Why is Triage a good step in Digital Forensics?

Written by Amber Schroader

Many people discount the value of triage. Investigators try to obtain all the data at once, which can be costly and unproductive. With the data gap gone between mobile and computer-related data, you can analyze terabytes now without breaking a sweat. Triage and digital forensics are two related but distinct fields of digital investigation. Triage is the process of sorting and categorizing digital evidence based on its relevance and importance to an investigation. Digital forensics, on the other hand, is the process of analyzing digital evidence to determine its origin and content. Digital forensics may include the analysis of malware, network traffic, and other types of digital evidence. By combining triage and digital forensics, investigators can quickly identify and prioritize evidence of the highest relevance and importance to an investigation.

This is where the larger value comes into play. You can give a solid expectation of the remainder of the process by looking at the data from a triage perspective. The triage of digital evidence is important because it allows investigators to quickly identify the most important pieces of evidence, prioritize those pieces, and process them first. Additionally, triage can help investigators save time, resources, and money by focusing on the most relevant pieces of evidence and preventing them from having to process all the evidence.

Why is triage a good first step in a digital forensics’ investigation?

Triage is a good first step in a digital forensics investigation because it helps determine the scope of the investigation and what areas to investigate. It also helps identify the evidence that needs to be collected, prioritize the evidence that needs to be analyzed, and determine the resources needed to conduct the investigation. Triage also helps establish the timeline for the investigation and provides a framework for the overall process.

How do you prioritize evidence collection in digital forensics investigation?

  1. Analyze the current situation: The first step in prioritizing evidence collection in digital forensics investigation is to analyze the current situation. This includes understanding the scope of the case, the type of evidence available, and the type of data that needs to be collected. 
  1. Create a plan of action: Once the current situation is understood, the investigator can create a plan-of-action that outlines the steps to take to collect the evidence. This plan should include a timeline for the investigation, the type of hardware and software required in the investigation, and the personnel and resources needed for the investigation. 
  1. Acquire the evidence: Once the plan-of-action is in place, the investigator can begin to acquire the evidence. This includes obtaining a copy of the relevant data, creating a forensic image of the evidence, and extracting any relevant data. 
  1. Analyze the evidence: After the evidence is acquired, it needs to be analyzed. This includes analyzing the data to determine if there is any relevant information, as well as any patterns or trends that may be present. 
  1. Report the findings: After the evidence has been analyzed, the investigator should report their findings. This includes any relevant evidence, as well as any patterns.

Triage and prioritizing the evidence and review of the data in a case can save money for the client in the long run and improve their desire to bring future cases to the firm. When a client is treated fairly, the data produced is accurate, and time and resources are not wasted, they will choose to be loyal to the firm.   

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