Advantages of targeted remote collection.

April 15, 2024

The collection of digital data is the foundation of any digital forensic investigation. Getting the most out of each collection is the key to cost-effective case work. The ability to target collections is just the leading edge of improved investigations. The ability to target collection from devices on-site and remotely empowers investigators to collect and close cases more effectively and efficiently. Corporate and enterprise investigators have joined law enforcement and government agencies in prioritizing tools providing selective data collection from a wider range of digital sources on-site and remotely. These capabilities can prove valuable in corporate investigations, incident response, and eDiscovery cases.

To target data for collection, investigators use built-in tools to create custom profiles based on specific user groups or individual users. Focusing on relevant profiles reduces collection time and minimizes volume. The value is magnified when empowering investigators to target collections not only from on-site devices, but data from remote endpoints.

Remote targeted collection capabilities

The industry’s best tools provide built-in capabilities for targeting remote collections to extend the reach of investigators needing evidence-seeking solutions:

Cloud Services – Remotely access and extract from cloud services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, iCloud, Google, Discord, Slack, and more.

Mobile – Remotely extract and parse data from Apple iOS and Android devices.

Workstations – Remotely extract and analyze data from Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems

IoT devices – Remotely extract and analyze data from IoT devices such as Amazon, Alexa, and Google Home.

The correct targeting tools can also drill further down on remote collection capabilities such as:

  • System files collection – Remotely recover valuable insights into computer usage through the remote collection of system files, logs, and user data from Windows, macOS, and Linux-based computers.
  • Credentials collection – Remotely extract and decrypt passwords and tokens from various desktop apps, messengers, email clients, web browsers, and storages.
  • Mobile device extraction – Remotely extract data from personal or corporate mobile devices including Android and iOS.
  • Image parsing – Remotely import and parse logical images, and physical images.
  • Cloud data – Remotely extract communications, documents, and other data, even encrypted, from cloud accounts.
  • Capture and save RAM – Remotely capture RAM and save to a convenient open source format for analysis.

Remote scheduling capabilities

Optimal remote targeted collection tools provide further enhancements in allowing corporate and enterprise investigators to schedule automated collections of data from remote endpoints. Regular task scheduling can maintain timely, systematic acquisitions of data. Remote scheduled collections also allow collections to occur while the device remains in the user’s possession enabling uninterrupted work while investigations proceed.

Advanced search and analytics

Deep analysis and flexible reporting can be realized by advanced search and analytic capabilities through targeted remote collections. The capabilities to customize tags, keywords, and hash sets enhance productivity in many ways:

  • Notes and comments: Adding notes and comments to specific data enables better organization and analysis.
  • Timelines: Building timelines of events, advanced searches, and leveraging AI-powered analytics streamlines the processing of large volumes of data.
  • Export collected data: Exporting collected data into various file formats and known eDiscovery solutions is a bonus for further analysis.
  • Event analysis: Analyzing events from one collection or across multiple devices provides flexibility in a case.
  • Global search options: Run global searches over a single device, multiple devices, an entire case, or multiple extraction in a single interface.

Additional values of targeted remote collections

The ability to target remote collections also offers additional solutions for all investigation categories including corporations, enterprises, organizations, and service providers:

Travel reduction – Reduce the need to travel and lower case costs by sending a custom data collection executable to clients, colleagues, or stakeholders.

eDiscovery – Selectively collect electronically-stored information (ESI) from digital sources and leverage analytical tools to speed up the review process of massive data sets. Export evidence to PDF or formats compatible with eDiscovery solutions.

Privacy issues – Navigate privacy regulations with selective data extraction.

Finding evidence quickly and efficiently is just one of many values targeted remote collection offers to investigators. Corporations, different organizations, service providers, government agencies, and law enforcement can streamline their collection of critical evidence quickly and accelerate case resolution using targeted, remote data collection, custom profiles, task scheduling, and advanced search and analysis without requiring additional resources.

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