The digital age has rapidly shaped how we communicate and function as humans, whether it be with the iPhone, a digital medical device or a virtual gathering site such as Facebook. Most of these advancements have been positive, however, it has also brought an ominous shadow behind us. eDiscovery is now a very essential tool in civil and criminal cases across the country, so it is important to understand how eDiscovery and digital privacy communicates. For a detailed explanation about eDiscovery and its process, click here.
eDiscovery is unique as it joins the judicial world with the technological one. In 2018, governments globally are trying to compete with the evolution of the digital world and define individual privacy. In the United States, there is no overarching law regarding personal data, but the right to privacy is a common law that is incorporated elsewhere and bound through several pieces of legislation. To name a few:
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
- Children’s Online Protection Act (COPA)
- State Breach Notification Laws
- State Data Transfer Laws
These legislatures are in place to protect the privacy of individuals on a basic level and in their everyday lives. However, when a court case arises that requires digital evidence there are compliance regulations for these. Both eDiscovery and digital privacy can be perplexing, so it can get rather gray on how these procedures comply with eDiscovery.
This can be a very complex topic to cover and grasp, so we recommend talking to an eDiscovery specialist and/or a lawyer if you would like details on the constitutional aspects of your case.
eDiscovery is the search, collection and analyzation of digital information on an individual in response to or for the purpose of being used in court (as evidence).
Every person that uses electronic devices or accesses the internet has a digital record. The nature of how these devices and/or programs process is excellent for investigative needs. Digital records usually have a time stamp and geographical and recipient information (to name a few) and they are near impossible to destroy. Not to mention, thousands of photos are taken of the internet per second.
Electronically stored data can be that broad, but as specific as voicemails, images, social media, emails and entire databases. so what exactly could be used in eDiscovery? Well, anything in those categories – from spreadsheets, calendars and even your virus protection.
Think about it: An entire legal case can be sitting on what the digital record said.
So how does eDiscovery’s process work? If you are in a legal battle and either party would like to use electronic information as evidence, eDiscovery will be necessary. The best way to execute this is by using a digital forensics expert. Guardian has extensive experience in building successful cases in digital forensics, eDiscovery and with law enforcement in general. Our team works to protect the integrity of the information until it is used in court. These experts are educated on the process necessary to analyze, recover and save the information in accordance with the rules to submit evidence to the court.
eDiscovery itself, however, is not merely attached to merely technology, it connects political, security, personal and constitutional pieces. Click here to get more detailed information on this collaborative effort and your digital privacy rights.
Owning or running a business is more than a full-time job. The bottom line is an always looming reminder that you need to do more, to produce or even sell more to keep business going. Not only that, but you also must worry about the day-to-day workings of your business. And one of the biggest concerns for many business owners is their IT needs. With the growing threat of cyber attacks and data breaches, for many businesses, it is a matter of time before they are hit with an attack. If this happens to your business, know that there is help in the form of cyber forensics professionals who can help you recover and find out who attacked you. If your company hasn’t faced an attack, the following tips are here to help you avoid future cybercrime and therefore begin preventing cyberattacks:
Monitor your networks.
Keeping a close eye on your network will help cut down on potentially harmful attacks. Your employees might hate not being able to surf the web at will but having a closely monitored and closed network will promote cyber safety.
Keep up with the updates.
Too many times, companies put off OS updates and program updates. It is seen as a loss of valuable work time that can’t be replaced. So, the updates wait. Not updating programs or OS’s means your company infrastructure doesn’t have the latest upgrades to its cyber protection as well. This leaves you vulnerable. Keep the updates up to date to keep your tech safe.
Spend the money.
When companies want to save money they usually skimp on the IT department, hardware or software. Big mistake. Not having the new or newest protective programs leaves you open for attack. What’s more, hiring under-experienced IT won’t give you the talent to keep things as safe as they should be. Don’t skimp on software or talent.
Email security is a must.
More than one employee has opened a seemingly harmless email only to allow cybercriminals access to the company database. Optimizing email security protocols and rigorous employee training makes it more difficult for criminals to gain access to your company files.
Cybercrime is a sad reality of today’s business world. Prevention is the key to saving time, money and stress. However, if you find your company has experienced a data breach or cyber-attack, contact a digital forensics investigator to find out who is responsible and how to avoid future attacks.
Corporate Fraud: Activities undertaken by an individual or company that are done in a dishonest or illegal manner, and are designed to give an advantage to the perpetrating individual or company.
A generation ago, company plans and assets were tangible. Filing cabinets could be found in many an office, overflowing with paper spreadsheets and ledger books full of information that made the business succeed or fail.
Today, computers, laptops, tablets, servers and cloud storage have become the repositories of company secrets and success. But like the early days of business, there have always been individuals within the company willing to cheat, steal and misrepresent to make themselves or their business come out on top.
Instead of white out and erasers used to change information on paper, files are deleted, digital spreadsheets are illegally altered and corporate fraud has become a digital battleground.
Many times, the investigation starts with a whistleblower sending an email or a phone call. Then the big guns are sent in. A Computer forensics investigator or team of investigators come in and start digging into the digital information.
Emails will be searched, digital activities mapped, information changes noted and when employees log on and off will be noted. All this data isn’t just gathered, it is organized and examined closely. Activity patterns are created and a digital footprint starts to appear for the person(s) being investigated.
Investigations don’t always need a whistleblower to start things off. Often, if upper management is suspicious of illicit activities or even quiet computer crime, a digital forensics team will be called in to investigate.
Once the information is gathered, examined and the guilty parties found, then the case can be created. Most digital forensic investigators, like the pro’s at Guardian Forensics, will give expert testimony supporting the evidence that has been found.
Litigation should be decisive with the evidence and the expert witnesses who found it testifying.
As long as there is something to be gained through fraud, there will continue to be dishonest business actions. With the help of the right computer forensic investigators, the truth will be found and the guilty punished.
It’s a common site; you walk into a coffee shop and see multiple people with their laptops and tablets out, typing away with their drinks and snacks close at hand. It’s nice to be able to work outside the office and thanks to many establishments offering free Wi-Fi, people can work in a relaxed atmosphere while generating business for the establishment offering the internet hook-up.
Seems like a good plan, right? No, not really.
While free Wi-Fi is great for the budget and gives options for getting work done, it can also lead to computer crime.
One major concern when using free Wi-Fi is security. Most places that offer free Wi-Fi can’t or won’t control who uses it. It needs to be easy to access for patrons and hard to crack for hackers. The problem is, many “hackers” are also patrons. And those who aren’t, have no problem cracking public Wi-Fi security to steal information and cause chaos.
At home, personal encryption, antivirus, and firewalls for your router will generally keep you safe from spying and hacking. With so many homes with Wi-Fi, the chances of an outside cybercriminal specifically targeting your system from the outside is minimal.
Since public Wi-Fi is exactly that, public, anyone can get on the network. Different schemes like MiM attacks can easily control correspondence between devices. Just think of that if you’re trying to work with your bank over lunch.
Other cybercrimes like cloning (or diverting your traffic to a cloned site to extract information) and password theft are all too easy when public Wi-Fi is used.
If you just must use public Wi-Fi, there are ways to protect yourself from cybercrime.
First, be picky about where you use. Restricted networks or partially free Wi-Fi are usually safer than full-free sites.
Keep your Wi-Fi off when you aren’t using it and once you get to a trusted network or at home, be sure to change passwords.
Also, keep your antivirus up to date and frequently run scans for malicious activity.
If you do find yourself at the mercy of cybercriminals, don’t fret. Contact the Department of Justice. Their website has a contact page where you can report incidents. Let them know what happened. Also, many police departments will know a reputable computer forensics company you can work with to get more detailed help.
Whether it’s a small business or a booming company, businesses will all need information technology support. Software, hardware, networks, CRM’s and apps all need the support of highly skilled IT persons to fix and maintain day to day technology operations. In many cases, the IT staff is not equipped to handle corporate investigations requiring collection, preservation, and analysis of digital evidence. The daily battle of insider threats or incident responses related to malware and viruses is really no match for the generalist IT staff. However great an IT department may be, companies may want to rethink exactly what they need and augment staff with digital forensics and cybersecurity professionals.
With computer crime an ever-present reality, businesses would do well to invest in computer forensics experts to work along with their IT staff to protect and/or discover where and by whom attacks are coming. Other reasons to have a dedicated computer forensics expert are as follows:
Having a dedicated Computer forensics expert or company on your side protects you in cases of insider threats. Having an expert on your side means company secrets, that may get “lost” can quickly be found and the person(s) responsible will be caught and held accountable.
Working with a forensics expert means there is no place for cyber crooks to hide. If your company is falling prey to external cyber-attacks or internal mischief, a cyber forensics expert will find the offender and protect your network. They have a specialized set of skills that will allow them to address the issues and more importantly, where these issues originated from.
If it goes to litigation, you have an expert to testify for your company. Theft of Intellectual property or trade secret cybercrime isn’t always mentioned in the news, but it does exist. If competition is mounting cyber-attacks toward a company, the cyber forensic experts will be there to find the evidence and support with expert testimony when it goes to litigation.
You have impartial help. Guardian experts are well equipped to look at the data and aren’t concerned with internal or external persons attached to the business. Status or job title have little sway when the data is analyzed. Our experts analyze and present the information with no worry of hiding facts to protect anyone. The data will speak for itself.
Most companies don’t need or can’t afford a dedicated full-time cyber forensic team but finding a service to meet your company’s needs is a wise idea. Guardian Forensics has the knowledge and skill to help businesses with their Corporate computer forensics and investigative needs.