Using Digital Forensics When Onboarding New Employees

So you’re ready to make an offer of employment to your company’s next great employee or executive. The candidate looks amazing on paper and shined bright during interviews.

But what may be out there online that could cause your business reputational damage?This is where a digital forensics investigation can assist.

DFI Forensics Inc. Employee Background Checks
DFI Forensics Inc. conducts specialized background checks to protect your business reputation. Contact us for more information.

About DFI Forensics Inc.

DFI Forensics Inc. (“DFI”) is a professional service provider specializing in advanced digital forensics examinations and investigations. DFI uses highly trained digital forensics examiners to acquire, preserve and analyze digital evidence gathered from all types of digital media and the internet.

DFI uses industry standard tools and forensic software consistent with law enforcement standards to ensure the highest quality of our investigations and, more importantly, to ensure that our conclusions are capable of being relied upon by our clients, particularly for use in Court.

The Digital Forensics Process

Digital forensics is a scientific field devoted to the collection, preservation and analysis of digital evidence. DFI strictly adheres to the protocols of the forensics process to ensure the admissibility of our opinion in Court as well as the defensibility of our conclusions should they come into question by an opposing litigant or lawyer.

The first step in the process is to acquire the digital evidence. We use specialized tools and forensic software to do this in a manner that doesn’t disturb the original data in any way. For example, date and time stamps associated with operating system logs may be updated if the evidence is collected without using the tools and forensic software that DFI uses.

Once acquired, the evidence is preserved by DFI. Following the acquisition of evidence from a digital source, the data is preserved by DFI and a “working copy” is made from the original data. Our analysis is conducted on the working copy of the evidence. DFI uses special tools to generate a uniquely identifying alpha-numeric “hash value” from the original and the working copy. Hash values are more accurate than a DNA match and we ensure a match prior to moving forward with our analysis.

During the analysis stage of the digital forensics process, DFI examines the data acquired from the digital source. Using the expert training of the digital forensics examiner assigned to your case, DFI determines what you need to know based on an examination of the evidence we have collected. Every case is unique and DFI never truly knows what the evidence will tell us until we begin our analysis, however, DFI will always advise you to the best of our ability of what you can reasonably expect to learn from our investigations.

The final stage in the process is reporting our findings to you. DFI will provide you with a written summary report of our findings and opinion along with digital copies of any evidence you want.

Employee Background Checks

Open Source Investigations

As part of our services offered to the business and human resources community, DFI will conduct an open source investigation to reveal any publicly accessible information that is relevant to your consideration of onboarding a new employee.

An open source investigation simply refers to a digital forensics investigation in which DFI is examining digital evidence found on the internet, as opposed to from a particular device such as a laptop or smartphone. Common sources of evidence include the following:

  1. General “online” presence of an individual or organization;

  2. Social media presence, including any controversial or inappropriate posts;

  3. Association with a group, club, membership or organization;

  4. Video content;
  5. Blog posts;
  6. Forum posts or comments;
  7. Dark web presence (the “dark web” is the unindexed portion of the internet. It requires a special browser to search for information and can be used by individuals or organizations to trade information without drawing the public attention that comes from using the more commonly used portion of the internet that a typical person uses.

Our open source investigations are thorough. We use special investigative techniques to locate relevant information. If evidence is revealed, it will be captured in a forensically sound manner and a “hash value” is generated. A hash value is a uniquely identifying alpha-numeric key that applies to a particular data set. If the internet content is later changed or removed, DFI will be able to forensically show the content as it existed at the time it was captured.

Our investigations do not, and cannot, include private content found on the internet. If social media or any other information is password protected, it would be illegal for DFI to access it without permission.

This kind of investigation will be completed within one week in recognition of the fact that this is often one of the final stages in the hiring process.

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