The technology used at the core of business, potentially offers numerous opportunities for cyber criminals to access sensitive information. Fortunately, the same technology offers a high degree of protection from such intent and methods as how to identify cyber crime and the steps that can be taken to uncover it or prevent it.
It’s not foolproof though. It’s therefore down to systems software, internal processes, general awareness and corporate due diligence to ensure the integrity of the business, the privacy of its customers and information.
When an incident does occur though, your company needs to be ready to act fast in identifying where and how the breach has occurred, so that the appropriate actions can be taken, within a framework that protects the forensic integrity of the evidence. If this doesn’t happen, any evidence collected may very well be useless in any litigation (defence or prosecution) or criminal prosecution. A Forensic Readiness Plan is critical to companies that manage and handle critical data, particularly financial and personal, as these are data types that can be exploited by criminals quickly, often before the breach is discovered and rectified.
The list is extensive, as it can involved almost any element of technology involved in business, or the data contained and used within company systems and processes. However, here is a list of some examples:
Internal systems abuse: Where employees misuse the internet during working hours, such as accessing inappropriate material, gambling or social media sites.
Hacking the company’s systems: This can happen on either side of the company firewall; internally by rouge or disgruntled employees looking to cause damage of access data that can lead to financial gain, or externally, by targeting websites, customer facing portals and by instigating denial-of-service attacks.
Financial fraud: Both an internal and external threat from the manipulation of accounting systems, misleading reporting, diversion of funds, theft of financial details scubas as credit cards and bank accounts and fraudulent access to commence systems.
Espionage: Not just the stuff of spy movies, a very real threat from the theft of intellectual property (IP), business plans, product technical design specifications, contract details and other trade secrets.
Forgery and counterfeiting: Often used to enable unauthorised access to accounts, documentation, contracts and the the production of unauthorised copies of products and packaging.
Bribery: Where officials within a company have received some form of compensation in return for information or access. This can be as overt as receiving cash and goods, to more subtle use of business entertainment that influence contract bid processes.
The complexity of information systems and the technologies people use to access them and services by which they access them by is a double edged sword. One side appears to provide a wealth of opportunity and means by which to access valuable data and to obfuscate attempts to do so, the other though makes it increasingly difficult for a would be miscreant to cover all their tracks. Often even deleted or corrupted data can be recovered, and, missing data can also provide valuable information as to a perpetrator’s identity. As ever though, it’s critical to act fast and preserve the integrity of the ‘crime scene’ – the machines, systems, processes, data, etc. associated with the event. This may be present in a wide variety of forms, such as:
And . . . paper documents. Only a carefully planned and structured approach can maintain the forensic integrity of the data. Even turning on a mobile device or computer could compromise the evidential value of the data contained within it, if not done so by forensically qualified investigators in a controlled environment.
Call our team of digital forensics experts and specialist cyber crime investigators today on +44 (0)20 8108 9317
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