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 Gillware Digital Forensics 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, Gillware Digital Forensics examiners handle every case with the same level of rigor and professionalism. It’s what we do and what our clients love.
When employees leave a company 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 an existing 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. 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 data from 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.
Although they are not the most common type of case we receive, Gillware Digital Forensics is able to perform computer forensic analysis and investigation for criminal cases. In many cases, 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 to find a variety of information relevant to the case.
Gillware’s Computer Forensics Services
Getting its start as a professional data recovery lab, Gillware brings a unique perspective to the field of digital and computer forensics. Although there are many parallels that can be drawn between data recovery and digital forensics, there are also some distinct differences. In computer forensics it’s all about answering questions. Who was accessing the computer and when? What were they accessing and why? On the other hand, Gillware’s data recovery clients are after one thing and one thing only: to get their lost data back. Answering the hows and whys is not nearly as important as answering the question “can you get all the pictures of my grandchildren back?” Although the objectives might be different, the decades of experience our digital forensics examiners bring to the table and the tools and techniques that make Gillware great at data recovery help make us truly exceptional at digital forensics.
Whether the computer has been physically damaged, logically corrupted, or maliciously attacked, Gillware’s recovery engineers and forensic investigators collaborate to put Humpty Dumpty back together while helping our clients understand why he fell off the wall in the first place.
To learn more about computer forensics, visit our informational page here.
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