Over the years digital investigation software or digital forensics software has expanded which has allowed there to be more options for a digital forensic toolbox. However, the expansion of new digital forensic tools didn’t necessarily come with a roadmap for forensic investigators looking to purchase new digital forensic tools for their toolkits.
In this post, we’ll define the term digital investigation software, show how digital investigation software can help your pain points by solving your cases faster, and provide tips for getting the right digital investigation software for your investigative needs.
What is Digital Investigation Software?
Digital investigation software is software that scans and analyzes digital devices whether that is on scene or in a forensic laboratory. Forensic software is needed for various types of investigations such as probation/parole, human trafficking, school resource investigations, financial crimes, terrorism, and much more.
Why is Digital Investigation Software Important?
Given continuous technological advancement, it is inevitable that there will be an increase in digital crimes around the world. Digital investigation software is important because it helps investigators and examiners quickly identify evidence on scene or in a lab by decreasing their manual search time for digital evidence such as text messages, photos, browser history, and cryptocurrency traces.
Law enforcement agents rely on forensic tools to solve crimes involving:
- Child Exploitation
- Human Trafficking
- Drug Trafficking
- Gang and Violent Crimes
- Terrorism & Mass Casualty
- Fraud & Cybercrime
Lab Examiners and Digital Forensic experts should be able to maintain control and expand their field capabilities at the same time. Field agents will know just what devices to seize to bring back to the lab and examiners will know right where to start their investigation. Investigators should be on-scene with the one tool or tools they need to rapidly scan, extract, and analyze critical intelligence from iOS/Android phones, tablets, computers, and digital devices. The main pain points that officers, investigators, and examiners face
Tips for Getting the Right Digital Investigation Software
- It is imperative to pick a tool that falls within your allotted budget. That is why if you are responsible for a digital forensic budget, you should research various factors within selecting a tool such as the ones mentioned below.
- Features such as search profiles, facial analytics, age group detection, mobile preview, etc. are imperative to decreasing forensic backlog in the lab and solving on-scene investigations faster
- Pre-analytical features such as hash verification, indexing, and live memory acquisition, processing features such as file types, files artifacts, and OS artifacts, and analytical features (below) 
- The training that comes along with a tool you purchase should easy to learn and on your own schedule such as with online training certified courses.
- You should look out for training that is designed for both technical and non-technical students to prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to use forensic tools on-scene, in the field, or in the forensic lab. The course(s) should be able to teach you how to quickly extract conclusive intelligence and evidence from computers, smartphones, and digital media depending on the class you select.
- Some of the most important technical specifications to look out for are device type, required interface, and the device state when investigating, whether it is live/running or turned off.
- Analytical features such as applying filters, sorting, and bookmarks should be looked out for.
- The ability to create and customize a report within the tool to pass off to other members of your team saves time as well.
With these tips in mind, you can narrow down your search for a new digital forensic tool.
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