What Can a Computer Forensics Investigator Do?

What Can a Computer Forensics Investigator Do?

Cybercrime is booming, and criminals are making bank. 2019 saw total losses of about two trillion dollars to cybercrime. With each new app, every new IoT gadget, and every new website seemingly a potential playground for criminals, where do you turn if you’re victimized? Barefoot Professional Investigations provides computer forensics investigations in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area, giving you recourse when you’re attacked.

What You’re Up Against

A few years ago, the Bureau of Justice Statistics surveyed nearly 8,000 businesses about their experiences of cybercrime. What they found was alarming. 67% of the 7,818 businesses surveyed detected at least one cybercrime, with nearly 60% detecting one or more types of cyber attack. Computer security incidents (24%) and cyber theft (11%) were also common. Most businesses that had been victimized were targeted more than once, and half of those were targeted ten or more times during the time in question. Surprisingly, despite the high cost of these attacks, with significant downtime accompanied by costs running into the tens of thousands of dollars, most businesses did not report to authorities. 

We think that — all of it — is unacceptable. Businesses and individuals alike can and should protect themselves, and hold to account those who would do them harm. A computer forensics investigation is the first step toward doing exactly that.

Overview of the Computer Forensics Process

There are numerous models of computer forensics. Boiled down to their essentials, they share five key phases.
Pre-process, wherein jurisdiction is determined, approvals acquired, and a plan of action devised
Acquisition, during which digital assets (and, usually, the physical media or devices on which they’re contained) are gathered, preserved, and prepared for analysis; files and other data — even hidden files — are meticulously copied, with a detailed side-by-side comparison drawn up, since work will continue on the copies rather than the original device
Analysis, which ascertains the activity behind the digital “trail” in order to determine what happened, who was involved, and the person or persons responsible
Presentation, during which the findings of the analysis phase are presented to the client, and/or the relevant authorities, often with supporting evidence
Post-process, during which the investigation is closed and property — both digital and physical — is returned to its owner

Other Considerations
In much the same way as a computer file may not be what it seems, there is more involved to the computer forensics puzzle than what we’ve listed above. Each of those steps involves many sub-steps that ensure a chain of custody, integrity of evidence, and suggestions for securing assets against future crimes or malfeasance. It’s also important to understand that this process doesn’t always proceed along a straight line. That’s because each step brings the opportunity to discover new evidence, or additional context for that which we’ve uncovered; that, in turn, calls for a degree of flexibility, since we will often revisit earlier steps in the process to ensure our findings are as accurate and complete as possible.

Why The Process Matters
Our methods and process are exacting. There’s a good reason for this; like many other services we offer as Charlotte professional investigators, our computer forensics work often finds us working in tandem with law enforcement in Charlotte and other jurisdictions. Our methods are designed to fit evidentiary best practices, so that what’s uncovered will be admissible at trial — even when the wheels of justice turn slower than usual.

So to recap what we do for you:

A full and thorough examination of your digital and physical assets
Evidence backed by a chain of custody that will stand up in a court of law
A better understanding of your cybersecurity to help safeguard against future attacks

For computer forensics investigations in Charlotte, contact Barefoot Professional Investigations today.