In this digital age, the majority of business is conducted on computers, tablets, and cell phones, changing the traditional workplace model. Now employees can work from home, commuter trains, or field offices with relative ease. While this helps increase productivity, it can also make it easier for unscrupulous employees to steal. Thankfully, these digital traces can be helpful in conducting an employee misconduct investigation.
If you suspect an employee has stolen trade secrets, secret formulas, or other intellectual property, you want to be sure a thorough and proper employee misconduct investigation is performed. There are specific procedures that must be followed to ensure the data that is collected will be admissible in court. A “smoking gun” is of no use to you if you cannot prove the data hasn’t been tampered with or otherwise corrupted. Electronic evidence can be easily altered and/or erased if not handled properly. Choosing a computer forensics company that specializes in employee misconduct investigations can be the difference between a successful prosecution and recovery of data, and the loss of valuable intellectual property.
What an Employee’s Hard Drive Can Tell You
No matter how well an employee thinks they’ve covered their tracks, a computer forensic expert can find the trail. An examination of the hard drive can reveal:
- Deleted files and partial data that have not yet been overwritten
- A list of deleted files, even if the files themselves cannot be recovered
- The existence of suspicious applications or evidence of their use
- Information remaining in swap files, page files, and other temporary files. These can show what the user was working on recently, even if it wasn’t otherwise saved.
- Information contained in hidden and password protected files
Benefits of Choosing an Employee Misconduct Investigation Expert
Even when data is easy to retrieve (intact files, browser history, recycle bins, etc.), it must be collected in a defensible manner. You must prove that the suspect employee is the one responsible for the data and show a clear chain of custody. Simply turning on a computer or opening a file can change important metadata, such as date and time stamps. Forensic investigators know how to preserve important data that could otherwise be lost.
Expert Employee Misconduct Investigations from Precise
At Precise, we know how to handle the unique challenges of modern employee misconduct investigations. Whether performing forensic examinations on laptops, cellphones and other mobile devices, or dealing with the nuances of a social media investigation, Precise’s digital forensics experts are up to the challenge. Call us today at 866-277-3247 to put Precise’s experts to work for you.