Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Role Of Computer Forensics In Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation is not a new term. With the advancement in technology and surge in the number of users, the scope of workplace investigations has only increased. The basic workplace conflicts remain the same – from spat between bosses and subordinates to an employee having cheated the firm by providing false prior employment data. Today, these investigations are conducted more because of inappropriate usage of technology.

Computer Forensics

While people-centric issues can be resolved using traditional methods, ones involving computer fraud require intervention of highly trained individuals. This is where computer forensics comes into play.

What is computer forensics?

By definition, computer forensics refers to the process of collating evidences, analysis, and reporting of data to the management. Very often, use of computer forensics can help prevent a crime.

How is computer forensics carried out?

The whole process can be broken down in 3 broad stages:

1) Preparation and collation of data: It is first determined as to who would be a part of the investigating team, which typically involves management and HR of the firm. The team then checks whether the computer’s built-in auditing system is turned on and whether data has been logged correctly. The firm’s management may also need to interview the people involved. A computer expert determines whether the firm’s auditing system is up to the mark or not.

2) Analysis: After sufficient data has been collected, it is time to evaluate the evidences. Today there are various tools available for computer forensics experts to be able to evaluate the data. At this stage, it is essential to verify the sanctity of data and to keep the process impartial – to only rely on data found on computers.

3) Reporting: Once data has been analyzed and results have been arrived upon, the investigating team presents it to the management. It is then the responsibility of the management to decide further course of action; this could result in leaving the responsible person with warning or imposing penalty on them.

Issues to be taken into consideration

While computer forensics is a very robust way of conducting investigations, it can be faced with several challenges like encryption issues, legal issues, or even anti-forensic methods used by the accused.

Where is computer forensics useful?

Some of the common workplace issues that require computer forensics are:

1) Data forgery

2) Incorrect data furnished by employee in instances of prior employment, project details, etc

3) Disagreement instances between boss and subordinate on project data

4) Inappropriate email and internet use

5) Regulatory compliance issues


Post a Comment