When a digital crime is perpetrated, rapid action is necessary to minimize damage. However, in an effort to stop the flow of data to unscrupulous entities, corporate management or IT departments may unwittingly take actions that call into question the integrity of digital evidence. If a corporation or individual suffers at the hands of hackers or other fraudulent entities and wishes to pursue a claim in a court of law, digital forensics integrity will be essential. Here, the digital forensics experts at Atlantic Data Forensics discuss the concept of digital forensics integrity, and the next steps that should be taken if you believe you or your company has been the victim of a digital crime.
Why is Digital Forensic Integrity Important?
All evidence used in legal proceedings, whether physical or digital, must meet a standard of proof for authentication. The plaintiff must be able to prove that the evidence is relevant, authentic and unaltered from its original state. A proper chain of custody must also be proven, which is the process of maintaining and documenting the handling of evidence.This allows the court to ensure that evidence has been handled in a way that protects its integrity and authenticity. Failure to demonstrate a proper chain of custody and authenticity of evidence used in court will essentially guarantee the evidence is not admissible during a legal proceeding.
How is Evidence Effectively Preserved?
There are a variety of strategies for ensuring evidence is properly and effectively preserved and authenticated. One of the first steps in collecting digital evidence is drive imaging, which is a process used to create a virtual clone of a hard drive. It is critical for use of the original drive to be minimized as much as possible in order to maintain a proper chain of custody and evidence integrity. All analysis should instead be performed on the cloned drive. A digital forensic analysis can then perform a series of tests and techniques to retrieve lost data, trace stolen or moved data, confirm the authenticity of data and more.
Should I Hire Specialists to Preserve Digital Evidence?
Even the most well-trained IT department is not expected to keep up-to-date with appropriate methods for data preservation, chain-of-custody requirements and the other nuances of digital forensic integrity. As such, it is always advisable to contact digital forensic specialists, such as those at Atlantic Data Forensics, to assist in the proper handling of digital evidence. Failure to do so may jeopardize the success of any future legal proceedings that involve the digital evidence.
Protect Your Claim with Help from Digital Forensics Specialists at Atlantic Data Forensics
In a matter of moments, hackers and other entities can have access to company data, accounts, assets and more. If you believe you or your company has been the victim of a digital crime, there is no time to waste. Our digital forensics team has the years of experience necessary to work quickly and effectively to keep you and your company safe, as well as gather the evidence needed to successfully pursue a claim in court. We encourage you to contact Atlantic Data Forensics today to learn more.