The Evolution of Digital Forensics – Part 3
Forensic experts must exercise considerable caution when approaching digital evidence, since there is some legal argument that any opened computer file has already been tampered with, changing its content and thus the quality of the information (evidence) it provides. Developing and maintaining professional competence is necessary to assure:
- all the appropriate evidence is recognized and collected,
- irrelevant materials are also recognized and discarded, and
- accurate assessment of the data’s meaning in relation to evidentiary requirements.
Improper handling or examination can be sufficient to eradicate, damage or alter digital evidence. Failure to take the proper precautions or demonstrate suitable professional acumen can not only challenge, but potentially ruin, a digital report or presentation. Thus, the forensic practitioner’s job description exceeds mere expert collection of evidence.
However, an evidentiary trail exists for every activity launched online, every digital step taken, every document drafted or deleted. Each can be tracked with relative assurance by using digital forensics.
Most essential is:
- collecting and securing data without corrupting or compromising their content,
- assuring no critical data is withheld.
- exercising due diligence and appropriate professional skill during data analysis, interpretation, documentation and preservation, and
- developing suitable electronic disclosure strategies for courtroom application, involving collaboration with attorneys and paralegals.
If you would like more information about eDiscovery or how TERIS solutions can assist you, please contact us!
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