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Top 5 challenges of digital forensics

These days the increasingly digital world is moving at warp speed.  The pace of change and the introduction of new technologies offer many new opportunities to consumers, but it also brings many challenges to the field of digital forensics.

The top 5 challenges in today’s digital forensics world include:

1. Malware Protection

Where there is unknown malware, there is the potential of corrupting the entire forensic laboratory and calling into doubt the integrity of the environment used to produce evidence.

Prudential Associates always use a series of security-enforcing functions that are invisible to the user and enable forensic investigators to examine unknown code without risk to the integrity of the forensic laboratory.

Our analysts always ensure the highest level of evidence by:

  • Reverse engineering malware,
  • Executing malware,
  • And/or monitoring what the malware doe

2. Application performance

The effectiveness of forensic laboratories is often down to the performance of the applications that are used by the forensic analysts.

This is either because the applications:

  • Do not yet take advantage of modern hardware,
  • Or because the nature of their function is such that they will never perform as quickly as the business would like.

To address this issue, Prudential Associates can devise a solution that allows the most intensive forensic applications to be served from powerful-servers. This enables applications to operate with as little “lag” as possible.

By providing multiple variables of the same application:

  • Forensic Analysts can initiate multiple actions from a single workstation.
  • This results in greatly increased productivity,
  • Removing “dead-time” where analysts may have traditionally had to wait hours before undertaking other activities.

3. Storage

When each suspect can store over 10 terabytes of information on home equipment, a forensic laboratory must be able to cope with the uploading, retention and manipulation of that data. It’s no longer viable to rely on local storage for each analyst. Centralized-storage is becoming a necessity.

To address this issue, Prudential Associates have looked at the advantages offered by Fiber-Channel storage for the initial uploading and subsequent retention of data.

Fiber-Channel storage is:

  • Fast,
  • Reliable,
  • Supports very high levels of input-output for multiple applications and intensive processes.

4. Backup / archive

Forensic laboratories are often now scaled to hold up to one PetaByte of online storage. Prudential Associates have devised a manageable solution that guarantees against loss of data. Furthermore, it does this without impacting on the performance of a system; a system that has to be operational 24/7/365.

By taking a “snapshot” of the data before it’s sent to offline media, the performance of the live storage is never degraded. This provides the users and the business with what it needs: a system without planned downtime.

5. Longevity

The rapid development of information technology and the ability of criminals and terrorists to use them to their advantage, demands that any digital forensic solution is able to evolve quickly and with minimum disruption.

Prudential Associates is working with leading forensic application providers to ensure that we understand how best to improve capability for users now and in the future. We plan our solution to take account of the latest hardware in production, software development, and the ever-increasing burden on forensic analysts and that of the business. This long-term planning and investment demonstrates our commitment to this field.

Prudential Associates utilizes proper legal techniques to collect electronic data and mine forensic evidence. For more information about network surveillance in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC, contact Prudential Associates Investigations and Digital Forensics in Rockville, MD.