What is a computer forensic analyst, and why is the demand for their services rapidly increasing? The popularity of the internet and mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and hybrid computers renders digital forensic sciences extremely relevant. In fact, texts, emails, Facebook messages, and more are just about commonplace in the courtroom. What are the top reasons people hire computer forensic experts and digital and/or mobile document review services?
The Obvious: Criminal Cases and Mobile Phone Evidence
Smartphones, which some liken to a small computer, can be invaluable in a criminal investigation case. Recently, courts have searched the cellphones of Colorado shooting killer James Holmes and accused murderer and “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius. Texts, images, phone records, and related social media posts can sometimes shed light on a criminal case. Google searches — and other relevant computer and/or data — can be used in court with the proper legal allowances.
Point Of Sale, Credit Card Theft, and Identity Theft
In December 2013, hackers stole up to 40 million credit card numbers from Target shoppers. Payment information and identity theft can be fairly common, especially with outdated software. Computer forensic analysts can help companies find hackers and persecute them in court. Even if the culprits cannot be identified, computer forensic experts can — at the very least — help businesses identify vulnerabilities in company systems and help correct them.
According to U.S. News, half of all applicants lie on their resumes. This can be devastating for large corporations, job candidates, and/or their employees if it comes through the woodwork, especially if it is several years down the road. Analysts help companies screen candidates and perform background checks during the interview process — preventing any publicity scandals years later.