3 Mistakes to Avoid when Selecting a Forensics Partner

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Digital forensics is an increasingly common part of IP theft, family law and criminal and civil cases. If you’re looking for a digital forensics partner to help with your case, don’t make these common mistakes:

  • Hiring an IT expert

Many attorneys tend to hire a smart IT guy to help them with digital evidence. But you don’t only need to focus on technical expertise solely. You need to guarantee that analysis can actually be held up in  court with ease. This is where an accredited digital forensics lab like Elijaht comes to the rescue. Such labs will:

  1. Pay heed to an explicit, repeatable process in order to secure, preserve, and analyze the data
  2. Keep a report ready on findings that can be easily comprehended by a non-technical attorney
  3. Can defend their findings effectively in the case of contentious cross examination
  • Mistaking certifications with expertise

Judging expertise on the basis of certification alone is one of the most common ways to misjudge digital forensics examiners. Some software vendors offer certifications like EnCE and ACE to certify knowledge of using certain software tools. The certifications are absolutely necessary, but they don’t necessarily testify to professional competency. If you are really keen on the certifications, seek CFCE or Certified Forensics Computer Examiner. This focuses on core digital forensics competencies and processes instead of just the tools. Additionally, ask for lab accreditations, sample findings reports, and experience testifying in court.

  • Not making the most of the analysis

This is by far, the biggest mistake any attorney can make. This involves underestimating the time it takes to complete a proper digital forensic analysis. There are components of digital forensics that can be removed, and there are parts that cannot. The goal is to accomplish a transparent, repeatable forensic process on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the data available and to offer an understandable set of findings that can be shown in court. This is especially true, for instance, when hiring a forensic expert to come up with a set of communications between two parties. This may seem simple, however, it entails establishing a forensic image of each device so that the analysis can be repeated if needed. Then, the examiner can analyze each and every bit and byte on the digital media to make sure all relevant communication can be found. No matter how tightly scoped the engagement is, the process is the same to meet the ends of the requirements in the court.