There are a variety of situations in a company that may require an investigation involving electronic data. This may take the form of a disgruntled employee walking out with client lists, an allegation of harassment via email or text, or simply an employee viewing inappropriate content on their computer. No matter the situation, if it involves any form of electronic data, it is imperative to consult a digital forensics expert.
Hiring a digital forensics expert offers an impartial voice to the situation.
Consider a scenario in which an employee comes forward to report discrimination or harassment by another employee. In most companies, a member of the HR department would be consulted on this issue. Although the situation may not initially appear to involve electronic data, computers and mobile devices are so embedded in our lives that any investigation of this complaint would be incomplete without a review of electronic data. Potentially, the HR representative might involve a member of the IT team. As more internal personnel become involved in the investigation, can you maintain impartiality?
Can the company do this investigation internally? Sure. However, by consulting a digital forensics expert in this matter, you can avoid any potential issues of bias or partiality that may arise by trying to keep the incident in-house. You also help to reduce the appearance of bias, which is sometimes just as important as actual bias.
Generally, when life throws us a situation that we are unsure about or cannot handle, we consult with an expert. This happens when you take your car to a mechanic or hire an accountant to do your taxes.
The same applies when dealing with an incident involving electronic data. Digital forensics experts are well-trained and experienced. They have the ability to address problems confidently and potentially identify issues that were not initially apparent.
Foresee and Mitigate Potential Issues
In many places of business, multiple employees will use the same computer. Usually, each employee has their own username and password to log into this device, but in some cases, employees will use a generic login to gain access to this computer. When this happens, it is impossible to identify which employee was using the computer at a given time.
If this device is used in an incident, it is unlikely that digital forensics will identify the bad actor. Consulting with an expert can help address issues of this sort early on and mitigate potential issues.
When a workplace incident takes place, companies just want to know what happened. They want to know what the employee did, when they did it, and how they did it. Generally, companies don’t plan to get into a legal dispute over the situation, so they attempt to handle the situation internally. While the company may not plan to get into a legal dispute, they may find out later that taking legal action is the best way to recover.
Consulting a digital forensics expert early on can be a great benefit if a matter ends up going to court. Digital forensics experts typically already have experience testifying in court. Using an expert helps to eliminate any claims of partiality or bias the other side may have. Additionally, digital forensics expert use validated tools and software to preserve evidence so that it will be admissible in court.