Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

35 JUN 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL FORENSICS ON LEGAL PROCEEDINGS What kinds of professionals are qualified to carry out digital forensics? As with physical evidence, digital evidence needs to be handled by someone with the right skills and expertise. This means someone who is trained in forensic evidence preservation, analysis and expert witness reporting. Their title should be ‘digital forensics expert’ – not just IT or cyber specialist. There is no one dominant qualification for digital forensics, but most industry-recognised courses and certifications will ensure the expert has honed the right skills. Qualified digital forensics teams are also independent, which can be a significant benefit in making sure evidence gathering goes smoothly. For example, if two parties are adversarial, then the independence of the investigators can reassure both parties that the gathering and reporting of evidence is all above board. Likewise, in a corporate setting where there may be insider threats or internal politics to general counsel or outside counsel. We are also sometimes called on as a joint expert, in which case both the prosecution and defence agree to accept our findings as those of an independent expert. When do digital forensics teams typically become involved in proceedings? In most cases, when there is suspicion of wrongdoing, the first thing a client does is call their lawyer, who will then identify consider, dealing with an independent investigator can make individuals more comfortable complying with disclosure. In what kinds of cases is digital forensics most often used? In today’s world, it is rare to find a case which does not include some component of digital evidence and digital forensics work. Digital forensics is commonly used in internal investigations at companies to investigate issues such as intellectual property theft, fraud, employee misconduct, bribery, corruption and whistleblower allegations. Digital forensics is also commonly used to uncover evidence for civil and criminal litigation, including cases such as defamation, blackmail and extortion, fraud or other financial crime, and a large range of criminal defence cases. At S-RM, we do a range of work for both corporate and private high-net-worth clients, which is usually brought to us by their legal representatives, whether the Any device, physical or in the cloud, that stores data is potentially in scope for digital forensics.

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