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Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog

Written by DFM team

Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog 

Don Kohtz


Storage, resources and personnel can push digital evidence processing back for months. Is outsourcing the answer?


Digital evidence is everywhere, and it's compounding. Larger storage space on smaller, more portable devices means more convenience for criminals. Mobile phones, flash drives, digital cameras and voice recorders, GPS devices, wireless hard drives and conventional desktop and laptop computers increase cases' complexity, and obtaining their stored evidence takes more time, expertise and equipment.


Furthermore, the evidence is not limited to the jurisdiction in which it was found. Identity theft, child pornography and fraud span local, state and even national boundaries. So in addition to processing a higher volume of evidence, law enforcement must share information to a greater extent than ever before.


Regional task forces have helped to some extent. They pool local and county resources, and are often supported with state and federal funding. They are especially useful to smaller agencies, which get access to personnel and equipment they would not otherwise have. Still, even task forces and the forensic labs attached to them must prioritize caseloads in order of severity.


An alternative, the outsourcing of digital evidence to private forensic firms is often dismissed by law enforcement for a variety of reasons. Yet it has been successful in the United Kingdom, as is outsourcing of physical evidence DNA, drug testing and audio/video analysis in the United States. Thus digital forensic outsourcing deserves careful consideration. 


Why not outsource?

Several arguments exist as to why law enforcement should not outsource digital forensics - and these are explored in Issue 6 - out in February. Subscribe today!

 
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Scott C. Zimmerman

Scott C. Zimmerman is a CISSP qualified Information Security consultant and presenter

 

Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 34 on sale from February 2018:


Device Forensics in the Internet of Things

As more businesses and consumers adopt IoT devices, privacy violations and cyber-attacks by malicious actors will become commonplace due to the insecure IoT infrastructure. Read More »

Data Destruction In Current Hard Disks & Data Destruction Techniques

Data destruction is a process traditionally applied using physical techniques, aiming at the completely destruction of the hard disk, however, there is an increasing interest in the use of logical techniques for data destruction, that allow reusing the physical device. Read More »

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Faster Searching For Known Illegal Content

Cryptographic (“MD5”) hash searching for known illegal material is one of the most thorough methods of digital forensic investigation. However, the technique is hampered by the ever-increasing size of media being examined, and the size of the hash list being searched. Read More »

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