Evaluating Your Computer Forensic VendorBy Baselinemag Print
Finding the right forensic specialist for your business isn't easy. You need an investigative response team that understands applicable federal and state laws as well as the regulatory and cultural landscape of your industry. These recommendations can helFinding the right forensic specialist for your business isn't easy. You need an investigative response team that understands applicable federal and state laws as well as the regulatory and cultural landscape of your industry.
These recommendations, courtesy of Verizon's Stan Kang, can help your business move through the critical selection process.
1. Ask a cop:
When generating a short list of potential vendors, your contacts in law enforcement can pay big dividends. Police and prosecutors frequently interact with forensics experts and know which firms are the most competent and flexible.
2. Study the evidence:
Evidence storage, that is. You can measure a firm's maturity by reviewing how it stores critical data. There's a big difference between a safe in a home office and a commercial-grade storage system with cages, guards and dedicated custodians. Also review the firm's chain-of-custody documentation with an eye toward intuitive and appropriately detailed forms.
For more background, read Baseline's January cover story: "Computer Forensics Faces Private Eye Competition.
3. Where have they been?
Investigative forensics is a hot topic at conferences and customer events. Industry leaders are often invited to share their expertise and experience. Ask about past and future speaking engagements to gauge a forensic specialist's investigative reach and depth.
4. How much have they seen?
Ask the company about its average annual caseload—a useful way to assess its ability to handle large requests.
5. Determine the MO:
Organizations need forensic experts who specialize in a particular industry or kind of investigation. Determine if the firm offers the breadth of services you need, which can include litigation support, expert witness testimony and e-discovery support.
6. What's the weapon of choice?
Forensic tools are improving all the time, but in today's technologically diverse environment, one tool can rarely carry an entire investigation, let alone an entire year's worth of investigations. An investigator's tool chest should include a mix of commercial, open source and custom tools. And be sure to ask if the firms' investigators have been trained and certified on relevant tools.
Stan Kang is a principal in the Forensics and Investigative Response practice of Verizon Business SERVICES.
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