What Goes on in a Cyber Forensics Investigation After a Breach?

Any company that suspects their data has been compromised potentially faces a number of time-sensitive and highly technical situations. The risk that companies run by not handling these issues quickly only maximize the damage to not only the company but the clients that are being served.

Data breaches are not only becoming more commonplace in multiple industries but are becoming more widespread in the damage they lay claim to. That’s why a cyber forensics investigation needs to be handled thoroughly and quickly, helping to figure how gaps left in a company after a breach can be patched up and how security can be restored.

Here’s what’s included in a cyber forensics investigation following a data breach.

Evidence Assessment

An important part of an investigation process includes the assessment of potential evidence in cybercrime or data breach. Investigators will need to seek out a clear understanding of the details of the case at hand. Computer forensics investigators will look through hard drives, email accounts, social networking sites, and other digital means to assess any information that can help provide a picture of the crime. From there, the investigators will then determine the source of the crime and integrity of such data before logging it away as evidence.

Acquisition of Evidence

The most important part of a successful forensic investigation is outlining a detailed plan for acquiring evidence. Documentation is needed before, during, and after the acquisition process is pursued. Detailed information must be recorded and maintained, which includes all hardware and software specifications. This is when policies related to preserving the integrity of potential evidence are the most applicable and necessary.

Acquiring evidence in a cyber threat investigation have to be handled in a deliberate and a legal way, and must be able to document and authenticate the chain of evidence.

Going Over the Evidence

The next step in the process is to examine the evidence at hand. In order to successfully investigate potential evidence, there must be steps in place to retrieve, copy, and store evidence within databases. Investigators usually sift through data from archives, helping them analyze information, which could include using analysis software to look through massive archives of data.

Data that’s been tagged with times and dates can ultimately be very helpful as this helps investigators pinpoint data more accurately. It’s also helpful to analyze file names as it can help to determine when and where specific data was formed, downloaded, or uploaded. Ultimately, this can help investigators connect files on storage devices to cloud-based storage system. Files located online can help point to the specific server and computer from which they were created and uploaded, which in turn helps to locate where the crime was committed.

Reporting a Crime

While companies, such as financial institutions, are handling the potential reputational and legal fallout of a data breach, with the help of cyber liability insurance, investigators are at work documenting and reporting information related to hardware and software specifications. Investigators must keep an accurate record of all activity that’s connected to the investigation. This includes all methods used for testing system functionality and copying and storing data, as well as what steps were taken to acquire, examine, and study the information gathered.

Computer forensic investigators need to make a note of all their actions to a specific case as all motions should be accounted for in a digital format. This will help to ensure the authenticity of any evidence by being able to show the details behind when, where, and how evidence was recovered.

About Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers

Since 1983, Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers has distinguished itself as a provider of Professional Liability, Cyber Liability, and Crime insurance products for entities of all types. To receive timely, personalized service from a knowledgeable and experienced staff, call us today at (626) 793-3330 to speak with one of our professionals.