Computer Forensics: What Is It and Why Does Your Firm Need It?

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While most people understand what forensics is thanks to shows like "NCIS" and "CSI," the idea of computer forensics doesn't fit with their definition. They know forensics involves taking physical evidence and processing it to determine things like DNA, material composition and fingerprints; however, they also know that those things don't fit when talking about computers.

What exactly is computer forensics? Basically, it's the collection and analysis of digital evidence. Sounds simple, but the key is knowing what to look for. That's where highly trained experts come in. These computer forensic investigators follow cyber trails and find minute pieces of evidence on all types of digital devices. From computers to cell phones to the cloud, no proverbial stone is left unturned.

Now the question is, how can this benefit you? Today, computer forensics is a big part of a variety of investigations from divorce cases to employee theft allegations and even criminal cases like murder.


Divorce is messy business under the best circumstances. When the situation turns nasty and parties aren't forthcoming with details, computer forensics can turn the tide. You can use it to find information on financial accounts, proof of infidelity in the form of emails and text messages, or even proof of tampering with private accounts. For example, if one party accesses the private accounts of the other and then changes, sabotages or otherwise makes use of that information, a private investigator with computer forensic expertise can find evidence of that.

Employee Theft

Whether we are talking about current employees or ones that have left the company, employers need to know their data is safe. Forensics can help your clients develop security protocols by identifying where systems may be vulnerable as well as outlining procedures on how to handle terminated employees. They can also help find the guilty party if a theft has already occurred.

Criminal Cases

Everyone knows computers play a part in the commission of certain types of crimes. Fraud, money laundering and more all leave a cyber trail. However, even crimes like murder can have digital fingerprints that are helpful both for and against a defendant. In one case, offensive content on the victim's computer was brought to light in favor of the defense, positioning the victim in an unfavorable light in hopes of persuading the jury in the defendant's favor.

While you may not believe you need the help of a computer forensic investigator, the fact is, they can benefit you on more cases than you think. Speak to the team at Saavedra & Associates to learn how they can provide the legwork and expertise you may need to win your next case.