Digital forensics is a branch of forensics science. It focuses on the recovery and investigation of data stored electronically.
Digital forensics uses specialised tools for data collection and analysis. ‘Computer forensics’ was an earlier name for digital forensics. The term ‘digital forensics’ reflects the fact that many different types of device can store digital data. Sources of digital data include:
The most common context for digital forensics is to provide evidence in a court of law. Digital forensics professionals must handle digital evidence in a very specific way, otherwise, the court won’t accept it.
The digital forensics process has five steps. Following this procedure helps ensure any evidence will be admissible in court if necessary.
Identifying the evidence is the first step. The digital forensics team will identify what evidence is present. They’ll note where the data is stored and in which format.
Next, the digital forensics experts will isolate, secure, and preserve the data. This step includes protecting the data from tampering.
The analysis phase involves a deep, systematic search for relevant evidence. It can include reconstructing fragments of data. Several rounds of examination may be necessary.
The analysts make conclusions based on the evidence they find.
The fourth step is to create a record of all the visible data. Investigators combine the digital evidence with other evidence documented in photos, sketches, or crime scene maps.
Finally, the digital forensics team will write a summary of their work.
The report follows forensics protocols. It explains the analysts’ methodologies and procedures as well as their conclusions.
The digital forensics team should write the presentation of evidence and conclusions using terminology a non-specialist can understand.
Digital forensic tools have developed significantly in recent decades. Computer forensics began to gain recognition in the 1990s. Early digital forensics investigations used live analysis with the device in question.
However, devices started to contain more and more data. Data interactions have increased by 5,000% since 2010. Relying solely on live analysis is inefficient and impractical.
Modern analysts use a range of sophisticated digital forensics tools. Tools include hardware and software. They can be open source, freeware, or proprietary specialist technologies.
A key feature of digital forensic tools today is automation. For example, tools can filter out duplicate or non-relevant files. This reduces the amount of data that needs investigating.
Digital forensics tools can have many different functions. Many modern tools can do multiple tasks. Some tools package hundreds of different functionalities into a single platform.
Each investigation typically needs several types of tools to discover all the relevant evidence.
Digital forensics can play a critical role in insolvency cases. Time is of the essence. If unscrupulous individuals destroy important data, creditors and the court may not see the true picture of a company’s assets. Evidence of unethical activity may disappear.
Digital forensics services can handle the investigation process when you suspect fraud or dishonesty on the part of company stakeholders. In addition to hidden assets, digital forensics can help find people who are trying to evade justice. You can focus on the more technical insolvency aspects of the case.
Digital forensics can help ensure that your insolvency cases have all the evidence you need. However, choosing the right digital forensics analysts is important to be sure the court will accept your evidence.
You can trust the expert digital forensics analysts at ESA Risk with your insolvency cases. Our digital forensic tools include specialist software that preserves critical metadata. We carry out investigations in an ISO-accredited lab.
Learn more about digital forensics services from ESA Risk and see how we can support your insolvency investigations.