IT forensics for the investigation of digital crimes in companies

In the 21st century, digitization has already progressed so much in Germany, too, that a significant proportion of criminal offenses and crimes now occur online. Companies and businesses cannot escape this issue either, as white-collar crime can now be committed from anywhere in the world and at any time – simply with a few mouse clicks or other digital tools. The damage perpetrated in this way now runs into billions of dollars annually, and your company could become the target of attackers at any moment. We therefore provide you with an expert team consisting of certified IT forensic experts, lawyers and former chief criminal investigators who are very familiar with the problem. We use all our expertise to help you solve crimes related to computers, digital data and sensitive online functions in your business. We attach great importance to confidentiality, securing evidence that can be used in court, and professional analysis of the events.

Table of contents

What is IT forensics?

The term IT forensics refers to the use of forensic techniques and methods to collect, analyze, and present digital evidence related to crimes or other legal matters. It is a branch of forensics that focuses on the investigation of computer systems, networks, digital storage media, mobile devices, and other digital technologies.

IT forensics encompasses a wide range of techniques, including recovering deleted files, analyzing network traffic, identifying suspicious activity, decrypting encrypted data, investigating malware, and identifying phishing attacks. The results of the investigation are usually documented in a forensic report, which can be used as evidence in court and serves to expose and ultimately convict the perpetrators.

The importance of IT forensics has continued to grow in recent years as more and more crimes are committed online and from the supposed anonymity of the Net. IT forensic scientists typically work for law enforcement agencies, security companies, or independent forensics labs. They require extensive knowledge of computer systems and network technologies, as well as the legal framework for investigating digital evidence, which is why we regularly educate and train our team within these areas.

What data is analyzed in IT forensics and what processes can IT forensics uncover?

IT forensics is mainly about collecting and analyzing digital evidence and then presenting it in a way that can be used in court. This includes data from various sources such as computer systems, networks, mobile devices and digital storage media. The data collected can be very diverse, ranging from simple text documents and emails to complex databases and encrypted files. Of course, they also include laptops and business cell phones used for business purposes, as well as external hard drives if the attack was carried out from within the company itself.

A critically important part of IT forensics is the recovery of deleted data. Deleted files often remain on the storage medium, even if they appear to be no longer present and were deleted by the delinquent. Using special tools and techniques, our IT forensic experts can recover and analyze the supposedly deleted data, which often brings the decisive breakthrough in the investigation.

Network traffic analysis is also one of the important aspects of IT forensics. By monitoring network traffic, suspicious activity can be identified and analyzed. IT forensics professionals can also evaluate logs from network devices such as firewalls, routers and switches to determine who accessed the network and when, and what activities were performed.

Evaluating malware and phishing attacks is also a big part of IT forensics. IT forensics professionals must be able to identify and analyze malware infections to understand how they work and the impact they have on affected systems. Phishing attacks often require close examination of emails and URLs to determine who the sender is and what actions have been taken.

To make the field of activity a little more concrete, we describe below some case examples and exemplary, where our IT forensic experts can also provide valuable services for you.

IT forensics therefore not only protects you against attacks from outside, but can also illuminate and uncover internal processes should suspicions in this direction arise. It therefore offers comprehensive protection and can actively help to ensure that your company’s reputation is not damaged and that economic development proceeds in the desired direction without internal disruptions.

Since employees repeatedly engage with non-business content during working hours and thus actively damage the company, IT forensics can provide valuable services here as well. Surfing the Internet, consuming pornographic material, downloading music from the Internet for private purposes – all this can be analyzed and evaluated so that these processes subsequently no longer take place during rewarded working hours.

If an entrepreneur has not taken specific protective measures, he is responsible in the event of an illegal download by employees and can be held liable for the violations. Illegal downloads mostly refer to movies, music and software that are retrieved from the network using company devices and sometimes additionally introduce malware into the company’s systems.

Current studies show that attackers now primarily want to grab customer data, financial and banking data, patents and design drawings, and price lists. In more than one-third of cases, the data was stolen by the company’s own employees. Often, before an employee leaves the company, he or she copies relevant data and then delivers it to the competition.

Imagine that an employee makes a transfer of a large sum of money because he has received instructions to do so by e-mail from a superior – but the money never arrives at the desired location. In all likelihood, therefore, the e-mail was forged, which now calls experienced IT forensic experts to the scene so that the money’s paths can be traced and it becomes clear where the dubious e-mail came from.

The creation and distribution of child and adolescent pornography are unfortunately fast and uncomplicated nowadays. It is often not uncommon for this content to be distributed and also consumed via proprietary networks. If this data turns up on employees’ end devices, the company can suffer serious damage to its image and also come under the scrutiny of investigators under criminal law. Our IT forensic experts prevent this with their work in advance and help to uncover these processes in time.

Suppose an employee brags to his colleagues during the coffee break that he knows everything about the last internal meeting – even though he was not invited to this confidential round. Inevitably, the question arises as to how the person concerned got hold of this information. If he has installed a monitoring app on a smartphone of the privy persons, this can be quickly determined and proven by IT forensic experts.

How long does it take to analyze this data?

The time it takes for a skilled IT forensics team to evaluate data depends on a number of factors, including the amount and complexity of the data collected, the purpose of the investigation, and the resources available.

Typically, a simple investigation that involves recovering a deleted file, for example, can be completed within a few hours or days. However, more complex investigations that require extensive analysis of network traffic or identification and analysis of malware can take weeks or even months.

The analysis of data by IT forensic experts requires not only special knowledge and skills, but also careful planning and execution of the investigation to ensure that all relevant data has been collected and analyzed. In addition, IT forensics professionals may need to use additional resources, such as specialized software or hardware, to successfully complete the investigation.

In each individual case, it is important that IT forensic investigators proceed carefully when examining digital evidence to ensure that all relevant data is collected and analyzed, and that the results of the investigation can be properly documented and presented – here, cleanliness and precise work take precedence over haste.

Which application areas are ideal for IT forensics?

IT forensics is an important part of investigative work in many areas of crime prevention and corporate security, and mainly covers corruption crimes, bankruptcy crimes, fraud crimes, money laundering crimes, property crimes, competition violations, countering industrial espionage, product piracy, IT crimes, environmental crimes, infiltration, corruption, fraud, and financial crimes.

In corruption cases, for example, IT forensic experts can collect and analyze emails, files and other digital evidence to determine whether bribery, graft or other corruption-related activity has occurred. In the case of bankruptcy crimes, IT forensic specialists can analyze corporate financial data to determine whether bankruptcy fraud or other fraud has occurred.

When it comes to money laundering offenses or property crimes, IT forensics professionals monitor and analyze the financial transactions of companies or individuals so that suspicious activity is uncovered. In cases of competition violations, our professionals can review emails or files to see if confidential information has been stolen or used illegally.

Countering corporate espionage and product piracy usually requires a detailed analysis of emails, network traffic and other digital evidence to understand who stole the information and how it was used in detail. In cases of IT crime, for example, IT forensic experts can examine network connections or the code base of software applications to identify vulnerabilities or attack patterns.

Our range of services is rounded off by the possibility of receiving coaching and seminars for managers and employees through us, which provide further information on the subject and can make a decisive contribution to prevention in particular.

What services are included in the
IT forensics?

So that you can find out at a glance which services our IT forensics includes, we have a detailed overview for you:

  • Avoidance of asset and reputation risks for your company
  • Investigation and solving of white-collar crime cases
  • Repatriation of assets, in the event of embezzlement or misappropriation
  • Assertion of claims for damages against the perpetrators of the damage caused
  • Consulting for companies in crisis situations
  • Preparation of expert opinions
  • Position of conciliators in out-of-court proceedings
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Corporate Risk / Management / Prevention in Mergers & Acquisitions

If you have any further questions or requests regarding this list, please feel free to contact us at any time – we are always at your disposal to execute and further elaborate the aforementioned offer together with you.