School District Computer Forensics

A specialized set of services to address the unique needs of school district administrators and boards. Schools manage and retain vast amounts of digital data… student medical records, confidential student information, and sensitive emails and text messages that in some cases, are required by law to retain. This highly sensitive information is increasingly at risk, and school districts and their attorneys have a board-level requirement to manage that data, protect it, and in some cases, preserve and produce it during internal investigations and litigation.

Board Member Misconduct

A school district board member is accused of fraud and financial misconduct related to the misappropriation of school funds. 4Discovery is retained by attorneys representing the school district. Computer forensics analysis is performed on computers and smart phones used by the board member to help determine the facts of the case. The analysis confirms the board member’s wrongdoing and is instrumental in a resulting legal action.

School Official Accused of Harassment

A high school teacher accuses her principal of engaging in inappropriate workplace conduct and unwelcome personal advances. Computer forensics analysis of the principal’s computers, including the recovery of deleted text messages from his smart phone provide proof of the harassment and are preserved and used in the resulting disciplinary action.

Hacking

A school IT staff member discovers unusual network activity on the school’s servers that could indicate a data breach of sensitive student records. Attorneys for the school retain 4Discovery to conduct a breach response analysis. The investigation concludes that one of the school’s curious and tech-savvy students had in fact broken into the school’s IT systems, access- ing student SAT score information and other sensitive and confidential student data. These findings are instrumental in demonstrating that the data loss was limited in nature and in addressing the disciplinary action with the student.

Social Media Threats

A number of anonymous social media postings are discovered by school officials with an unknown individual threatening to do harm to students and teachers. The social media content is preserved and analyzed. Using computer forensics and social engineering tactics, investigators are able to trace the social media posts to a particular student using a school library computer.

Pornography

While performing a routine software update on a teacher’s computer after school hours, an IT staff member discovers indications of pornography and inappropriate communications with students. The teacher is suspended pending an investigation. 4Discovery is hired by attorneys for the school to preserve and analyze the discovered material as a part of the disciplinary and legal investigation of the teacher.

Cyber Bullying

A junior high school student commits suicide…the reported result of her despondency over being the victim of repeated bullying at school. The student’s parents asserted they had advised school officials of this bullying, but the administrators allegedly failed to take appropriate action. The resulting investigation included the collection, preservation, and analysis of various computers and mobile devices in order to assist with the investigation. A special focus was placed on text messages, social media postings, and email communication between school officials mentioning the student’s name.

4Discovery has significant experience in helping school administrators and their attorneys investigate digital incidents.

These and other incidents pose significant liabilities and risks to school districts, their boards, and employees. Failure to consider and preserve the digital evidence related to these types of events only increase the risks.

School District Computer Forensics

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