It could happen to anyone: In the midst of what you thought would be a cursory review of a competitor's Web site, you come across something very familiar -- data that until recently had been safely housed within your organization.
Then it clicks. Six months ago, a critical employee left your company in favor of greener pastures. She had access to that data, you're sure of it. Except that there's no way to prove it. You're six months too late.
At its most basic, computer forensics is the investigation of a computer system and its contents to uncover information, most commonly evidence to support a company's suspicion of wrongdoing, and preserve that information in a way that allows it to be admissible in court, if necessary.
Although we don't like to think about it -- these types of staff transgressions are often thought to occur only at "other organizations" -- it happens more than you'd think.
According to an FBI computer-crime survey, 44 percent of organizations that knew about security incidents reported those incidents as originating from within the organization. The 2006 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners "Report to the Nation" states that U.S. organizations lost five percent of their annual revenues to fraud, or an estimated $652 billion, in 2006.
Given that computers have become such an integral part of doing business, organizations must consider ways to protect and preserve that information to protect them in the event these thefts do occur.
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