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UK Home Office report: eDiscovery tools and methodologies can “significantly enhance” digital forensic investigations

Tracks Inspector welcomes the findings of the report ‘eDiscovery in Digital Forensic Investigations’ published by the United Kingdom Home Office. The report concludes that “Giving investigators rapid access to the digital information in a form that they can understand and work with has the potential to significantly enhance an investigation.”

The report details the results of a review of the use of eDiscovery software and workflows in the context of digital forensic investigation, conducted by the London Metropolitan Police Service and the UK Centre for Applied Science and Technology.

“Tracks Inspector works closely with investigators to ensure our technologies provide a complete digital investigation solution. Tracks Inspector has been designed specifically for collaborative review of data, sharing of intelligence and early case assessment with an extremely easy to use web-based interface.”

 

“This report from the Home Office validates everything we at Tracks Inspector have been advocating for the past few years that digital investigators should embrace legal discovery workflows and technologies to complement their existing tools in criminal investigations,” said Hans Henseler, Managing Director of Tracks Inspector.

The report’s authors said there were “useful lessons to be learnt from the way the legal profession has dealt with the increasing quantity of electronically stored corporate information.” After examining four commercial eDiscovery applications, of which Tracks Inspector was one, they determined that:

“There are clear benefits to investigators if they can access the data relevant to their case faster and see all the relevant data in one common format rather than separate reports or platforms for data from different sources. If the investigators can be enabled to conduct their own searching of digital information then the technical staff can also benefit through having more time available to focus on the technical issues which will continue to emerge as technology progresses.”

Furthermore the report mentions that two of the four evaluated tools are typical corporate tools that lack the forensic outlook that is required for digital forensic investigations. The report’s authors conclude there is a clear split between tools with a more forensic focus and tools that require intermediaries to ingest data:

“One tool showed that it was able to accept forensic images, gain acces to elements such as deleted or carved data and understand a wide range of file systems resulting in a smoother and more complete ingestion process, demonstration the benefit of having these facilities within the tool.”

According to Henseler, “This is what we do. Tracks Inspector was designed based on E-Discovery principles and with a focus on digital forensic investigations. Many of the workflows and technologies described in the report are very familiar to Tracks Inspector users.”

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