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Digital Forensics: detectives of the digital age and the issue of Access Control Policies

Written by Julia Wailes-Fairbairn

11th February 2019

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Sherlock Holmes could identify the state of mind, occupation and personal history of those he met by observing miniscule detail, drawing insight into crimes from information overlooked by others. Similarly, Hercule Poirot could work out the exact sequence of events which led to a murder being committed by piecing together tiny, seemingly insignificant details. In this digital age, however, those famous detectives would have to evolve their skills to include digital forensics. Because virtually everything which occurs in our lives leaves an online trail. So in the corporate space it is highly likely that evidence can be found through a professional digital forensics investigation, despite attempts to conceal it.

Digital forensics covers a wide range of scenarios. From inappropriate messages sent via the internal network to corporate misdemeanours leading to a legal case. For evidence relating to these cases to stand up in a court of law, it must be preserved in its most original state. Much like when a detective provides proof of a crime, the evidence cannot be tampered with. It requires skill and experience to do this effectively, especially when dealing with complex and extensive network systems with multiple access controls.

Although it is not possible to prevent inappropriate or criminal activities, two things are important. Firstly, the key is knowing who to contact when an issue is identified so that action can be taken swiftly to maximise the chances of a successful case and minimise potential damage. Rather than making a distress purchase in a crisis, it is prudent to explore the available professionals and the services they offer. A specialist consultancy which understands the whole scope of information security and has extensive experience within the criminal and civil investigation field is a good starting point.

Secondly, there are steps which can be taken which will help to limit the opportunities for potential perpetrators. From controlling access  to those who specifically require it for a legitimate business purpose, to removing access  from departing employees either as soon as their resignation is received or upon leaving the business. These steps can reduce the scope for misdemeanours and crimes. It is worth discussing this type of preventative strategy and your Access Control Policies with an industry specialist.

SRM’s team, established in 2002, is drawn from law enforcement, government agencies and the military with over 60 years’ combined experience in digital forensics and 40 years of specialising in digital forensics analysis.

To discuss the ways in which we can support your needs within computer forensics, contact the office on 03450 21 21 51 or check out our website.

Or visit our blog:

Retained Forensics and Incident Response Service: how planning for the worst can add value to your business

Network intrusions are on the increase: time to engage a Retained Forensics specialist

Lessons in War: the Role of Computer Forensics