Digital Investigations

Nearly every incident involving misconduct, diversion of intellectual assets, security breaches, or internal corporate compliance violations contains digital evidence that if uncovered, would prove invaluable in illuminating the event. Often times, the digital tracks unknowingly created by wrong-doers can only be found in electronic form. Even the most sophisticated criminals leave behind digital fingerprints that can unravel their schemes when scrutinized by a talented computer forensics expert. The integrity of your case and a just outcome requires consideration of the electronic evidence, and how this compelling data can bring clarity to even the most complex issues.

The Data Explosion is Here

It is estimated that the total amount of data stored on our planet doubles every 18 months, and boards of directors, attorneys, investigators and corporate security professionals can not afford to ignore this rich source of intelligence when conducting investigations.  Email, text messages, social media sites, smart phones, and Cloud Computing databases are but a few of the ubiquitous sources of potentially relevant evidence in any comprehensive investigation.  Electronic evidence is often the best evidence available.

 Our Reach is Impressive

We maintain a small core group of key employees and an elaborate network of partners that enable us to deliver our services globally.  We work in teams….we’re not just a “one man shop.”  This provides you with the resources you need when your case expands beyond its initial scope.  We are scalable, with a deep bench. Clients in every corner of America and 15 countries have benefitted from our expertise.

Speed is Critical

We know that your case can not wait.  In many investigations, the discovery of electronic evidence is thedriving factor in determining your initial case, in making critical decisions, or in persuading a judge to issue that emergency TRO.  4Discovery professionals understand that world, and we are extremely accustomed to mobilizing the resources you need – when and where you need them.

Our Technology Makes a Difference

4Discovery maintains a state of the art computer forensics lab in Chicago with a large collection of the most advanced hardware and software that enables us to handle virtually any type of digital media.  We can handle cases from one single PC to hundreds of computers and servers containing multiple Terabytes of data.  Experienced at managing a wide-array of devices including PCs, Macs, iPads, Servers, and other storage devices, we can handle disparate data types and devices. In addition, our director of cell phone technology is arguably one of the nation’s leading experts on conducting computer forensics on iPhones and other cell phone devices, and our cell phone forensics gear is unmatched. Our collection of computer forensics equipment includes high-speed remote imaging hardware and file server duplication technology that enables the imaging of servers without taking them “off-line,” resulting in no loss of work-flow.  We also utilize portable remote cloning technology for performing covert collections of electronic evidence in field locations, and we can image multiple computers simultaneously, saving time and money.  Our analytics software is some of the industry’s most modern, including tools for the analysis of “key words,” “fuzzy logic,” and relational / data mapping, using powerful technology to illuminate the facts of your case.

Our Methodology is Effective…and Defensible

Typically, we act as members of your investigative or litigation team, collaborating with you, your lawyers, the board of directors, and other stakeholders.  We become your digital evidence “go-to” experts…your trusted advisors.  Above all, our goal is to apply a simple and practical solution to your incident, one that provides the results you need without breaking the bank.  We help you by… counseling you on the most likely sources of digital evidence

  • locating potential sources of digital evidence
  • helping you craft a strategy for preserving the evidence and avoiding spoliation
  • creating computer forensics “images” of the data in an evidentiary manner
  • a defensible chain of custody to protect the integrity of the evidence
  • analysis of the data to paint a picture of the computer user’s activity
  • producing relevant Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in a format that enables efficient review of the data, including on-line web-based review platforms.
  • authoring expert reports and testifying

These Things are Delicate

Our computer forensics experts have provided valuable results in hundreds of investigations over the last two decades.  We have the poise and corporate demeanor to address these issues with a C-Suite perspective on the big picture, and an immense measure of delicacy.  4Discovery executives bring security insight, computer forensics talent, and business experience to the table, to maximize the value of your investigative investment, to determine the facts quickly, and to help you move toward resolution with minimal business impact. We constantly critique our approach and systems to ensure our methodology brings a measurable ROI to any investigative assignment.

Regulations Demand You Get it Right

A relentless wave of corporate regulations and emerging legislation have raised the stakes for those tasked with engaging in corporate investigations.  While well intended, these regulations have placed a certain burden on companies and their attorneys to respond to incidents or accusations with urgency and a thorough focus on identifying and preserving critical evidence.  Much of this evidence is in digital form.  Consider these regulations and the impact they have on your legal requirement to seek out the facts, locate relevant evidence, and demonstrate a timely and appropriate response…

  • Sarbanes Oxley
  • HITECH Act
  • Dodd-Frank
  • SEC Cyber-Disclosure
  • FCPA
  • Federal Rules for Electronic Discovery

What Can Be Found?

A wide-array of extremely valuable electronic evidence can be harvested from computers, laptops, cell phones, iPhones, iPads and portable storage devices.  Some of that evidence can include…

  • Deleted eMails, documents and files
  • The electronic movement of Trade Secrets and other Intellectual Assets
  • A record of any “Hard Drive Wiping” software installed
  • The root cause of a Cyber Breach or hacking incident
  • Websites visited and files downloaded
  • Email and Instant Message Conversations
  • Listing of the recent documents opened
  • Installed Software (Yes…even if it was uninstalled)
  • Contents of documents recently printed
  • A registry of every time the computer was turned on or off
  • A listing of applications recently ran
  • When the computer was put into service
  • When CD’s or DVD’s were burned
  • A record of every device ever plugged into the computer (printers, scanners, USB drives
  • Photographs
  • Manipulation of accounting software
  • Metadata.  (eg., when documents were created, authored, last date accessed, etc.)

Types of Cases

Almost every case can resolved with greater efficiency with a more comprehensive view when the power of digital forensics is brought to bear.  Advances in technology have created cost-savings break-throughs that permit the application of computer forensics to the smallest of investigative budgets. 

  • Economic Espionage
  • Trade Secret Misappropriation
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Labor & Employment Matters
  • Fraud
  • Theft & Embezzlement
  • Harassment
  • Cyber Incidents & Hacking
  • Computer Fraud & Abuse Act
  • Cyber “Squatting” or brand “Hijacking”
  • Securities Violations
  • Insider Trading
  • Whistleblower Cases
  • Compliance Investigations
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases
  • Anti-Trust Actions
  • Board-level Internal Investigations
  • Internal Corporate Investigations
  • Litigation
  • Social Media Slander