Think You’re Ready for Digital Forensics? Key Questions Your Company Should Be Asking

There are any number of reasons why a business operating today might consider investing in a digital forensics software solution. For companies that manage valuable intellectual property, digital forensics can play a crucial role in investigating cases of corporate espionage or employee mishandling of sensitive information. Digital forensics can also help companies analyze and mitigate the damage caused by cyberattacks—no small matter, given that cyberattacks affected 61% of businesses in 2019, and will likely affect an even larger swath of the business community in the year ahead.

Even outside the world of cyber investigations and malicious actors, forensic software solutions can deliver enormous value, helping companies conduct run-of-the-mill data recovery operations and ensure employees’ day-to-day productivity, and bolster compliance operations. There’s no question that modern digital forensics tools are incredibly versatile, and that they can be deployed across a number of increasingly common use cases. However, that doesn’t mean that every company is ready to build out an in-house digital forensics practice of their own.

Before diving into the world of digital forensics, business leaders should first determine whether they are ready to invest the time and resources needed to develop an effective forensics program within their organization. Most enterprises and SMBs are absolutely capable of achieving this, but doing so requires more than simply purchasing a software license and dropping it in your IT department’s lap. Let’s take a look at some of the key questions that every business should ask before deciding whether their organization is ready for digital forensics.

Will digital forensics make an impact in HR disputes?

It’s not just the IT department that should play a role in making these determinations. After all, digital forensics is useful for far more than just patching vulnerabilities after cyber breaches have been detected, or keeping track of who is accessing your IP. Talk to HR leaders to see how digital forensics might play a role in less technical instances of employee misconduct, such as workplace harassment or dereliction of duty.

Digital forensics can provide invaluable evidence in HR disputes, enabling the organization to examine cross-channel communications, employee location data, and more. If the cost of these incidents is likely to be more than the cost of a software license and dedicated forensic examiner, then digital forensics will be well worth the investment.

Can your company afford to live without digital forensics?

It’s only natural that one might start by asking, “can my organization afford digital forensics?” However, before you make a decision, it’s crucial to first ask whether your company can afford to continue operating without a digital forensics capability. We live in an increasingly digital world, where more and more businesses leverage corporate data and IP as a core component of their business model and overall value proposition. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to account for the value of their data and IP when making decisions about how best to protect it.

To determine whether a digital forensics software solution is right for you, first estimate how much an IP theft incident or cyberattack might cost your company. Consider how often these incidents are likely to occur. Then consider the cost of hiring outside service providers, who might charge as much as $100,000 for a difficult case, to handle your needs in the wake of these incidents.

Who will run your digital forensics program?

Many business leaders assume that they can simply put their existing IT department in charge of implementing and administering an in-house digital forensics practice, but doing so is often a bad idea. IT and digital forensics represent two very different fields, and most IT professionals lack the training and disposition to make for effective forensic examiners. The most effective digital forensics programs are administered by full-time dedicated professionals who specialize in extracting, processing, and decoding data from a network or device.

Managers who are considering adding a forensic examiner to their team should be on the lookout for candidates who demonstrate a tenacious, investigative mindset, and who boast strong people skills. The latter can be especially important since forensics investigations will often require the examiner to interface with employees over sensitive topics.

Will you provide your forensics team with adequate training and resources?

Last, but far from least, comes the question of what training and resources you will provide to your forensics team. Technology—and the cyber threats that come with it—are constantly evolving. This means that no matter how much knowledge and experience your forensic examiner brings to the table, they will still require constant training to remain up-to-date with the latest developments and tools. Training can also give you the ability to bring your traditional IT team into the fold, boosting your organization’s forensics capabilities by cross-training high-potential IT employees in forensic science.

To learn more about how to build a digital forensics practice in your organization, and to find out if Oxygen Forensic® Detective is the right solution for you, click here, and follow us on Twitter @oxygenforensic.