Detective on Duty: Data Forensics for the Workplace or Courtroom
Recovering information from a hard drive can entail uncovering data that someone wanted to keep hidden. In some cases, hard drives have been damaged to destroy evidence of illegal activity, or even to keep a potential witness out of a courtroom.
When it comes to performing data forensics, data-recovery specialists serve as both data detectives and computer technicians. They can help to make certain that electronic evidence will hold up in court, uncover content that may serve to prove a case, authenticate the origins of electronic documents and secure user history. Experts in data recovery are able to find and retrieve electronic evidence using techniques and equipment that will keep evidence intact.
Not all data recovery for the purpose of forensics takes place for use within a courtroom, however.
Many employers use data forensics to determine if employees have abused Internet privileges, or have visited inappropriate websites while at the workplace.
Such data recovery can also help to determine if confidential or sensitive data was transmitted from the workplace via a personal e-mail account, or whether inappropriate material was downloaded on site by an employee.
Employers often opt to seek the aid of external data recovery specialists for such sensitive internal operations. Having personnel within the company’s own information technology department perform this type of data recovery tasks can prove harmful to the workplace by creating gossip fodder. In many instances, the IT professional will take a look at what he or she has uncovered.
It can also pose a conflict of interest for the IT professional, who may or may not perform the duty accurately based upon his or her relationship to the employee being investigated.
The Recovery of Digital Evidence
There are many different types of forensic evidence that can be recovered from hard drives, as well as data transmitted via e-mail and over the Internet.
The term “disk forensics” is a catch-all phrase for the recovery of any data that can be stored on a piece of physical storage, which is typically a hard drive. Data forensics as applied to hard drives entails both the recovery of deleted or hidden data and the task of identifying who created the data in the first place.
E-mail forensics, on the other hand, is often data recovery for the purpose of using e-mail as admissible evidence in a courtroom.
E-mail data recovery includes the identification of an e-mail’s sender, as well as important details about the message. The location from which the message was sent, for instance, can be a vital detail, as can the message recipient and time it was sent.
Regardless of the digital evidence being recovered, as well as the purpose for which it’s being recovered, it’s best to choose a professional data recovery service that is familiar with the latest recovery techniques and technologies.
Attempting to recover data without professional help can result in permanent data loss, as well as loss of integrity to the data recovered.