Accelerate case resolution using targeted data collection.

April 29, 2024

With the rise of diverse digital technologies and the explosive growth of big data, digital investigations can be extraordinarily labor-intensive. The siloed nature of data across numerous devices and file types exacerbates this issue, making it harder still for investigators to keep up. Yet the urgent nature of investigations demands an immediate solution.

Digital investigators work against the clock. While fast case resolution is the goal, they don’t want to miss any hidden facts that could alter the outcome. So, when gathering data, they must cast a sufficiently wide net while simultaneously pinpointing key evidence as quickly as possible.

Targeted data collection empowers investigators to balance these two conflicting requirements. It lets them probe massive data sets in a wide range of devices and environments then extract only the specific type of data they need. With a smaller data set to analyze, they move faster toward resolution.

The best collection tools enable a multifaceted approach

Access to a variety of approaches to targeted collections empowers investigators to be more nimble and move to resolution more quickly.

  • Investigations can be accelerated using targeted collections of both onsite and remote endpoints. Remote collection increases the ease and speed with which investigators can efficiently gather data because the devices don’t need to be in-hand. Furthermore, the nature of digital data can make it easy for the targets of investigations to mishandle key information, either inadvertently or deliberately. In corporate settings in particular, investigators may need to reconstruct a course of events quickly and discreetly to help prevent unwanted consequences, such as data hiding, loss, or leaks. With the proper tools, targeted remote collection can be set up to take place with minimal intrusion and awareness. Collections can be scheduled to occur at regular intervals, or in off-hours, when network data loads or device usage may be lighter.
  • Investigators can customize search profiles in targeted collections, selecting from a wide range of options including applications, system artifacts, passwords, and tokens to drive easily repeatable, hyper-focused searches.
  • Targeted cloud data extraction gives investigators the option to focus their efforts on retrieving only the cloud data directly relevant to the investigation. They may gather data from select email platforms, collaboration tools, or productivity suites, compiling evidence related to specific user activities, communications, and file sharing, among other options.
  • To more quickly sort through thousands of images and videos, investigators can harness the power of targeted facial and image recognition. Efficiency increases by establishing face sets and managing similarity ratings to leave out images that aren’t relevant, all while hiding thumbnails of disturbing images and videos determined not to be needed.

Even when an entity’s data preservation rules require the collection and preservation of all data from a device, targeted collection can still be enabled to streamline the search for the facts being sought.

The scale and complexity of data today has stacked the odds against investigators seeking fast resolution to their cases. By embracing digital forensics tools built for targeted collecting, such as Oxygen Remote Explorer, investigators can accelerate their research and the delivery of results.

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