Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

38 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUN 2022 investigation, as they are able to translate the technical findings into presentable evidence and understand the significance of their findings on case strategy. How do you think digital forensics might evolve in the next ten years? There are two main trends that come to mind. Firstly, the sheer volume of data created in our day-to-day lives is increasing exponentially. If we imagine digital forensics experts looking for a needle in a haystack, that haystack is rapidly growing and burying the needle deeper. This makes using data analytics technology more important, to reduce manual burden and ensure that investigators’ time can be focused on the areas of an investigation most likely to bear fruit whilst still ensuring no key evidence is missed. Secondly, the shift to the cloud means the diversity of data is greater. It also offers a certain level of anonymity and makes it more difficult to attribute actions to specific users – for example, a cloud account might be signed into four or five devices at once, all syncing data across each other. This also makes data more interconnected, meaning that accidental interference with digital evidence can have a domino effect on other digital evidence in a case. As a result of this, it is already rare to come across a legal case with no digital forensic holistic investigation, where the strengths of each practice complement and amplify the others. It can also be done as a collaboration between multiple intelligence providers in the investigation team, but this tends to be less efficient. Forensic experts understand the importance that attention to detail can have throughout an investigation. It is not just important for them to identify artifacts which are available, but also artifacts that are potentially missing due to anti-forensic methods being used, such as destruction and tampering of data. It is also important that they not draw conclusions based on the presence of a single artifact and instead seek corroboration to validate or strengthen their findings. This can evidence. By 2030 this is likely to drop to almost no cases at all. What complementary skills and techniques are needed to support a digital forensic investigation? Sometimes the digital picture will only tell us so much while there are questions unanswered or leads undiscovered which could prove critical to the case. It is then that we turn to other investigative techniques for answers: open-source research, human intelligence, or even surveillance. Ideally this would all be done ‘in-house’ as a single THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL FORENSICS ON LEGAL PROCEEDINGS It is already rare to come across a legal case with no digital forensic evidence.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz