Computer Forensics Explained

Intelligence is growing within the world of hacking, stealing identities and fraudulence on our computers and other devices. Computer Forensics is playing a much larger role both in the corporate setting as well as with individuals in personal disputes. In Charlotte, NC, there were documented fraudulent cases with medical corporations (http://www.insurancefraud.org)  and even a major hack of the Charlotte Mecklenburg school system database that required forensic analysis and investigation from the FBI .

Law enforcement agencies have traditionally been the leaders in computer forensics and have set the bar for developments in the industry. But now major corporations, emerging businesses and even individuals are leveraging the benefits of computer forensics. Walmart and Target both have their own in-house digital forensic labs Why? Because it can save organizations a lot of money. Many managers are allocating a greater portion of their information technology budgets for computer and network security.

Computers are still by-in-large the main “devices” that are being hacked and can serve as the “scene of the crime” for hacker activity or hold critical evidence such as emails being deleted, web browser history, documents being uploaded or deleted related to illegal content or communication. It’s not only the content of the e-mails and documents that are important to an investigation but also the metadata tied with those files.

Computer forensics software leverages this metadata and “hidden content” to reveal details such as: when the document was first acquired, when and how it was edited, printed and by what user. So how does it work and how do you start the process of engaging a qualified agency to conduct a forensic undertaking for you or your company?

At Barefoot Professional Investigations in Charlotte, NC it starts with an initial phone call with you the client to assess what your particular concerns and scope of work are and from there we determine what approach and process will best fit your needs. We utilize a variety of advanced forensic tools, techniques, and proprietary software applications to provide cutting edge forensic services to our clients. Then the work begins.

Our computer forensic team is able to recover and preserve evidence and data from a particular computer, cell phone or digital device even when it appears that the computer has been “wiped.” Any evidence recovered is carefully documented in a “finding report” and verified with the original in preparation for legal proceedings that involve discovery, depositions, or actual litigation.

The steps to investigations are a 3-part process:

  1. First it involves acquisition and preservation of content from the device or devices in questions and secured storage of that content. If the content is compromised beyond being useful, it won’t stand-up in court.
  2. The second step is analysis. Once the data is saved and cataloged it can be reviewed by our team of specialists who will determine what information could be considered evidence and what needs to be thrown out.
  3. Reveal or presentation of information is the third and final part. Once all of the data has been analyzed and organized, it will best serve the agent doing the deposition and/or court hearing proceeding to have the documentation in place in a clear and documented manner- by date, place and person or origin, etc.

In Charlotte, NC, which is a major banking city and emerging leader in substantial business development and growth, both corporations and individuals are at an all time risk for computer theft and for compromising their proprietary information. What if you or your company are targeted next? Be prepared to have a trusted firm who is a leader in computer forensics in the Charlotte, NC area at your disposal. Please contact Barefoot Professional Investigations for all of your computer forensics needs-  info@barefootpi.com