6 Considerations to Make When Choosing the Best Digital Forensics Companies

Work Tips
2022-04-07

Nowadays, digital devices are everywhere and they know much more about us than we can possibly imagine. But to make sense of it all, only a licensed and accredited digital forensics professional can tie the dots together and get through the digital and hardware roadblocks you are bound to encounter on the way.

In civil litigation, digital forensics companies and organizations play an important role in bringing the truth to light. This means it matters a great deal who you end up working with, so you’re encouraged to do your due diligence and be as discerning as possible in order to select the most suitable candidate.

After all, you need concrete results and not just another barrage of platitudes and promises that won’t get you anywhere. The only question is, how to go about it and where to start? Keep in mind there are other vital factors at play, so remaining discerning and diligent is also crucial for the sake of compliance, preserving the integrity of evidence collected, and making it admissible in court.

Before inking the deal with any digital forensic company, make sure to double-check their professional competency and how well-equipped and knowledgeable they are in the following areas:

1. Responsiveness and support

Due to the unpredictable nature of forensic work, you need a responsive partner that offers 24/7 support. Once new clues about the case are revealed, swift action must be taken to secure evidence and draw further conclusions. In such scenarios, a forensics examiner and trained staff should be dispatched immediately so a crime scene lab technician can analyze the evidence while it’s still fresh.

As you can see in the example made above, it’s crucial for digital forensics companies to remain swift and responsive in the way they operate – after all, the window to react can be quite small. But to make this happen, they must have enough people on the team.

In addition, they should be equipped with cutting-edge crime scene measurement tools as to not taint the evidence and any other samples collected.

car-accident-g80cf46fd9_1280

It’s important to secure evidence while it’s still fresh.

The larger the country of operation, the more ground there is to cover, so a balanced dissemination of the workforce is also something that goes along with the responsiveness and the size of the forensics examiner team.

In this line of work, a traditional 9-to-5 schedule is simply no good and the best digital forensics companies must be willing to work around the clock to bring the bad guys to justice.

2. Digital forensics services offered

In the world of digital forensics, flexibility is a major competitive advantage. The wider the range of services a single data forensics company can cover, the better. For the best results, your chosen business partner needs to be familiar with several different aspects of digital forensics and their corresponding tools, including:

  • Audiovisual forensics
  • Video forensics (VIP 2.0 lets you recover fragmented, deleted, and overwritten files)
  • Automotive data forensics
  • Cell phone and other mobile device forensics (SPF PRO allows you to recover data from virtually every smartphone in existence)
  • Database analysis (DBF is your one-stop solution for de-tangling network fraud)
  • Computer forensics
  • E-discovery and litigation support
  • DVR and NVR footage extraction (you can extract footage from every HikVision model with SVR)
  • Forensic accounting
  • Data recovery (with DRS, you can recover data from any storage media without fear of corrupting it)

This is just to give you a general idea. Bear in mind these categories are rather broad; if cracking the case requires laser-targeted knowledge, you want them to be focused on specific areas within these and master them. If, however, you’re looking for a general long-term partnership, the broader their horizons, the more suitable the digital forensic company will be for collaborating with.

In some cases, digital forensics companies can be familiar with the theoretical side of things, but may be lacking the technical know-how to get past a certain roadblock they’ve encountered. For instances like these, it’s important to check whether they’re equipped with industry-grade digital forensics solutions like SalvationDATA’s Digital Forensic Lab.

The key advantage is for them to be able to employ a diverse forensic approach to tackle any modern criminal techniques and process the evidence without losing precious time on technical roadblocks. When fighting the kind of crime that requires many different forensic disciplines and approaches, It’s much better to work with a one-stop solution like this because it effectively makes individual digital forensics software incompatibilities a thing of the past.

laptop

File errors and software incompatibilities are some of the constant issues in IT and digital forensics.

3. In-depth knowledge and technical capacity in all areas of the digital forensics process

Since technology keeps advancing, criminal justice forensic science is a constantly evolving field. It’s no secret that criminals are getting increasingly savvier in their methods, so to keep on top of their game, digital forensics companies need to keep honing their craft and polishing up on their digital forensics skills.

To do a good job in this complex and ever-changing field, digital forensics companies need to have a solid grasp of:

And we’ve barely even scratched the surface with the bullet points above. As you can see, digital investigation companies need to have a tremendously broad understanding of different topics to stay on top of crime. To make matters even more challenging, it’s not uncommon for them to encounter hardware and software incompatibilities during their work.

After all, collecting and processing different types of digital evidence traditionally requires different software tools, and it’s almost a certainty this will create some sort of operational inefficiencies along the way.

Even something as perceptibly simple as extracting data from a hard drive can be more challenging than it seems after you account for the fact that different devices use different operating systems, different file types, and may employ different forms of encryption to safeguard the data that resides inside.

To top it off, does the digital forensic company you’re working with know how to get the job done without violating the evidence handling and storage protocols and compromising its integrity?

As such, the best digital forensics companies have invariably come to the conclusion that using a one-stop digital forensics solution such as SalvationDATA’s Digital Forensic Lab is the only realistic approach to solving complex cases that involve so many variables.

After all, you need an industry-grade solution like this to keep up with cutting-edge technology like voiceprint, fingerprint, drone, AI, AR, big data, etc.

Otherwise, things could get out of hand rather quickly.

nick-ter-haar-

A one-stop solution like Digital Forensic Lab is like a Swiss Army Knife for digital forensics.

4. Lawyers on staff

Among other things, this line of work calls for a myriad of different skills, so digital forensics companies often need to wear many hats. From IT, forensic psychology and criminal psychology, criminal investigation, and law, a crime science degree encompasses studies in multiple areas in which a trained forensics examiner must be proficient in.

But as the old saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none, so even the industry’s very best digital forensics companies wouldn’t be what they are if it weren’t for having a dedicated lawyer on the crew.

At the end of the day, it’s not only about what evidence you collect, but also how you present it and thus make it admissible in court. Furthermore, proper methodology must be followed when constructing the forensic report, so a company should be equipped with a solution that can generate a detailed digital forensics report.

The bottom line is, a lawyer is the one who keeps in the loop with the best legal practices and will be your go-to advisor when it comes to any kind of legal matters. After all, seeing the case go to waste because some legal triviality wasn’t followed is the last thing a digital forensic company wants to see.

Thus, having an attorney or legal advisor on board counts as a significant competitive advantage.

gavel

Discovering the truth is one thing, but we must follow the protocol to prevail in court.

5. Experience and certification

A forensic digital company that’s worth its salt must demonstrate a strong analytical capability and a sound capacity to conduct forensic analysis in a digital forensics investigation.

Keep in mind that data presentation skills play an important role in the resolution of the case, so having a strong fundamentals in digital forensics investigation is just one part of the overall equation.

In addition, it involves the following:

  • Handling and transporting hardware with care since it may contain sensitive data
  • A firm grip over access controls
  • Strong data security essentials and a response plan to threats and cyber attacks
  • Maintaining a chain of custody for all evidence collected and having it documented
  • Tracking and documenting everything, including individual digital forensics examiner involved in the investigation, as well as date stamps and the location of the evidence

All of this can be crucial to the resolution of a case.

The best digital forensics companies must possess stellar theoretical as well as practical knowledge on all fronts, and each area is a whole separate issue. For instance, companies specializing in computer forensics can know their chosen field inside and out, but may not be the most suitable choice for cases that call for a specialization in vehicle forensics, just to name an example.

So how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? The quickest and most efficient way for digital forensic investigation companies to showcase proficiency in a chosen field of digital forensics is by training their customers and staff while investing in both of these groups’ education.

police car

FACT: According to the US Bureau of Justice study from 2013, the nation’s officers receive some of the lowest amounts of training hours worldwide, trailed only by Iraq, Afghanistan, and Papua New Guinea. (Source: Trainingreform.org)

An online crime scene investigation degree from a leading industry name like SalvationDATA can open many doors in the digital forensics field and improve a digital forensic company’s level of professionalism, credibility, and professional appeal. A successful completion of training by SalvationDATA can earn you one or more of the following recognizable certifications:

Trainning Certificates

1. Expert (SFAC) DVR Forensics Analyst Certification

Demonstrate your bulletproof knowledge of being able to recover deleted or corrupted data from Hikvision or other DVR models.

2.Expert (SMFC) Mobile Forensics Investigator Certification

Make your mastery of mobile forensic tools unquestionable and get your skills recognized by the world’s top digital forensics companies and law enforcement organizations.

3.Expert Forensics Data Recovery and Acquisition (SSD)

Make it known that no form of SSD recovery is an obstacle you can’t overcome.

4.Advanced RAID & Data Base Training

Establish yourself as a reputable database forensics expert.

Trainning in SalvationDATA

Ongoing education is the path to advancement and better career opportunities.

6. Client testimonials and industry recognition

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, the best digital forensics companies haven’t achieved widespread industry recognition overnight. Their reputation was established over a long period of time through hard work, dedication, and by delivering concrete results.

If you’re looking for a digital forensic company you can trust, client testimonials and the total number of years in the business should be the primary metrics to check. Instead of falling for silver-tongued marketing, keep your eyes peeled on the projects they’ve undertaken, the clients they’ve worked with, and their overall level of experience in the digital forensics industry.

These things will tell you much more than anything else.

Take a look at SalvationDATA, for example. Having remained in the business for 20+ years and working with a plethora of governments and agencies from all over the world, the digital forensics brand virtually markets itself through word-of-mouth promotion alone.

Some of SalvationDATA’s clients are:

  • Royal Thai Police
  • Dubai Police
  • Indonesia National Police
  • Republic of Korea Army
  • State Police of Latvia
  • Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • … and many more
Although not every forensic digital company will have a strong and diversified portfolio like the one you see above, their trustworthiness and overall professional capability should never come under question. In other words, you should be on the lookout for indicators of trust and accomplishments in the industry.

Conclusion

The digital forensic company you entrust the digital forensics workload to plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the case. It can take a lot of time to find someone who’s reliable, professional, experienced, educated, available, knowledgeable, and technically equipped at the same time.

However, investing a bit of extra time and resources into it will definitely be worth your while down the road.

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