer or mobile device to find a variety of information relevant to the case.