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Dealing with Digital Evidence Backlog

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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Learning iOS Forensics

A practical hands-on guide to acquire and analyse iOS devices with the latest forensic techniques and tools.

Meet the Authors

Andrew Harbison

Andrew Harbison is a Director and IT Forensics Lead at Grant Thornton

 

Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 31 on sale from May 2017:


DDOS Attacks on Mobile Devices

Denial of service attacks (DoS), distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) and reflector attacks (DRDoS) are well known and documented. More recently however we have seen that these attacks have been directed at mobile communication devices.  Read More »

Advancements in Windows Hibernation File Forensics

Brian Gerdon looks at how the windows hibernation files can be a valuable source of information for digital forensic investigators. Read More »

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Testing Damage Sustainability on SD Cards

A growing number of companies and agencies are now specializing in repair and recovery of data and not on the forensic examination of the data. Read More »

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