Choosing the Right Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage

In the digital age, it’s no longer a question of whether a company will experience a cybersecurity breach, but a matter of when. Cyberattacks can be devastating for organizations, causing lasting damage to their reputation, financial stability, and customer trust. That’s where cyber liability insurance coverage comes into play. By providing financial protection and support in the event of a cyber incident, this insurance can be an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. In this post, we’ll explore what cyber liability insurance coverage is, why it’s important, and how to choose the right policy for your needs.

Understanding Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage:

Cyber liability insurance coverage provides financial protection and support in the event of a cyber incident. The coverage can include data breach response, liability, and business interruption. Key components of cyber liability insurance coverage can include forensic investigations, legal services, breach notifications, public relations, and credit monitoring. Types of coverage available include first-party coverage to address immediate damage and third-party coverage to address damage to clients, third-party contractors, and suppliers.

What is covered and what is not covered can vary by policy, but some covered areas may include business interruption losses, data restoration costs, liability claims, and crisis management expenses. Areas that may not be covered include cyber terrorism, intellectual property disputes, bodily injury or property damage, and illegal activities by employees.

Reasons to Consider Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage:

There are several reasons why organizations should consider cyber liability insurance coverage. First and foremost, cyber incidents can result in significant financial losses, including from legal fees, compliance penalties, and business interruptions. Cyber liability insurance coverage provides a means of mitigating these losses and avoiding bankruptcy. Secondly, a cyber incident can damage an organization’s reputation, trust in the brand, and customer loyalty. Cyber liability insurance coverage can help protect and minimize this damage. Thirdly, management can have peace of mind knowing there is a plan in place to handle a cyber incident. Finally, meeting regulatory requirements can be easier with cyber liability insurance coverage in place.

Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage and the NIST Cyber Security Framework:

The NIST Cyber Security Framework (CSF) is a well-respected set of guidelines for protecting against and responding to cyber incidents. Cyber liability insurance coverage is a complementary way to mitigate financial losses. Together, the NIST CSF and cyber liability insurance coverage can provide significant risk management benefits. A NIST CSF-aligned policy can provide coverage that protects specific assets, operations, and systems, and its adoption can improve overall cybersecurity posture.

Choosing the Right Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage:

Choosing the right cyber liability insurance coverage can be a complicated process but understanding factors like claims history, coverages included, costs, and limitations are essential. Evaluating insurance providers can be another challenge. Some questions to ask include (1) how long they’ve been in business, (2) how experienced their underwriters are, (3) how they handle claims, and (4) how they prevent fraud. Working with a broker or consultant experienced in cyber insurance can be helpful in navigating the complexity of choosing and managing policies.


In conclusion, cyber liability insurance coverage is an essential tool for any organization looking to protect itself from financial harm and reputational damage resulting from a cyber incident. Organizations need to understand the components of the coverage, why it matters, and how to choose the right policy for their unique needs. Ultimately, investment in cyber liability insurance coverage is an investment in the overall health and well-being of a business in today’s digital age. Organizations should evaluate their cyber liability insurance coverage needs now and make sure they have appropriate policies for their needs.

How to Make E-Discovery More Cost-Effective

E-discovery is an integral part of modern litigation and often necessary to navigate the masses of data to find evidence, so it is an important process to get right. Unfortunately, e-discovery expenses can quickly add up and account for a sizable portion of a case’s budget. In today’s article, I will discuss strategies for reducing e-discovery expenses and making the process more cost-effective. In addition to data reduction, other cost saving approaches include establishing clear production guidelines, utilizing technology-assisted review software, and maintaining effective communication with opposing counsel.

Why e-discovery can be expensive

E-discovery is a complex and time-consuming process, often resulting in high costs. These costs add up quickly when large quantities of data need to be collected, preserved, and then reviewed for relevance and privilege, which means that the process of identifying relevant evidence can be arduous and time-consuming. The cost of e-discovery can increase rapidly if not managed effectively, therefore it is crucial to identify cost-saving strategies while maintaining the quality of the discovery process.

A well-conceived plan can play a significant role in alleviating some of the high costs involved in e-discovery.  Establishing clear and specific protocols will streamline efficiency and ensure the e-discovery process runs smoothly.

Strategies to Reduce Data Review

One of the principal methods of cutting e-discovery expenses is through data reduction. The idea is to decrease the number of files that need to be reviewed, minimizing the amount of work involved. This can be done using several methods, to include culling by date range or custodian, searching for specific terms, and by employing technology-assisted review. This strategy specifically focuses on reducing the size of the data set being analyzed.

Establishing clear production guidelines

Clear and conceivable production guidelines prevent misunderstandings and disputes, saving time and money. Guidelines should detail what is relevant and discoverable, the format of the production, and confidentiality concerns. Attorneys should agree on these protocols with opposing counsel, particularly confidentiality obligations and expectations regarding the discovery process.

Technology-Assisted Review

Technology-assisted review software employs artificial intelligence to review, classify, and prioritize documents to be reviewed by humans. This method can reduce the cost, time, and man-hours associated with these types of reviews, in turn significantly reducing e-discovery expenses. Using this approach can automate much of the work involved in the document review process while increasing the accuracy and efficiency of the legal process.

Communication with Opposing Counsel

Effective communication is of utmost importance when seeking to reduce e-discovery expenses. Counsel must agree to a protocol regarding what information must be shared, how it will be shared, and when. A clear and concise message helps prevent confusion and ensures the legal process runs smoothly. Regular communication between parties not only increases transparency and honesty in the discovery process but also reduces the risk of disputes.


In conclusion, e-discovery is a core aspect of modern litigation, and while it can be expensive, there are several ways to make it cost-effective. By employing the methods discussed in this article, both parties will reduce legal fees, time, and stress associated with the e-discovery process. Efficient and cost-effective e-discovery offers clients peace of mind, allowing the development of stronger cases while managing costs.

Holistic Security Services: A Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity

In today’s technology-driven world, the success of any business is heavily dependent on its ability to effectively secure and protect its assets from various cyber threats. With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks, businesses need to adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to cybersecurity to prevent, detect, and respond to a variety of security incidents.

Holistic Security Services is a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that integrates various cybersecurity efforts into the daily tasks of a business. This approach involves a proactive and reactive measure, along with quantitative and qualitative analysis, to create a balanced approach to cybersecurity.


Prevention is the first and foremost goal of cybersecurity. To achieve this goal, businesses need to establish a budget and follow best practices. To understand where to start and focus efforts, businesses need to evaluate their current security posture. This baseline is essential before setting security goals. After security goals are established for the entire organization, additional best practices include assessing the current risks, and applying these assessments to secure systems, networks, and applications with a strategy to prevent every attempted security breach.

The culture of an organization is critical to creating a successful security foundation. It starts at the top of every organization by emphasizing the importance of security to everyone. The security of an organization is not only crucial while on work premises but also at home -it is in the best interest of a business to stress the importance of being security-minded in all aspects of an employee’s life, both professionally and personally.  The attitude and culture of an organization will determine its security level. Practicing security-minded exercises routinely can ensure employees remember and follow best practices and procedures when they encounter new and evolving scenarios that have a potential to present a threat.


Secondly, organizations must focus their efforts on detection.  Detection is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity since preventing all security breaches is impossible. Businesses need to implement a strategy to detect every attempt to compromise their security.

Detection strategy implementations should include:

  • Infrastructure Governance
    Infrastructure governance is the secure implementation of systems, networks, and applications through proper governance. Following best practices and complying with regulations are also part of governance. Establishing infrastructure governance can help automate security and minimize costs, reducing overhead in securing an organization.
  • Intelligence and Industry Knowledge and Experience
    Intelligence is crucial to monitoring the ever-changing threats to both the organization and the business industry. This will be the knowledge or intelligence needed to prioritize security threats. Ensuring that the security service provider has the knowledge and experience of the business and industry is also essential.


Lastly, an effective response to a security incident requires some level of forensics capability. This approach now requires a “Forensics Response” to ensure that a “defensible process” is documented to defend actions for legal obligations, as well as keeping the business operating securely. Strategizing to respond to every event with regular organizational meetings to make informed decisions is crucial.

Forensics techniques can and should be used by any organization to protect from technical and legal related issues. However, it is essential to use a third-party forensics service provider to avoid conflicts of interest when defending regulatory and legal issues. Only a qualified third-party forensics services provider can provide expert sworn testimony verifying and validating the investigation as a “defensible process.”

When a business interruption occurs due to a potential security event, it is vital to have a comprehensive plan in place to continue business operations securely until a full and complete recovery can occur, regardless of the size and scope of the event or disaster. This is where a holistic security services approach and plan implementation comes into play.

In conclusion, cybersecurity encompasses a broad range of activities – following appropriate security measures does not have to be intimidating or complicated. Adopting a Holistic Security Services approach can help businesses focus their efforts on proactive measures before engaging in reactive countermeasures. By applying all efforts in a balanced approach, businesses can keep costs at the lowest optimal desired goals.

eDiscovery vs Digital Forensics Services

eDiscovery services and digital forensic services are two related but distinct areas of expertise within the field of information technology. Both are concerned with investigating digital data for the purpose of uncovering information relevant to legal or investigative matters, but there are some key differences between the two.

eDiscovery services are focused on the collection, processing, review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) for use in legal proceedings. eDiscovery specialists work with legal teams to identify and preserve relevant data, analyze it for relevance and responsiveness, and produce it in a format that is admissible in court. eDiscovery services may include tasks such as data mapping, data preservation, data collection, data processing, document review, and production.

Digital forensic services, on the other hand, are concerned with the collection, analysis, and preservation of digital evidence for use in legal or investigative matters. Digital forensics experts are typically called in to investigate computer systems or other digital devices that have been compromised, hacked, or otherwise tampered with. They use specialized tools and techniques to extract data from the device, analyze it for evidence of wrongdoing, and present their findings in a clear and concise manner.

The Process:

eDiscovery Services:

As mentioned in the article introduction, eDiscovery services involve the identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, and production of ESI in response to legal requests or requirements. The goal of eDiscovery is to help legal teams find relevant evidence and information in digital documents, emails, messages, social media posts, and other electronic data.

eDiscovery services typically start with identifying and preserving relevant data. This involves working with clients to map out their data sources, establish a defensible preservation plan, and collect the relevant data in a forensically sound manner. The data is then processed to eliminate duplicates and filter out irrelevant information, so that only responsive data is reviewed.

Once the relevant data has been identified and processed, it is reviewed by a team of attorneys and subject matter experts who analyze the information to determine its relevance to the case. The reviewed data is then produced in a format that is admissible in court, such as PDFs or TIFF images, along with metadata that can be used to authenticate the data.

Digital Forensic Services:

Digital forensic services involve the acquisition, analysis, and preservation of digital evidence to support legal or investigative matters. Digital forensic experts use specialized tools and techniques to examine digital devices such as computers, mobile phones, vehicles, and other storage devices, and extract data for further analysis.

Digital forensic investigations can be complex and time-consuming, requiring a thorough understanding of computer systems and digital storage devices. Forensic experts typically use a variety of tools and techniques to acquire data, including imaging the hard drive or device, carving out specific files, or analyzing the data in a live environment.

Once the data has been acquired, it is analyzed to determine whether any evidence of wrongdoing can be found. As an example, a computer forensic analysis may involve examining deleted files, analyzing network logs, or searching for evidence of malware or hacking. The findings are then presented in a clear and concise manner that is admissible in court.


The costs of eDiscovery services and digital forensic services can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the volume of data involved, and the specific services required. However, there are some general differences in the cost structures of the two services that can be discussed.

eDiscovery Services:

The costs of eDiscovery services can be significant, particularly in cases involving large volumes of data. The primary cost drivers for eDiscovery services are typically related to data processing and review.

Data processing costs can be considerable, as the data must be processed to eliminate duplicates and filter out irrelevant information. This can involve complex software tools and may require substantial computing power, which can drive up costs.

Review costs can also add significantly to the overall price, as the data must be reviewed manually by a team of attorneys and subject matter experts to identify relevant information. This process can be time-consuming, which adds to the expense, particularly if the data set is large.

The costs of eDiscovery services are typically charged on a per-gigabyte or per-hour basis, with rates varying depending on the service provider and the specific services required. The average cost of eDiscovery services can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per gigabyte, depending on the complexity of the case.

Digital Forensic Services:

The costs of digital forensic services can also be significant but are typically more focused on the initial data acquisition and analysis.

The cost of data acquisition can vary depending on the device being analyzed and the specific tools and techniques required to acquire the data. In general, data acquisition costs are lower than data processing costs for eDiscovery services.

Analysis costs can also vary depending on the complexity of the case and the specific services required. However, analysis costs are typically lower than review costs for eDiscovery services, as the focus is on extracting and analyzing data, rather than reviewing it for relevance.

The costs of digital forensic services are typically charged on a per-hour or per-device basis, with rates varying depending on the service provider and the specific services required. The average cost of digital forensic services can range from $150 to $300 per hour, depending on the complexity of the case. Some flat fee services can range between $300 to $1,500 for processing and report.


In summary, both eDiscovery services and digital forensic services can be costly, but the cost structures are different. eDiscovery services tend to be more expensive due to the complexity of data processing and review, while digital forensic services tend to be more focused on data acquisition and analysis. The costs of both services can vary significantly depending on the specific requirements of the case.

The main difference between eDiscovery services and digital forensic services is their focus. eDiscovery services are primarily concerned with the management of electronic data for legal purposes, while digital forensic services are focused on investigating digital devices for evidence of wrongdoing. Additionally, eDiscovery services are typically employed in the context of civil litigation, while digital forensic services are used in both civil and criminal investigations.

The Impact an Expert can have on Businesses

The use of digital technology in business has become ubiquitous, and with it comes an increased risk of cybercrime and data breaches. The consequences of these events can be significant – causing harm to a company’s reputation and pocketbook. Once a breach occurs, a company must work to resolve the negative impacts of the situation in an efficient and effective manner.  The best way to mitigate risks is to hire a qualified digital forensic expert who can assess the damage, guide you toward potential resolutions, and help you through the litigation process, if necessary.

In addition to any financial impacts incurred during a cyber event, the added financial impact of not using qualified digital forensic experts before and during litigation can be substantial. Inaccurate or incomplete digital evidence can lead to a loss of the case and potentially result in hefty fines or damages. Furthermore, inadequate digital forensic investigations can prolong the litigation process, leading to higher legal fees and increased costs associated with lost productivity and revenue.

Experts can quickly identify relevant digital evidence, ensuring that nothing is overlooked, and provide expert analysis to support legal arguments. In some cases, their testimony can be the deciding factor in a case’s outcome.

Beyond financial implications, a qualified digital forensic experts can help a company repair their damaged reputation. Businesses that fail to properly investigate and address digital incidents risk eroding customer trust. The public’s perception of a business can shift dramatically if it is seen as careless with customer data or incapable of protecting sensitive information. Using qualified digital forensic experts can help mitigate these risks by demonstrating a business’s commitment to protecting its customers’ data and taking appropriate action in the event of a breach. These experts can also provide valuable insight and recommendations to prevent future incidents, helping to rebuild trust with customers and other stakeholders.

In conclusion, the use of a qualified digital forensic expert can help lessen the financial burden and reputational impact of a company suffering from a cyber event. Businesses that neglect to utilize these experts run the risk of losing their case, incurring significant financial penalties, and the inability to recover from a damaged reputation. On the other hand, businesses that invest in qualified digital forensic experts can improve their chances of success in litigation and protect their reputation by demonstrating a commitment to protecting customer data.

Using Experts for Family Law Cases

Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that involves the preservation, analysis, and presentation of digital evidence in a legal proceeding. In the context of family law, digital forensics can play an essential role in providing evidence of infidelity, hidden assets, and other important information that can have a significant impact on the outcome of a case. This article will explain why you should use a digital forensics expert for a family law case.

Firstly, it is important to understand what digital forensics is and what it involves. Digital forensics is the process of collecting and analyzing digital data from various sources, including computers, mobile devices, and other electronic storage media. This process requires specialized skills and tools to ensure that the data is preserved, extracted, and analyzed correctly.

When it comes to family law cases, digital forensics can be used to obtain evidence that can help to support or refute allegations of infidelity, hidden assets, and other forms of misconduct. For example, a digital forensics expert can analyze a computer or mobile device to find evidence of communication with a third party that could suggest an extramarital affair. They can also analyze financial records, social media accounts, and other online activities to find evidence of hidden assets or other forms of financial misconduct.

There are many benefits of using a digital forensic expert in a family law case:

  • An expert can provide objective and reliable evidence that can be used in court. Unlike witness testimony, which can be biased or unreliable, digital evidence is often irrefutable and can be presented in a way that is easy for a judge or jury to understand.
  • An expert can also help to ensure that evidence is admissible in court. In many cases, digital evidence is subject to strict rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure that it is legally admissible. A digital forensics expert can help to ensure that evidence is collected and analyzed correctly, and that it meets the legal requirements for admissibility.
  • An expert can help to protect your privacy and ensure that your data is handled correctly. When collecting and analyzing digital evidence, it is important to ensure that the process is carried out in a way that does not violate your privacy or the privacy of others. A digital forensics expert can help to ensure that data is collected and analyzed in a way that is legally and ethically sound.

There are several types of digital evidence that can be used in family law cases. These include:

  • Email and other electronic communication: Email and other forms of electronic communication can be analyzed to provide evidence of infidelity, financial misconduct, or other forms of misconduct.
  • Social media activity: Social media accounts can provide a wealth of information about a person’s activities and relationships. A digital forensics expert can analyze social media activity to find evidence of infidelity or other forms of misconduct.
  • Financial records: Financial records can be analyzed to find evidence of hidden assets or other forms of financial misconduct. This can include bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial records.
  • Computer and mobile device data: Computer and mobile device data can provide a wealth of information about a person’s activities and communications. This can include emails, text messages, and other forms of electronic communication.

It is important to note that digital forensics can also be used to defend against false allegations. For example, if you have been accused of infidelity or financial misconduct, a digital forensics expert can analyze your electronic data to provide evidence that refutes these allegations.

In addition to providing evidence in court, a digital forensics expert can provide valuable advice and guidance throughout the legal process.

Digital forensics experts are trained to understand the legal and technical aspects of digital evidence, and can provide advice on how to use this evidence effectively in a family law case. They can also provide expert testimony in court, explaining complex technical concepts in a way that is easy for a judge or jury to understand.

One important consideration when using a digital forensics expert in a family law case is the cost. Digital forensics can be a costly and time-consuming process, and it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the cost of the expert’s services. However, in many cases, the benefits of using a digital forensics expert can far outweigh the costs. Be sure to have a discussion on a case budget before getting started so that all expectations are understood.

It is also important to choose the right digital forensics expert for your case. When choosing an expert, it is important to look for someone who has experience in family law cases and who is familiar with the specific types of evidence that are relevant to your case. You should also look for someone who is certified in digital forensics and who has a track record of success in providing expert testimony in court.

In conclusion, digital forensics can be a valuable tool in family law cases. By providing objective and reliable evidence, a digital forensics expert can help to support or refute allegations of infidelity, hidden assets, and other forms of misconduct. They can also help to ensure that evidence is legally admissible and that privacy concerns are addressed. While the cost of using a digital forensics expert can be high, the potential benefits can be significant, and it is important to weigh the potential costs against the potential benefits when deciding whether to use a digital forensics expert in a family law case.

Why Use an Expert Consultant?

Expert consulting services are professional consulting services provided by experts in various fields, such as law, accounting, engineering, technology, or medicine, who assist in the preparation and presentation of legal cases. These experts provide specialized knowledge, analysis, and opinions on the issues at the heart of a legal dispute, and their input can help to strengthen the arguments of the parties involved.

Expert consulting services may include a wide range of activities, such as conducting research and analysis, preparing reports and presentations, advising on case strategy, and providing expert testimony in court. These services are often employed by law firms, corporations, government agencies, and individuals who are involved in complex legal cases that require specialized knowledge and expertise.

Expert consulting services can be essential in helping to resolve legal disputes, especially in cases that involve technical or scientific issues that require specialized knowledge. By working with experts in various fields, attorneys can build strong cases that are supported by the best available evidence and analysis, and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Legal disputes can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when technical or scientific issues are involved. In such cases, expert consulting services can be an invaluable resource for parties seeking to build a strong case and increase their chances of a favorable outcome. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using an expert litigation consultant and why you should consider hiring one for your legal case.

Specialized knowledge and expertise

Expert consultants bring specialized knowledge and expertise to legal cases, providing insight and analysis that may be beyond the capabilities of the parties involved. For example, if a legal case involves complex financial or accounting issues, an expert litigation consultant with a background in finance or accounting can provide a thorough analysis and opinion that can be used to support legal arguments.

Similarly, if a legal case involves technical or scientific issues, an expert consultant with a relevant background and experience can provide insight and analysis that can be used to support legal arguments and disprove opposing arguments. These experts can also provide valuable input on case strategy and tactics, helping to ensure that the legal team is well-prepared and has a comprehensive understanding of the relevant issues.

Objective analysis and evaluation

One of the key benefits of using an expert consultant is that they can provide objective analysis and evaluation of the issues involved in a legal case. While parties to a legal dispute may have strong opinions or biases that can cloud their judgment, an expert consultant can provide an independent and unbiased perspective that is grounded in specialized knowledge and experience.

This objective analysis can be particularly valuable when it comes to evaluating evidence and determining the strengths and weaknesses of a legal case. Expert consultants can assess the reliability and credibility of evidence presented by both sides, identify any weaknesses in the arguments being made, and provide an impartial assessment of the potential outcome of the case.

Improved case preparation and presentation

Expert consultants can play a key role in improving the preparation and presentation of a legal case. By bringing specialized knowledge and expertise to the table, these consultants can help to ensure that the legal team is well-prepared and that the case is presented in the most effective way possible.

For example, expert consultants who specialize in litigation efforts can assist with the development of arguments and the drafting of legal briefs and other court documents. They can also provide guidance on the use of visual aids, such as graphs, charts, and diagrams, that can be used to effectively present complex information to judges and juries.

In addition, expert consultants can provide assistance with witness preparation, helping to ensure that witnesses are well-prepared and able to effectively convey their testimony. This can be particularly valuable when it comes to expert witnesses, who may be called upon to provide technical or scientific testimony that is critical to the outcome of the case.

Increased credibility and persuasive power

Using an expert consultant can also help to increase the credibility and persuasive power of a legal case. When an expert with specialized knowledge and experience is able to provide independent analysis and evaluation of the issues involved, it can lend greater weight to the arguments being made and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Expert consultants can provide valuable testimony in court, either in the form of written reports or as witnesses. By providing clear and compelling testimony that is based on specialized knowledge and expertise, these experts can help to sway judges and juries in favor of their clients.

Cost-effective solutions

Finally, it is worth noting that expert consultants can often provide cost-effective solutions to complex legal disputes. While hiring an expert consultant may seem like an additional expense, it may actually save money in the long run by helping to ensure that the case is well-prepared and that the arguments being made are based on the best available evidence and analysis.

Additionally, by providing objective analysis and evaluation of the issues involved, expertconsultants can help to identify potential weaknesses in a case that may lead to unfavorable outcomes. By addressing these weaknesses early on in the legal process, parties can avoid the expense and uncertainty of a lengthy legal battle and work towards a resolution that is more favorable to their interests.


Overall, the benefits of using an expert consultant are clear. By bringing specialized knowledge and expertise to the table, these consultants can provide objective analysis and evaluation of the issues involved, improve case preparation and presentation, increase credibility and persuasive power, and provide cost-effective solutions to complex legal disputes.

If you are involved in a legal case that involves technical or scientific issues, or if you simply want to ensure that your case is as strong as possible, it may be worth considering the services of an expert consultant. With their knowledge, experience, and impartial perspective, these consultants can help to ensure that you are well-prepared and that your case is presented in the most effective way possible, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Vehicle Forensics in your Criminal Investigations

In my previous career in law enforcement, I specialized in criminal investigation – specifically drug and death investigations.  As I become more familiar with the benefits of vehicle forensics, I often think back about the important information that I missed when investigating past cases.  Most law enforcement investigators, me included, have not been educated on the vast amount of information and impact that forensic from vehicles can contribute to a case.  Most of us think that information from vehicles is limited to crashes, tire tracks, hidden compartments and other simple ideologies.  What most law enforcement investigators don’t realize is that maybe, just maybe, vehicle forensics can help them find the missing link in their case – the amount of data that is collected, stored, and transmitted by vehicles is astounding.

When I look back on my past cases, I realize that intent would have been much easier to prove, had I been privy to vehicle forensics that showed events such as rapid braking, collision information, opening and closing of doors, or rapid acceleration.  Imagine if you could access and gather information related to a driver using the navigation system or pairing their device with the vehicle.  These dreams have now become a reality and are helping investigators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys build their cases. 

The average vehicle generates over 1TB of data each day, and under normal driving conditions, uses over 150 Electronic Control Units that must collectively execute millions of lines of code daily.  Electronic Control Units, commonly referred to as ECU’s, are computers for specific purposes made for the automobile industry.  The ECU’s execute specific functions in a vehicle and vary in complexity.  Some of the more complex ECU’s in a vehicle are the Engine Control Module (ECM), Automatic Braking System (ABS) and the Airbag Control Module (ACM).  The ECU’s continuously communicate with each other over multiple networks in the vehicle and one ECU may record data from another ECU on the same network within the vehicle.  As an investigator, or someone concerned with the data from a vehicle, it is necessary to think of a vehicle as a collection of various systems with each possibly containing information that may be relevant to the investigation or case.  Thinking about what is possible, and knowing how to obtain the information, and who can assist, is important for Investigators.  A vehicle that contains data and evidence must be thought of immediately as a volatile item of evidence – even after seizure of a vehicle (or at the time of seizure), actions by law enforcement, tow truck drivers, citizens or just about anyone with access to the vehicle can change or destroy evidence stored in vehicle systems.  These actions have the potential to overwrite some of the data that exists in the vehicle, resulting in data lost if the vehicle is not handled appropriately.

As Investigators, it is important to have a general understanding of what information a vehicle may contain and understand that the vehicle is an important and highly underutilized piece of evidence in many investigations.  Once secured, seek the assistance of someone with training, education and experience in vehicle forensics to consult with and assist in the acquisition of information from various vehicle systems.

What happens if what you are looking for is right in front of you, but you can’t find it? 

Cellular phone forensics is a complex subject and can often be intimidating; especially to those who don’t work in the cellular realm every day.  However, on a daily basis, there are several self-declared experts in this field who have never attended a training – they have simply possessed a cell phone and felt confident in its use and associated data functions.  Matter of fact, these experts can be found in any law enforcement department around the Country.  It is simply bewildering the number of law enforcement investigators who jump at the opportunity to conduct their own cellular examinations of their evidence, often under the pretense that they know what they are looking for and can easily access it, saving their departments time, money, and resources – effectively being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I mean, honestly, why would you pay for something that you could easily do yourself? 

This decision, though often made with good intentions, can also backfire.  Let’s compare this very same scenario to DNA evidence.  Investigators are trained to collect DNA evidence and then send it off to the experts in the labs to process, identify, and report back any findings.  Why would this same process not be adopted for cellular examinations – or any type of digital forensic examination? The role of the law enforcement officer in regards to digital evidence should include: (1) collecting the evidence (in this case cellular devices), (2) writing effective search warrants that will support a lawful and thorough examination of a cellular device by qualified personnel, (3) knowledge of handling procedures to include packaging and shipping the device to a forensic examiner (the scientist of the digital world), and finally, (4) allowing the expert to examine the evidence in a sound forensic manner and environment.

What happens if what you are looking for is right in front of you, but you can’t find it? 

Self-declared forensic experts, aka law enforcement investigators, arise from the unknown.  These unknowns range from the associated data retrieval costs of involving an expert; uncertainty that the expert can actually recover any data – and if not, the cost associated with the attempt; and the length of time it takes an expert to extract, interpret, and report on the data.  And for good measure, let’s throw in the fact that law enforcement investigators have finite resources and limited time frames – and many times – a supervisor that doesn’t fully understand that an expert can help uncover the answers, or in the very least, eliminate any false assumptions.

In most cases I’ve helped with, I find that law enforcement simply stop their investigations at the tip of the iceberg, because they are not familiar with the sheer amount of data that could be retrieved from cellular devices.  Most investigators focus their sights on data elements such as contact information, call logs, text messages and photographs. I’ve witnessed this time and time again, especially in cases involving narcotics trafficking and unlawful gun crimes. 

For most drug investigators, they are hoping to find a single text message from the drug source to the drug buyer stating that the 2kg of cocaine was delivered to a specific location at a specific date and time, accompanied by a photo of two bricks of cocaine with 2kg written on them; and let’s throw in a picture of a gun for good measure.  To wrap up the case, a secondary text message is sent from the buyer to the seller saying “I’ll meet you there.”  The cherry on the top would involve the investigator seeing this information before the exchange happens so he could be there to witness the crime.

We all know it isn’t that simple, but yet, law enforcement continues to limit their possibilities by digging for the answer themselves.  I am here to inform you that cellular phone forensics can and will uncover a slew of unknown activity that the investigator may or may not have known about.  In addition to the common data elements that investigators focus on, I’ll provide a short list of data elements often forgotten:

  • Call log information (outgoing and incoming)
  • Instant messaging
  • GPS locations associated with photographs
  • Google searches for the meeting locations or hundreds of other locations
  • Chats
  • Contacts
  • GPS locations associated with the device itself or events done on the device
  • Emails
  • Installed applications (identification of accounts, cash apps, other sources of communication, etc.)
  • Instant messaging
  • Passwords
  • Social media
  • Web history (searches of places, events, map locations, etc.)
  • Wireless networks
  • Video from various sources (video taken from device, video received from others, video from security systems the phone is synced with, etc.)
  • Timelines of events from the device

Though this list is not all inclusive, it gives you a picture of the rapidly changing digital forensic world.  Law enforcement run a risk when they decide not to include a digital forensic expert, such risks include – loss of data, altered data (inadvertently or not), and skipping over pertinent data. These issues could render any data inadmissible in court.

It is understandable when law enforcement attempts to do more with less. Over the past few decades, officers have been asked to take on many new roles and tasked with ever-changing responsibilities.  Handling, extracting, and interpreting digital evidence should not be one of them – tasks like this should be left to the experts who have extensive training and knowledge in this field.     

Stay Ahead of the Curve: Emerging Digital Forensic Trends to Pay Attention To

With digital forensics playing an increasingly important role in legal proceedings, information security, and incident response, key players such as attorneys, Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), and Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) professionals alike need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the emerging digital forensic trends that you should understand and be prepared for.

Growing Use of Cloud Storage: As cloud storage continues to become more popular among businesses and individuals alike, digital forensics practitioners must now incorporate cloud storage into their investigations. This means looking beyond traditional methods of recovery and data analysis—involving on-premises systems—and starting to use techniques that are suitable for retrieving data from cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc. Additionally, due to the rise in remote work during the pandemic, many organizations have adopted cloud-based collaborative tools like Slack or Zoom. With this new technological shift to cloud-based environments, organizations need to develop new policies and procedures to help employees understand the impacts of off-site storage and web-based social settings.  Similarly, investigative techniques need to evolve along with an organization’s updated practices. 

Rise of Mobile Forensics: With mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets becoming increasingly popular (and necessary), mobile forensics has quickly become a critical component of digital forensic investigations. Mobile forensics involves analyzing the data stored on these devices for potential evidence. As employees and other users continue to rely heavily on their mobile phones for communication, networking, and other activities, it is more important than ever before for organizations to have effective tools in place for extracting and analyzing this data from mobile devices.

Automated Investigations: In recent years there has been a push towards automating many aspects of digital forensics investigations as a cost-saving measure by reducing manual labor which in turn enhances efficiency. For example, new software is being developed that can automatically acquire digital evidence from sources such as hard drives or USB devices. This allows investigators to quickly collect potential evidence while leaving behind artifacts that may interfere with further analyses. Additionally, automated analysis tools are being developed which can identify malicious activity faster than manual processes while reducing false positives.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Integration: The integration of AI and ML technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in digital forensics investigations due to their ability to identify patterns more effectively than humans can—potentially leading to quicker identification of malicious activities or targeted attacks against corporate systems/networks. These technologies are also becoming better at automatically extracting evidence from different sources such as emails or social media accounts without requiring human intervention at all stages of the process. As these technologies continue to improve, they will become even more useful for DFIR practitioners working on complex cases involving large volumes of data sets.

Vehicle Forensics: Vehicle Forensics is a branch of digital forensics that focuses on the examination and analysis of vehicles for legal and investigative purposes. With the help of specialized tools, techniques, and processes, vehicle forensics practitioners are able to recover evidence from vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, boats, and aircrafts. In recent years there has been a surge in the use of vehicle forensics due to its application in criminal investigations related to drug smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorism. The data from vehicles can also be used for civil cases such as insurance fraud and accidents. As cars become increasingly connected with on-board computers and sensors, vehicle forensics is becoming an even more important tool for law enforcement and private investigators.


Digital forensics is constantly evolving as technology advances and new trends emerge; it’s essential for attorneys, CIOs, CISOs and DFIR professionals alike to stay ahead of the curve by understanding these trends so they can be prepared when needed. As the digital forensics field continues to grow, cloud storage integration, mobile forensics, automated investigations, AI/ML integration, and vehicle forensics will remain at the forefront. These new trends are revolutionizing the industry and driving innovation in exciting ways! It is important to keep ahead of the curve by staying informed about advancements in digital forensics technology so you can ensure your organization remains secure online, takes advantage of cost- and time-saving measures, and develops successful strategies in handling data storage and retrieval!