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Firms Co-operate in Offering Managed Digital Forensic Services

Digital Forensic Group : 21 April, 2010  (Company News)
OmniWatch and Digital Forensic Group respond to increasingly demanding requirements of US courts in presentation of digital forensic evidence with a service offering that manages the process of collection, storage and presentation of digital forensic evidence
Two New York City companies, OmniWatch Intelligence Services, formerly Trademark Associates of NY, and The Digital Forensic Group have joined forces to address the need for the thorough collection and investigation of electronic data in litigation and legal cases with Managed Forensic Services (MFS).

"With computers and technology continuing to integrate into personal and professional lives, almost everything an individual or organization does leaves digital fingerprints," said Douglas Brush, founder and principal computer examiner of The Digital Forensic Group. "Finding these fingerprints when performing electronic investigations involves experience and technology since when this evidence is brought into support or defend disputes, the courts require the data be collected, maintained and presented in only the most accurate and sound manner."

"Due to case law, governance and regulations that have been adopted over the past few years, companies and organizations of all sizes have been forced to deal with the legal consequences of their electronic actions", said Brush. "Even as recently as January of this year, US District Judge Shira Scheindlin in her opinion in the case of the 'Pension Committee' addressed the issue of spoliation of electronic evidence and defined conduct of parties that can result in sanctions. Issues of electronic evidence collection are not something that lawyers and their clients can continue to ignore."

But it is not just looking into the raw data to get the answers; it requires knowing how to investigate the human element as well. There is a balancing act between investigating the technology and the human elements that is always in play, said Stephen Ward, founder of OmniWatch and licensed New York State Private Investigator.

"The issues of producing electronic evidence is not something that you can just haphazardly throw people, money and technology at and hope the work is done properly," said Ward. "It requires intelligent investigations that rely on disciplines and resources from many areas. You have to know the law, technology and human behavior to properly preserve, collect and effectively analyze the data from an investigation."

To meet budget concerns of clients and the strict requirements of the courts, OmniWatch and The Digital Forensic Group have developed a suite of Managed Forensic Services (MFS) focused on the proper legally defensible collection of ESI data well as a platform for data review and Early Case Assessment (ECA). Both areas are of great importance to investigations and e-discovery but often are met with fragmented solutions and unpredictable costs, the partners said.

The current challenge law firms and companies face with ESI is there is a lack of education about the process and why it is important, lack of internal controls, legal and IT departments not communicating, current vendors and solution sold without proper needs analysis and reactive instead of proactive approaches. By first providing a framework and roadmap for the challenges and then integrating the proper solutions, there can be dramatic cost savings and better results in much less time with the Managed Forensic Solutions.

"We find many inefficacies with digital investigations and the collection of computer data and have to reinvent the investigative wheel with each case," said Ward. "In addition, many of our legal clients found it challenging and expensive to review forensically collected data. For a legal team to intake and review forensic data shouldn't be so difficult. These clients simply want to view the data early in a case with having to send it out for extensive processing."

The Managed Forensic Solutions rapidly implement cost-effective business application local and remote hosting and maintenance services and consistently supplies superior customer service in an environment where team members and customers are empowered through swift collection, review and production. The goal is to get the most out of our technology platforms without forcing customers into niche situations.

"We enable our customers by acting as interpreters of the technical solutions provided and serviced," said Brush. "You want to use computers efficiently to parse the computer data but the heart of the discovery is the root of the actions of the person behind the keyboard."
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