Mobile Phone Forensics: Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding Digital Evidence

Mobile phone forensics is vital in a case as the digital evidence that is discovered by our team may be the difference between winning or losing a case. Digital evidence in a mobile phone may be information stored or transmitted in binary form that may be relied on in court. Having an experienced team of mobile forensic experts on your side to protect your privacy and safeguard digital evidence could be the support and strength you need to succeed in the completion of the case you’re involved in.

Our role at SYTECH is to extract and analyse evidential material from mobile handsets. Due to technological advances transforming telephones into computers for your pocket over the recent years, mobiles are how many people browse the internet, access apps, communicate via texts, messages and emails, as well as make and receive phone calls.

If mobile phones are being used as digital evidence towards a case, a mobile phone forensic examination can often reveal crucial evidence for criminal or civil investigations. Because most members of the public now use a mobile phone and carry it with them throughout the day, there is likely to be as much evidence via a mobile phone as a desktop computer.

Continue reading this article to discover what our experts can recover and examine while protecting privacy and safeguarding digital evidence.

Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding Digital Evidence

Because we have the skills and expertise to protect your privacy and safeguard digital evidence, you know you’ll be in safe hands with our team. The information we could find on a device has the potential to be quite sensitive, personal and difficult to process, therefore it’s crucial that you have that all-important discretion and support throughout the proceedings.

Our team of digital forensic experts have the skills to often uncover and examine:

  • Deleted text messages
  • Call logs
  • Social media activity
  • Internet activity
  • Documents
  • Maps & GPS location
  • Emails
  • Images

With specialist skillsets, such as recovering deleted media and messaging, mobile phone forensics often reveal more of the mystery than you might imagine. From this, you can discover important details about relationships, intentions and actions.

Privacy and security during this process are essential, and due to our thorough understanding of this matter, we can investigate a device for you with the utmost professionalism.

Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding

The average person collects a lot of information and media on their mobile device, and your communication with other people can also give our forensic team important and private information such as home addresses or even banking details – these will all be protected during the investigation.

Mobile phone devices leave a digital footprint by storing various kinds of information and data. With our expertise, even altered or deleted files can be detected – even a device with fire or water damage can still contain salvageable evidence inside.

While uncovering this data isn’t easy, our skilled and experienced mobile forensic experts will collect sources of data such as:

  • Deleted and hidden files
  • Media
  • Time logs
  • Metadata
  • Internet history
  • Call logs

Our specialists will then use forensic tools and techniques to secure and examine specific data without altering the source, maintaining its admissibility before presenting and discussing the findings with you.

Regarding the protection of your privacy, it’s vital for us to keep your data safe to ensure complete trust throughout the process. The right privacy protection can provide the thorough security you need to ensure that you feel safe during our forensic investigations from start to finish.

With SYTECH, you’ll gain the helping hand of our dedicated and experienced consultants who can take you through our findings with sheer professionalism.

Why Choose SYTECH for your Mobile Phone Forensics

Here at SYTECH, our experienced and knowledgeable team offers digital forensic services tailored to your individual needs and requirements. And not only are we 27001 & 14001 certified and hold FSR codes of practice and conduct accreditations, but we are also a UKAS accredited testing laboratory: No. 8765 (refer to UKAS website for accredited activities).

The security of your mobile phone forensics and information is at the top of our priority list, and the analysts who assist in police investigations are all security vetted to NPPV Level3. Our power is our strategy, experience, expertise and most importantly, our people. As a company, we nurture the culture of respect and understanding, which helps us go the extra mile when helping our clients with their individual requirements.

We have over forty years of successful outcomes for many prosecution and defence cases, and our team is made up of experienced expert witnesses who are here to help you find the answers to your questions.

Contact Our Team

If you’re in need of a dedicated and extremely skilled team to protect your privacy and safeguard your digital evidence, get in touch with our team today.

You can contact us via phone for free digital forensic consultation advice. Another way to contact us is by emailing or filling in our helpful contact form via our contact page. You also have the option to contact us by writing to us via our full address which is available upon request. We are ready to help you with your case and aim to respond as soon as we can.

Should you have any concerns regarding the services we offer or that we have provided, or wish to begin a dialogue on an issue you require help with, please use the following link and one of our specialists will contact you shortly: feedback@sytech-consultants.com. Your feedback and concerns are extremely important to us as well as helpful, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Is Cell Site Analysis Dead?

There are 118 million active mobile phone subscriptions in the UK. With the rise in mobile technology, it’s no surprise that forensic phone analysis has become an essential tool for uncovering crucial information in investigations.

However, with the advent of new technologies like GPS tracking and location services, some may question whether cell site analysis is becoming obsolete.

Let’s explore the world of forensic phone analysis and discuss whether cell site analysis is truly dead.

Forensic Phone Analysis: Shedding Light on the Truth

Forensic phone analysis is a powerful technique that allows investigators to delve into the depths of a mobile phone’s data. It involves extracting and analysing various types of data, such as call logs, text messages, emails, photos, and even deleted information. By employing advanced tools and techniques, experts can uncover valuable evidence that can make or break a case.

The Rise of GPS Tracking and Location Services

In recent years, GPS tracking and location services have gained popularity among both consumers and businesses. GPS tracking allows individuals to locate their stolen or lost phones, track their children’s whereabouts, and even monitor employees’ activities.

On the other hand, businesses utilise location services to improve their marketing strategies and offer personalised experiences to their customers. These technologies provide real-time tracking capabilities, making them more precise and reliable than cell site analysis.

Is Cell Site Analysis a Dying Technique?

Cell site analysis, once hailed as the go-to method for tracking a phone’s location, is now facing competition in the form of GPS tracking and location services. So, is cell site analysis dead? Not entirely. While GPS tracking may seem like the superior option, cell site analysis still plays a crucial role in certain situations.

Cell site analysis relies on the triangulation of signals between cell towers and a mobile device to determine its approximate location. This technique is especially valuable in cases where GPS is unavailable or unreliable, such as areas with limited network coverage or instances where the device’s GPS functionality has been disabled.

The Benefits of Cell Site Analysis

By analysing the connections between mobile devices and different cell towers, professional investigators can establish timelines, corroborate or challenge alibis, and link suspects to specific locations. This capability is particularly valuable in solving crimes, as it provides tangible evidence that can be presented in court.

Secondly, cell site analysis plays a pivotal role in national security and counterterrorism efforts. Intelligence agencies can leverage this technology to track the activities of individuals associated with potential threats. The ability to identify patterns and connections between mobile devices contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of networks involved in security risks. 

Lastly, cell site analysis has applications beyond criminal investigations, such as in search and rescue operations. When individuals go missing, their mobile devices can serve as a lifeline, helping authorities to locate them. The analysis of cell tower connections aids search teams in narrowing down possible areas, expediting the search process and increasing the likelihood of a successful rescue.

The Limitations of Cell Site Analysis

 

While cell site analysis offers valuable insights, it is not without its limitations. Firstly, the accuracy of location data is contingent on the density of cell towers in certain areas. In urban environments with a high concentration of towers, the precision of location tracking tends to be higher.

However, in rural or remote areas where cell towers are sparse, the accuracy decreases, making it challenging to pinpoint the exact location of a mobile device.

Factors like signal strength, obstructions, and the type of terrain can further impact the reliability of the results. Therefore, investigators must exercise caution and consider these limitations when interpreting cell site analysis data.

Secondly, privacy concerns have become a significant challenge associated with cell site analysis. The extensive tracking of individuals’ movements through their mobile devices raises ethical and legal questions. Striking a balance between law enforcement’s need for investigative tools and protecting individuals’ privacy rights is an ongoing challenge. 

Courts and legislators must grapple with defining clear guidelines and regulations to ensure that cell site analysis is conducted within legal and ethical boundaries, safeguarding the privacy of individuals while allowing for legitimate investigative purposes. As technology evolves, addressing these limitations becomes crucial to maintaining public trust and ensuring the responsible use of cell site analysis in legal proceedings.

Cell Phone Tracking: Embracing a Multi-Faceted Approach

Instead of viewing cell site analysis and GPS tracking as opposing techniques, investigators should adopt a multi-faceted approach to forensic phone analysis. By combining the strengths of different methods, investigators can uncover a more comprehensive understanding of a phone’s location and movements.

For example, using cell site analysis in conjunction with GPS tracking can provide more accurate results, especially in urban areas with multiple cell towers.

Location Services: A Game-Changer in Forensic Phone Analysis

Location services, an integral part of most modern smartphones, have also revolutionised forensic phone analysis. These services collect an array of location data points, allowing investigators to reconstruct a phone’s path and activities. From geotagged photos and check-ins to app usage records, location services offer a wealth of information that can help paint a detailed picture of a person’s movements.

Cell Site Analysis Is One Piece of the Puzzle

In the world of forensic phone analysis, cell site analysis may no longer be the sole solution for tracking a phone’s location. With the rise of GPS tracking and location services, investigators now have access to more precise and reliable methods. However, it would be premature to declare cell site analysis dead.

Instead, it should be viewed as one component of a multi-faceted approach to forensic phone analysis. By combining different techniques, investigators can unlock a greater understanding of a phone’s movements and uncover the truth. So, the next time you hear the question, “Is cell site analysis dead?” remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle-and it needs other approaches to succeed. 

Ready to unlock the power of forensic phone analysis? Contact us today to talk to some of the UK’s best digital forensic experts and learn more about how we can help you in your investigations.

Exploring Various Cyber Security Tools, Techniques and Risks

Cybercrime is more prevalent in today’s world than ever before. From 2022 to 2023, 32% of businesses and 24% of charities reported breaches or cyber attacks, and this number grows every year.

These days, almost all businesses use the internet in one way or another, and all of these businesses need to protect themselves. Having a robust cyber security strategy in place will help to keep your business, your employees, and your customers safe. There are various cyber security risk assessment tools that you can use that will help you ensure your system is secure.

Keep reading for a rundown of the different tools and techniques that make up cyber security risk assessment.

What Is a Cyber Security Risk Assessment?

There are a huge number of cyber security risks out there, and a cyber security risk assessment will show you how secure or vulnerable your business is. It will identify any potential threats that may face your systems, networks, or data so you can develop and implement an action plan.

Cyber security threats are constantly evolving, so you should conduct assessments regularly. This is vital if you want to protect business data and keep your company safe.

The average cost of a data breach or cyber attack in the UK is £4200, but it can be much higher than this. In some cases, businesses damage their reputation, suffer from financial loss and downtime, or end up going under as a result of cyber attacks.

Small businesses typically don’t have a suitable in-house team to properly monitor threats and establish security systems. Even in larger businesses, the needs are often greater than what the IT team can deliver. Third-party cyber security companies can help businesses with cyber security risk assessments, and then recommend the best steps to take to ensure their security is as strong as it should be.

Cyber Security Risk Assessment Tools

Due to the variety of threats that exist, there are also multiple types of cyber security tools. You’ll want to make use of all of these to ensure you have the right level of protection.

Security Ratings

Third and Fourth-Party Vendor-Provided Tools

A lot of vendors who provide supply network solutions also offer security tools that you can use to scan their products. It’s always worth asking about these when communicating with your vendors as they’re usually free to use. You can also find a range of tools online that can help in a similar way.

Vulnerability Assessment Platforms

A vulnerability assessment platform will look at your IT infrastructure and take inventory of (and analyse) the current security controls you have in place. They then produce a report that will help you understand the risk of any vulnerabilities it finds in your network.

You can prioritise these threats so that you know how you should proceed. It’s also possible to perform independent vulnerability assessments to evaluate vendor performance. This can help improve third-party relationships.

Penetration Testing

There are various types of penetration testing available, and they help to assess current security systems while maintaining compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA, FINRA, PCI DSS, SOC 2, and FFIEC. Some of the weaknesses that penetration testing can expose are:

  • High-risk vulnerabilities
  • Feasibility of a customised set of attack vectors
  • Your network’s attack detection and incident response capabilities
  • The magnitude of potential business impacts from attacks
  • Forensic analysis of post-security incidents

Employee Assessments

Research has shown that 88% of data breach incidents (if not more) are the result of human error. As such, this is arguably the most important cyber security tool available. All it takes is one employee to absentmindedly click on an email link containing malware and your business could become a victim of a cyber attack.

It’s vital that you assess your employees to ensure they’re aware of the potential risks. The results from an employee assessment can show you if you need to conduct any employee cyber security training. Doing so will greatly reduce the level of risk your organisation is exposed to.

Ensuring Your Company Is Protected

At this point, ensuring your company has the right level of security is essential, and this will only become more important in the future. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to exploit individuals and businesses. You need to keep your company’s security systems comprehensive and up-to-date through regular testing.

Sytech Digital Forensics is a leading digital forensics and cyber security company. We’ve been in business since 1978; longer than any other cyber security firm in the UK.

Our knowledge, expertise, and cyber security risk assessment tools help us offer the best services available. Get in touch with our team today to find out more about how we can help keep your organisation safe and secure.

 

 

Unveiling the Risks of Cyber Attacks in Barristers’ Chambers

Cybercrime is becoming more profitable than ever before. This means that sensitive organisations, such as barristers’ chambers, are at risk. If you want to keep your organisation safe from cyber attacks, you’ll need to be aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them.

So what are some of the biggest threats that a barrister’s office faces today and how can you use cyber security monitoring tools to fight back? This article lists some of the main cybercrime methods you need to be aware of. 

Confidentiality

One of the most significant cyber risks for barristers’ chambers is that a cyber breach could result in a violation of client confidentiality. Cybercriminals know that barristers often handle sensitive client information. Unfortunately, this makes them a good target for cybercriminals, which could be someone trying to get details about a criminal case on behalf of one of the people involved in the case. These kinds of data breaches could have severe consequences for your company. Not only will you face reputational damage and a loss of client trust, but you might also face legal consequences. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can defend your barristers’ chambers. You’ll need to implement encryption and secure data storage, along with data access controls. Given how vital confidentiality is in legal practices, working with an external company with legal cyber security experience is the right course of action. 

Ransomware

Given the importance of legal data, barristers’ chambers are an incredibly attractive target for cybercriminals. The fundamentals of ransomware are quite simple. 

Cybercriminals trick someone into opening a malware file. Once the file is open, it applies unbreakable encryption to the system’s files. The only way to get the files back is by inputting a decryption key that only the ransomware attacker can provide. Generally, the only way to get this key is by paying a cash ransom to the attackers. Naturally, this puts barristers’ chambers in a difficult position. While you need to safeguard your data, you also can’t negotiate with criminals. 

Ransomware attacks can lead to significant downtime and financial losses. Thankfully, there are ways you can protect yourself from this kind of attack. You’ll need to have a robust file backup system that keeps multiple copies of your essential files. With this kind of system in place, the ransomware attack is useless. You can simply revert to one of your backup files without worrying about negotiating with the criminals. 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are still a common type of cyberattack. Phishing attacks involve tricking someone into inputting their login credentials into a fake (but convincing) website. Often, criminals create a fake login page for the organisation they’re targeting.

Generally, they trick the victims into using this fake login page by impersonating a trusted individual. Phishing attacks are often a stepping stone towards another attack. Having login information may give criminals access to all your internal cyber systems. 

Sometimes, cybercriminals cast a wide net and try phishing techniques on a large number of people at once. On the other hand, they’ll sometimes target specific people or organisations. Barristers’ chambers can make an attractive target for this kind of attack because of the sensitive data they handle. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take against phishing attacks. One of the main and most effective defence mechanisms is having a multifactor authentication login system. This is when you’ll need to confirm your identity using a second device whenever you log in. For example, you might log in via a website, and you’ll receive a code on your mobile phone. A cybercriminal would then need to compromise your phone as well if they wanted to breach your systems. 

You can also help to prevent phishing attacks through staff awareness training. Phishing scams often have telltale signs you can easily spot (if you know what to look for). For example, fake login sites often use misspellings of the original URL.

Software Exploits

Some of the most devastating cyberattacks in history happened because attackers were able to exploit security holes in software. Legal organisations such as barristers’ chambers need to ensure they only use secure software. This can be a challenge as cybercriminals frequently identify new weaknesses in software they can exploit. 

Thankfully, good software vendors identify these problems and release a security patch to fix the problem. If you want to stay safe from software exploits, you’ll need to ensure you always keep your software up to date. 

You’ll also need to ensure you work with software companies that take security seriously. It may make sense to work with a cyber security monitoring company to help keep you aware of any software exploits that could potentially impact your organisation.

Cyber Security Monitoring Tools Can Help

If you want to stay on top of all of the potential cyber threats, you need to have the right safeguards. Cyber security monitoring tools can help you to stay aware of all the potential threats to your organisation. 

Do you want to work with a company that can help you to implement a robust cyber monitoring system? Contact us today and we’ll explain how we can help.

How Your Personal Social Media Presence Can Get Your Business Hacked

A social media presence can be very rewarding for businesses. Some business owners may see it as an opportunity to promote their brand, as well as engage with their customers. They are not wrong, considering that 4.48 billion people across the world use social media. 

However, the business owner has to be careful when managing their social media security. There are bad people out there that intentionally try to hack social media accounts. So how does social media hacking happen? How can you prevent it? This guide answers those questions and more. 

Passwords to Hack Social Media Accounts

One of the biggest things that can lead to your social media account getting hacked is if you have a weak password. This is something that is easy to guess or something that you use quite often for other logins. An example of a weak password could simply be using the word “password”. Other examples include using your name, using your birthday, using your maiden name, etc. 

This is one of the most common reasons why user accounts get hacked on the internet. About 30% of people that have experienced a data breach did so due to a weak password. Considering that 59% of Americans use their birthdays or names in their passwords, it is easy to assume why they are considered weak – it gives hackers the opportunity to easily guess your password. Once they do that, they have access to your social media account which can cause a lot of damage. 

Weak passwords are not the only thing that you have to watch out for – you have to consider the damage that a repetitive password could do as well. Let’s say that you use the same password for your social media account as you do for an account with a hotel chain. One day, that hotel chain could experience a data breach that compromises all of your account information with that chain. If you used the same password on both platforms, hackers may use that exposed password to try to see if it works for any of your other accounts on the internet. If it does, that is where you can run into trouble. 

The point here is that you need to try to strengthen your passwords and try to use unique passwords for sensitive accounts like this.

Two-Factor Authentication 

Setting up two-factor authentication for any business account that you use adds an extra layer of security for any account that you do this with. Let’s use passwords as an example. If a hacker gets access to your password for your business social media account, it can damage your business. However, if you have two-factor authentication, a password is not the only thing that they need to hack your account. 

They would need access to another level of security that you set up. In most cases, this typically means access to your mobile device or access to your email account. Those tend to be resources where two-factor authentication comes into play and verifies that the owner of the account is trying to access it. It is vital to take the time to set this up for your business account in case your passwords get compromised. 

Increase Security 

If you are going to have a business account, you need some online security that protects your account from being compromised. It is important to make sure that you have antivirus software installed on your device or even the right hardware depending on what business you are operating. 

You can hire a third party to handle all of your security needs and send you alerts for hacking situations that may arise. With this arrangement, you would have professionals monitoring your activity and they will be able to flag anything that they deem suspicious. 

On top of this, computer forensics teams could collect all of this data and help you get justice in the event that serious hackers are caught trying to compromise your social media account. In other words, it never hurts to have someone watching your back. 

Beware of Phishing 

Finally, you need to look out for the signs that a phishing scam is afoot. For those of you who are not familiar with this, it is when a hacker tries to manipulate you into compromising your own personal information. 

What they will do is mimic a company that they suspect you know and trust. Then, they will send you a fake email or a fake message either requesting more information from you or a link that they want you to click. If you click the link while you are signed into your account, that account can officially become compromised. The same happens if you reveal too much personal information that compromises your business through one of these phishing scams. 

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for this and do some additional research on what the most likely phishing scams are these days. 

Protect Your Business 

Bad people are going to do everything they can to try to hack social media accounts. What you need to do is make it impossible for them. Make sure that you and your employees have strong passwords, unique passwords, set up two-factor authentication, watch out for phishing scams, and increase your online security. 

Do you know where to begin with this? If not, we are here to help.  Contact us to find out how to get better online security for your business. 

MOVEit Hack: Could My Business Be at Risk? – Why You Need Cyber Security Essentials

Picture this: a staggering 60% of small businesses cease to exist within six months of a cyber attack. 

This statistic is not only chilling, but a wake-up call to businesses across the globe. It underlines the importance of cyber security essentials and, more specifically, the necessity of implementing comprehensive, robust solutions such as MOVEit file transfer to safeguard business data.

Keep reading to find out the cyber security essentials that you need to know and get on track to safeguard your business. 

Understanding the Scale of Cyber Attacks: An Invisible Battle

In our digital world, cyber attacks are happening more often and they’re getting more tricky. They’re not always easy to see, so we sometimes don’t know they’re happening until it’s too late. To really understand the risks businesses face, we need to understand how big these attacks can be and how they can vary.

Every day, there are about 3,000 cyber attacks reported. But we think only about 30% of all cyber crimes are actually found out. These attacks can be as simple as fake emails trying to get people to give up private information, or as complex as sneaky threats that secretly get into a network to steal data over a long period of time.

Another type of cyber attack that’s growing fast is ransomware. This is where cyber criminals lock up a victim’s data and ask for money in exchange for the data being released back to the victim. In 2022 alone, the cost of damage from ransomware was expected to be $20 billion. That’s a huge increase from $325 million in 2015. This big increase shows how fast cyber crime is growing, which makes it really important to have strong cyber security.

Cyber attacks can happen anywhere in the world, to businesses big and small. Small businesses are often targeted because they might not have strong security, while big businesses and governments are targeted because they have a lot of information.

Understanding how big and varied cyber attacks can be is an important first step for a business in defending itself. Once a company knows how big the threat is, they can start taking steps to protect their digital data. This might mean using secure file transfer tools like MOVEit, or coming up with a plan for how to respond if they get attacked.

MOVEit File Transfer: A Shield Against Data Exfiltration

Data is becoming more and more important for businesses. Because of this, it’s really important to protect this data from the increasing threat of cyber attacks. One kind of cyber attack to watch out for is data exfiltration. This is when someone unauthorised moves data from a computer. A lot of businesses choose MOVEit File Transfer to protect their important information.

MOVEit is a system that automatically transfers files in a secure and compliant way. This means businesses can move their important data safely. MOVEit can encrypt data transfers, keep detailed records of transfers and automate workflows, which all help to lessen the risk of cyber threats.

Unfortunately, recent news about a hack into MOVEit has made business owners worried: “Could my business be in danger?”

Unmasking the MOVEit Hack

Cyber criminals are always looking for weak spots they can take advantage of in popular file transfer solutions like MOVEit. The MOVEit hack is an example of a cyber attack where the bad guys found a hole in the system’s security and used it to steal data.

But it’s important to remember that any software or system, even the ones with the best security, can have weak spots. The MOVEit hack shouldn’t scare businesses away from using the software. Instead, it should make them want to add more security measures and stay on the lookout for threats.

Implementing Cyber Security Essentials: The First Line of Defence

A robust cyber security framework should be the cornerstone of every business. It should encompass the implementation of strong firewalls, antivirus software, and network security controls. However, there’s more to cyber security essentials than just technical defences.

Fostering a culture of cyber awareness among employees is key. You should ensure your business has a comprehensive incident response plan in place.

Is Your Business at Risk?

In a world that’s turning more and more digital, no business is safe from cyber attacks. The risk can be cut down a lot by having strong cyber security.

It is essential to be careful when choosing and using file transfer solutions like MOVEit and ensuring you have a detailed plan for what to do if an attack happens.

Pillars of a Strong Incident Response Plan: Laying the Foundation of Resilience

When it comes to cyber attacks, the question is not if, but when they will occur. This inevitability necessitates the development of a strong incident response plan, a strategic blueprint outlining how a business will respond to and recover from an attack.

It serves as the bedrock of a resilient cyber security infrastructure and is composed of several key pillars:

1. Preparation

The foundation of any effective incident response plan is thorough preparation. This involves conducting regular risk assessments, implementing preventive measures and training personnel to detect, respond to and mitigate threats.

2. Identification

Upon encountering an unusual activity or potential threat, swift and accurate identification is paramount. Employing advanced security tools can aid in detecting anomalies and flagging them for review.

3. Containment

Once a threat is identified, it must be contained to prevent further damage. This can involve isolating affected systems or networks, limiting the attacker’s access and implementing temporary measures to ensure business continuity.

4. Eradication

After containing the threat, the next step is to remove it from your system. This might involve deleting malicious code, patching software vulnerabilities, or even rebuilding entire systems if necessary.

5. Recovery

Once the threat is fully eradicated, businesses must work to restore their systems and operations to their normal state.

This includes restoring data from backup, testing the security of restored systems and ensuring that no remnants of the attack remain.

6. Lessons Learned

Lastly, every incident should be followed by a thorough review to extract key learnings.

Identifying what went wrong, what worked well and how the response can be improved is vital to strengthening the organisation’s cyber security posture for future threats.

Securing Your Digital Frontier: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

While the MOVEit hack may have raised concerns, it also serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of cyber threats. Your business could indeed be at risk, but with the right cyber security essentials in place, that risk can be mitigated.

Investing in cyber security tools and measures ensures that your business data is protected from data exfiltration. Adopt secure MFT solutions like MOVEit for file transfers, implement cyber security essentials and plan ahead with an effective incident response strategy.

Don’t let your business become another statistic. Safeguard your digital frontier today and enquire about our cyber security essentials

 

Safeguarding Confidentiality: The Vital Role of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is vitally important, so much so that even the UK government has a dedicated strategy for dealing with this issue. Data breaches can cause problems for consumers and companies alike. Privacy protection is important to avoid the worst consequences of these incidents. 

It’s vital for companies to keep customer data safe. Failure to do so could see them lose the trust of their customers and even face legal action. Businesses must do everything possible to protect customer data. The right cybersecurity can provide enough protection to help you and your customers feel safe. 

If you’re looking to learn more about the importance of cybersecurity and what you can do to protect data, you’re in the right place. We’ve put this guide together to help you understand the importance of cybersecurity. 

Protect Customer Data

Whatever business you’re in, it’s likely you have a lot of customer data on hand. Especially if you deal with customers online, you likely collect information on their preferences through cookies. In some cases, you may collect more sensitive information like home addresses or even banking details

Strong cybersecurity is vital for protecting this customer data. There are a lot of bad actors out there and many of them have a lot of experience in breaking down standard defences. These groups are often part of an organized crime ring and they are always changing their methods to steal data.  

Cloud Security

Lots of data is now stored in “the cloud”. While there is sometimes an assumption that all data stored in this way is very safe, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cloud data needs robust protection to avoid a breach. 

The key to protecting data stored in the cloud is to ensure that only authorised people can gain access. Often, this is done by adding a new form of authentication.

An example of this is the bank calling you or requiring an access code if you make a deposit in a new place. This is the kind of approach that may be necessary for protecting your data. 

Network Security

Your networks will have a lot of information going back and forth. Without the proper protection, these can be vulnerable to breaches. 

Modern, regularly-updated software is essential to providing strong network security. Firewalls and anti-virus software can protect data going backwards and forwards through networks. Ensure your technicians pay close attention to this area and respond quickly if you’re suspicious about any issues. 

Consider engaging with consulting services to help you improve your information security. 

Breach Detection

Sometimes, companies don’t realize they have suffered a security breach. They might think things are as usual when in reality, all of their systems have been compromised. 

Companies ought to run regular checks to ensure their systems have not been breached. There are dedicated types of software that can help you to identify whether bad actors have access to your system. 

If a breach is detected, you will need to respond quickly. Plan ahead and work to put an existing incident response plan in place. 

Protecting Financial Data

A cybersecurity breach can result in a company’s financial data being exposed. Your banking information could fall into the hands of cybercriminals if it isn’t properly protected.

In recent years, some companies have had their financial data stolen by bad actors. This may give criminals direct access to your bank accounts, allowing them to make withdrawals or transfers.

In other cases, criminals could redivert your revenue streams into their own accounts. You might find payments you expect are heading overseas instead. 

Employee Data

Every company stores sensitive data about its employees. This includes home addresses, dates of birth, and bank details. It’s important to protect this data as much as you protect customer and corporate data. 

Keeping your employees safe is one of your duties as an employer. Carefully safeguarding their data using modern cybersecurity techniques can help you to build a strong reputation. It can even boost employee retention and improve your ability to recruit in the future. 

Avoiding Legal Difficulties

If you fail to protect confidential data, you could face legal difficulties. Clients can sue you, or you may face action from regulatory bodies if it is found that you have not protected your client’s data properly. 

A judgment against your company will be extremely costly. It could also come with a court order to make certain changes in your company. This could restrict your development plans or force you to submit to regular inspections. 

If you are subject to a court judgment or a fine, this could cause a spiral of negativity around your company. Customers may see reports about the court judgment in the media and pull their support as a result. This could potentially have a huge impact on your revenue streams and cause your company to eventually fold. 

Privacy Protection and Security Training

Cybersecurity isn’t just about buying the latest software and hoping it works out. Staff members need thorough training to ensure they know how to use their equipment. They should also understand how to manage data and company property to avoid creating a weakness. 

Efficient training will look very different for different employees. Entry-level and non-tech employees like secretaries will need basic training. This will mostly revolve around identifying phishing scams and simple data protection.

Technicians, software engineers, and other professionals need more detailed training. This may need to be delivered by experienced consultants. 

Get Quality Cybersecurity Services for Your Business

In the modern era, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Failing to give it the proper attention could cause major problems for your business, potentially even causing it to face financial difficulties. That’s why safeguarding confidentiality should be top of your priority list.

Here at Sytech Consultants, we provide a range of cyber services, including help with privacy protection. We can offer you protection from bad actors or help you through the immediate aftermath of an attack. Find out more about our consultancy services today or contact us today to make an enquiry.

 

Demystifying Digital Forensics: A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Evidence

Digital forensics focuses on the digital devices that may have been used to commit a crime or to provide supporting evidence to link a suspect to a crime such as murder, theft of intellectual property, distribution of indecent images, burglary, drugs, and many others. 

The term “digital forensics” was originally used for the use of computers, but as technology has evolved, it has now come to refer to any digital device that can store data. The evidence found on any device can be pieced together to form a story of what happened when the crime was committed. This evidence can then be used in a court of law if and when required or for other instances, such as Human Resources during employment (alleged misdemeanour, disclosure of sensitive information or theft).

The Five Branches of Digital Forensics

Though digital forensics is a wide discipline, it has only five main branches. Each branch derives its name from the type of data it examines and analyses. 

Database Forensics

Database forensics is a division of digital forensics that focuses on databases. It often has to do with the analysis of stored data or data living in databases.

This includes some of the digital evidence types we discussed above, this includes metadata, volatile data, replicant, and sometimes residual. 

A database forensics expert will review the timestamps associated with the activities in question. This will give cues and clues as to what a user was doing on the computer. Another source of evidence for database investigators is the Transaction Log Data Files

Database forensics can be used in various ways when uncovering digital evidence. Some of the most common uses include detecting suspicious activity, discovering database loopholes, and guarding against cybercrimes.

Computer Forensics

Computer forensics remains one of the broadest branches of digital forensics and likely the oldest. This branch first emerged with the rising use of computers among the public. It focuses on investigating, analysing, and understanding data from a computing device. 

The most common end goal of computer forensic science is prosecution. But this branch of forensics can also prove helpful in unearthing reasons for failure in digital devices. 

A quick example would be when an operating system crashes. Investigators will depend on computer forensics to figure out the cause of the failure.

Mobile Device Forensics

With 16 billion mobile devices around the world, it is no wonder mobile device forensics exists. More people today depend on their mobile devices than their personal computers. 

Most consumers’ mobile devices house their personal information, are connected to their bank accounts, and contain other sensitive data like their location. 

This increasing dependence means mobile devices are the perfect place for investigators to look when in search of digital evidence.

Mobile device forensics is the gathering, analysis, and presentation of data scientifically gathered from mobile devices. From mobile devices, investigators can review a user’s search history, financial records, location patterns, and conversations.  

Mobile device forensics is used in different industries such as the military, business, and law enforcement.

Network Forensics

The third subset of digital forensics on our list revolves around the investigation of computer network traffic. If investigators suspect that a particular network is responsible for spreading viruses or is being used to steal information, they will lean on network forensics to solve the problem. 

During a network investigation, forensic scientists are out to find the source of an attack or network event, the path it took, and the techniques used in the attack. 

There are two ways to analyse a network event, but the investigators don’t get to choose the method; the method picks itself. Depending on the stage of the attack, investigators can either use the postmortem approach or the real-time investigation technique.

In the postmortem approach, the event has already occurred and leaves investigators with clues they can piece together to find out how the event occurred and possibly who was behind it. In a real-time investigation, the event is still ongoing. This allows scientists to analyse the event as it occurs.

Some network attacks are:

  • Session hijacking
  • IP address spoofing
  • Buffer overflow
  • Ad hoc connection
  • Rogue access point attack

Forensic Data Analysis

Forensic Data Analysis (FDA) is a branch of digital forensics that encompasses aspects of every branch of digital forensics. FDA, much like database forensics, involves studying information from storage devices. And like network forensics, it includes the analysis of data on a network.

Therefore, FDA is an exploration of data to understand trends and enhance digital routes. Simply put, forensics data analysis looks into data to prove fraudulent activities and improve security.

What Is Digital Evidence in Forensics?

Digital evidence is the bedrock of digital forensics. It refers to all information and data that is stored on or communicated by a digital device.

In its earlier days, digital evidence and forensics focused on computers. But in today’s digital landscape, digital evidence comes from mobile devices, hard drives, or even cloud accounts.

This integration of technology into our daily lives puts digital evidence at the forefront of criminal investigations. We are not only talking about cybercrimes – digital evidence is an important resource in an array of different crimes.

What Is the History of Digital Evidence?

The history of digital evidence journeys far back, there are recorded events dating as far back as the ’70s and ’80s. At that time, digital forensics was in the hands of government officials with a background in computers. In the UK, digital forensics was first embraced by the Metropolitan Police which formed a unit called the Fraud Squad.

It was not until the ’90s that this branch of science was born and accurately termed. Several governing bodies came together in this same era to produce standards and procedures that would regulate digital evidence. This help us to further understand how binary information is collected, stored, and analysed. 

In 1998, the Association of Chief Police Officers produced the first Good Practice Guide for Digital Evidence. The next year followed a revision of the ISO Guide 25. This was a collaboration between the ISO and the IEC, which resulted in new guidelines for laboratories.

The new International Organisation for Standardisation guidelines were later revised in 2005 and again in 2017. The guidelines have worked to standardise laboratory testing and calibration and so minimise inaccuracy in evidence gathering and reporting.

Why Do We Need Digital Evidence?

There are a number of reasons why digital forensics is so important, it can help identify criminals whilst retrieving valuable information to present in a court of law and persecute:

  • Theft of data or network breaches (hacking) – digital forensics can help understand how a breach happened and who the hacker was.
  • White collar crimes – this involves crimes such as embezzlement or corporate fraud and digital forensics can help gather evidence to persecute.
  • Violent crimes (assault, burglary) – digital devices can contain a lot of information regarding locations, messages or people who were involved in the crime.
  • Fraud and identity theft – digital forensics are used to understand the impact on customers and businesses, should personal data get into the wrong hands.

Types of Digital Evidence

There are different types of digital evidence laboratories can collect. Below, we have covered the top seven forms processed by most laboratories.

Logs

At the helm of digital evidence, we have logs. Logs are digital files that summarise an electronic event and they are part of the visible data family.

The information found in logs includes the time an event was initiated, raw text and the source of the activity. 

From a forensics point of view, log data can help laboratories identify who started an event, when they initiated it, and what information they targeted.

There are several common log data files within the digital network:

  • Device fingerprints
  • IP logs
  • OS logs
  • Phone logs
  • Door access records
  • Network logs
  • Software logs
  • Email logs
  • Database logs

Through log forensics, companies can identify points of vulnerability in their systems and find ways to mitigate future attacks. Log forensics is also a great way to understand the lifecycle of an attack, reconstruct incidents, and identify attack patterns.

Video Footage and Images

There is nothing like a high-resolution image of a culprit to solve a case or even a video stored in the cloud to retell how events took place. Another member of the visible data group, video footage and images are among some of the most communicative forms of digital evidence out there. 

Not only can this type of evidence outline the incident in finer detail, but it can also help individuals identify suspects faster. Though videos and images are one of the most important resources, they actually come in an array of formats and these formats aren’t always easy to process.

Another challenge that rises from this data type is the resolution. If the integrity of your data is compromised, it will be both unusable and inadmissible. 

This means to access and analyse this visual data, you will need access to compatible software. 

The different types of video formats include:

  • MP4
  • FLV
  • AVI
  • WMV
  • AVI
  • AVCHD
  • FLV
  • WebM
  • MOV

Of all of the above formats, MP4 is clearly the most popular. These formats are usually a result of a mobile phone recording.

Metadata

Metadata doesn’t only have its place in SEO. There is room for it in the digital forensics lab as well. 

The first in our list of the invisible data category, metadata is often described as data about data. In a simple general discussion, this is accurate. But that is until you speak to data and forensic scientists. 

They will tell you that metadata is underlying information that is not perceivable. This data holds a set of attributes about another form of data. It can be anything from when the file was created and who created it to where it is stored.

The most common example of metadata is the information you can see when you right-click on an image stored on your personal computer to reveal its properties. 

During digital evidence collection, metadata can reveal the owner of a file in question and when the owner created it. With the aid of the right software, digital forensic investigators can also review the software used to create the file, down to the exact operating system model it uses. This makes it easier for them to narrow down potential perpetrators.

Volatile Data 

Volatile data is data that can be lost once the device powers off. For an interactive user experience, your computer will store your data on the RAM. This is because the RAM processes data faster, making for a more responsive system.  

However, when your device turns off, the data stored on the RAM is deleted. This is where volatile data differs from persistent or non-volatile data.

Even when deleted, non-volatile data is recoverable. This is particularly true if the data has not been overwritten by another file.

But there is a place where these two meet. Should the RAM become full as you are working on a file, your data will be transferred onto the hard drive. This will turn your volatile data into persistent data.

This way, even when the device turns off, the volatile data now stored in that computer becomes recoverable.

Volatile data can reveal the activity on a device, files a user accessed, and sometimes their unsaved documents. Volatile data forms part of active data as it can reveal the live activities of a user on a device.

To access all proprietary volatile data, it is important to do so when the device is still on. This can reveal to digital investigators the type of activity the user was doing on the device.

Along with the RAM, volatile data resides in cache and CPU registries. Since this type of data is not easy to detect, it is part of the invisible data family.

Replicant Data

Another great way to discover a suspect’s activities on their device is through replicant data. Replicant data is exactly what the name suggests. It is data that has replicated itself.  

Sometimes to guard against data loss, a system will save a user’s file. This is most common in Microsoft Word. Should your device turn off unexpectedly, chances are you will still be able to recover what you were last working on in Word. 

But this data retention method can also prove very helpful during digital evidence collection. When examined, replicant data sources can reveal what the user was up to on the device. The data can reveal information like what the last accessed file was or the last browser site visited.

Some examples of replicant data include web cache and cookies.

Residual Data

And finally, we have another member of the invisible data group: residual data. This is data that the user may have deleted but is still lingering on the computer.

Residual data can be recovered to trace a user’s journey through a computer. In data theft cases, recovered residual data is also used to depict the file a user had access to, and files they received and reviewed.

Who Examines the Digital Evidence?

Digital evidence must only be examined by those trained and qualified to do so. For example, if a phone was stolen, someone may be able to search for the stolen device on an online shopping site, but they wouldn’t be able to access any valuable data on the device that would provide valuable clues. There is also a risk of evidence being destroyed if someone who is unqualified tries to obtain it themselves. 

The process of handling a seized device follows a number of steps to ensure all of the necessary data is collected:

  1. To prevent cross-contamination, a copy of the original device is made and stored somewhere else to protect the original data. For example, if data from the original device was placed on a form of media that already contained data from a previous examination, the previous data may be examined by accident instead. Wherever the new data goes, the location must be clean and new.
  2. When examining the data, an isolation chamber is used to stop the device from connecting to wireless networks. If an isolation chamber is not available, the device can be switched into airplane mode to prevent connections.
  3. Software may be implemented on the device that disallows any data to be added, changed or removed, similar to a read-only copy of a document.
  4. Extraction software is used to extract the evidence from the phone and this is determined by the make and model of the phone.
  5. When the data has been extracted, the device is given back to evidence, where other forms of data can be taken, such as fingerprints.
  6. The examiner will then have access to all of the files on the device, including those that have been deleted.

Techniques For Gathering Digital Evidence

There are a variety of techniques that are used to gather and analyse evidence:

Reverse Steganography

Steganography is something criminals use to hide data inside messages or files. Reverse steganography allows the examiner to compare the hash value of the original file to the altered file. This value will be different for both, even if the files look exactly the same at first glance.

Live Analysis

Live analysis is the process of accessing data when the device is operating. Specific tools can be used to find volatile data that is stored in the cache or RAM. If live analysis is required, the device will be kept in the lab to ensure none of the evidence is lost. 

Cross-Drive Analysis

This process involves analysing and cross-referencing information from multiple devices to find similarities. Similarities can lead to the detection of suspicious events. This technique is also known as anomaly detection.

Stochastic Forensics

This process enables analysis from digital activity that doesn’t generate digital artefacts. Digital artefacts can occur if a digital process alters the data. An example of this is text files, where content can be used to find evidence for a data theft that changes the file’s attributes. 

Find Out More About Digital Forensics

Digital evidence is an important component of ensuring that any crime committed through a digital device is looked into as soon as possible, especially when regarding the privacy of your data. 

At SYTECH Consultants, we offer a range of services to help you find the full story. From computer forensics to mobile phone forensics, we can help you find the evidence you need for your case. Contact us today to hear how our consultants can help you with digital evidence. Take a look at our Digital Forensics Services.

Enhancing Trust in Digital Evidence: The Role of Forensic Science Regulator’s Code and ISO 17025

A square peg in a round hole or a necessary step to ensure evidence credibility? Many digital experts have their views on ISO 17025. But one thing is sure; getting accredited presents a lot of benefits for your lab and clients.

With the new Regulator’s Code, accreditation is no longer an option but a necessity. For you to ensure the credibility of your evidence, and to be statutory compliant, you must turn to the ISO standards.

Both these new standards and accreditation are changing the way digital scientists collect, process, and present evidence.

What is ISO 17025, what is its place in the world of digital forensics, and how can you get accredited? We have all those answers for you below.

What Is the New Statutory Code?

The new statutory code is a set of regulations that govern forensic science activities in England and Wales. This excludes Scotland and Northern Ireland. These two countries have their own forensic science crime investigation standards.

What this means for forensic laboratories is that compliance is mandatory for investigations aimed at solving criminal cases. 

The new code will officially come into effect on the 2nd of October 2023. Though it encompasses some ideas embodied in the Forensic Science Regulator CoP v7, there are some notable differences to anticipate. We will dive further into these in the next header.

The Forensic Science statutory code is issued by the Forensic Regulator’s office after section 2 of the Forensic Science Regulator Act 2021.

New Statutory Code Vs. FSR CoP v7

In August 2022, the Regulator published a draft of the Statutory Code which provided the forensics industry with a glimpse of the requirements to come. The House of Lords approved the new Code on 1st of March 2023 under section 3 of the Act.

Since the Code is changing from voluntary to statutory, it has been expanded. This permits it to clarify areas that were only regarded as a scope of operation.

But what are some of the changes to anticipate?

Statutory

The new Code of Practice arising from the Regulator is statutory. This means that all parties involved in Forensic Science Activities (FSA) in Wales and England must comply. The previous code of conduct was not statutory.

This allowed industry participants to decide on compliance. With the new CoP, however, laboratories that are not fully compliant will be required to be compliant.

Management Requirements

The new Act expands on the management requirements all units must meet instead of covering only accreditation requirements. In this section, the FSR Code mandates that forensic units define all roles involved in Forensic Science Activities (FSAs).

This includes roles that have an impact on FSAs. For unit personnel whose roles do not directly affect the FSAs, but are supportive roles, training must be conducted.

Forensic Processes

Another area seeing better clarification is the process and procedure scope. The non-statutory FSR Code provided simple guidelines on processes. For example, we didn’t see much information included when it came to the control of records or personnel competence.

However, the new Code sheds more light on these regulatory areas. An area worth noting is under competence guidelines (Section 28). Here the Regulator has added rules that govern practitioners whose role involves evidence reporting.

Expert Testimony

The Statutory Code has also added more weight to the rules surrounding expert witnesses. The Code further impresses the importance of the impartiality of expert witnesses. But it doesn’t end there.

The Code also clarifies that the expert called to testify should be loyal only to the court. It expands to make demands on these witnesses to have been investigated for competence in their capacity as experts.

This is particularly true for expert witnesses called to share their opinions in criminal trials.

Business Continuity

The Regulator didn’t neglect to outline requirements in the event of business interruption. Though highlighted in the previous Code, the new Code further defines the appropriate courses of action in the event of interruption.

For example, what used to be a three-part section covering the frequency of business continuity assessments, recovery of data, and maintenance of data integrity is now a five-part section.

Under this section, continuity plans are better defined. This includes what the plan should cover and expands on data recovery and integrity preservation. The document also warrants that units have safeguard measures should external legal partners go out of business. 

What Is New?

There are several aspects of the soon-to-be-implemented Code that cover areas not included in the previous Code. These areas include: 

Senior Accountability Individual

The Code now mandates that forensic units have a senior manager whose role shall be to ensure compliance. This manager shall be the senior accountability individual.

Every unit that has two or more practitioners must appoint a senior accountability individual or SAI. But if a unit has only one practitioner, then that practitioner shall assume the role of SAI.

The SAI will be the point of communication between the unit and the Regulator. In their capacity as SAI, appointed practitioners will be responsible for ensuring data quality including averting quality failures. 

The senior accountability individual will be held liable for any action the Regulator takes against the unit. 

Every unit must report the contact details and appointment date, and outline the responsibilities of the SAI to the Regulator. And should any of the information change, the unit has 30 days to communicate these changes to the Regulator.

Infrequently Commissioned Experts 

Though covered in the FSR-C-100, it was not in-depth. But in the new document, the parameters for infrequently commissioned experts earned an entire section: Section 46.

In the FSR-C-100 regulations concerning these experts, there is a subset of a section discussing a team of experts from other professions. It outlines obligations the experts must meet before participating in a testimonial capacity. 

But in the new document, rules about infrequently commissioned experts are more strictly governed.

Some of the rules state that the expert shouldn’t have been called as a witness in any criminal justice system case within the preceding 12 months in the Wales and England territory. Experts are also required to comply with several Acts applicable to the CJS (criminal justice system) like the Criminal Procedure Rules and Criminal Practice Directions.

The Role of ISO 17025 in the Code

The Statutory Code places a significant demand on quality.  The majority of the sections in the Code reference standards of quality expected of the Wales and England forensic units and laboratories. The Regulator’s office has the responsibility of upholding these standards.

One of the outlined quality requirements in the Code is compliance with an internationally recognised standard. 

For digital forensics, the Regulator continues to suggest the ISO 17025 standards as the most appropriate.  

ISO/IEC 17025 in particular exists to regulate global laboratories. This ensures consistency in the results provided. And it enhances global collaboration and international trade.

With ISO 17025, all testing and calibration bodies will have the confidence to trust results from other laboratories regardless of their location around the world.

Why? Because with ISO 17025, labs follow the same standards for testing. These standards help laboratories produce credible results that are globally admissible.

In the Code, ISO accreditation is required from 2nd of October 2023 at 00:01. 

How to Achieve ISO 17025 Accreditation

Now that we have outlined the place of ISO 17025 in the Forensic Science Regulator’s Code, let’s explore steps for achieving accreditation. 

If you need help with ISO accreditation, we are the team to partner with. Backed by over 40 years of experience, we can help you and your unit develop an accreditation strategy that ensures compliance.

Step 1: Study the ISO Requirements 

Before you start your accreditation journey, you must acquaint yourself with the ISO 17025 requirements. To employ ISO, you must know what it means and demands from your unit. 

The three focus areas for ISO are:

  • Quality management
  • Technical competence
  • Result accuracy

Gaining an understanding of how the three interact with your organisation will help you know the standards you need and which copy is perfect for your business. 

Step 2: Create a Gap Analysis

With the Code becoming mandatory, you will have to review your existing systems to ensure compliance. This will involve an in-depth study of your quality management system or QMS. 

Review areas that don’t line up with the required ISO standards. You may need to involve a consultant in this step. Working with a professional consultancy firm like SYTECH can help you create an analysis that encompasses all areas of your operations.

With SYTECH by your side, you can create an accreditation plan that will guarantee you are ISO accredited. We will help you ensure that you don’t miss any standards outlined in ISO 17205 and help you modify any operation that falls short. 

Step 3: Employee Training

The third step to accreditation is training. For your ISO standards to succeed, your entire unit will have to be educated in line with the requirements. 

You can create PowerPoint presentations for your employees, partner with Sytech, or send your employees to online training.

Step 4: Documentation of the QMS

Regardless of industry, QMS documentation is important. This makes compliance audits easier while also ensuring all parties know their roles.

But for digital forensics, this is vital on your road to accreditation. Not only will it help you know which standards need updating, but the QMS document will be reviewed as part of your application.

Step 5: Audit the QMS

Conducting an internal audit can help you review your QMS before the accrediting body sends an assessor. This will assist you in reviewing your system and reveal areas where it needs improvement. After an internal audit, you may need to redesign some aspects of your QMS.

Step 6: Apply for Accreditation

When your QMS system is in order, your technical competence is verified, and the internal audit is complete, then it is time to apply for accreditation.

You will need to pick an accreditation body to help you conduct the assessment. 

The assessor will review your documentation before doing an onsite review. These audits will review your competency in line with the ISO 17025 requirements. The assessor will look into your equipment calibration and proficiency testing. 

Benefits of ISO Accreditation

Getting an ISO 17025 accreditation can help your organisation build trust, avoid penalties and enhance trade. Below we review these benefits in greater depth.

Improved International Trade

One of the major benefits of ISO accreditation is that it opens the door to international trade. What this means is that results from an accredited lab in one country can be admissible as evidence in another. This allows for the collaboration of labs in different countries.

Competitive Advantage

Laboratories that are accredited inspire trust among clients. This assures that data is handled with integrity and that testing is conducted by qualified personnel.

Build Trust

ISO 17025 is designed to ensure a management hierarchy in an organisation. This makes a demand on labs to ensure that only qualified personnel handle testing and calibration. Therefore, an accredited laboratory communicates trust to its clients, certifying that qualified employees are the ones handling laboratory operations. 

Regulator’s Code Compliance

Implementing ISO 17025 standards within your organisation is one of the best ways to be Statutory Code compliant. The ISO 17025 standards are part of the requirements listed within the new Code, especially for testing and calibrating laboratories. 

Your Journey to Accreditation

With the new Statutory Code effective from October 2023, an ISO 17025 accreditation is no longer an option. For every lab and forensic unit within the UK, it is now a must. 

When it comes to getting started on your accreditation journey, SYTECH can help. We are the consultancy firm that can support your journey.

Contact us today to hear how our consultants can guide you to ISO accreditation.

 

Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Spot Phishing Like a Pro

According to a recent survey, almost 40% of small businesses in the UK report being the victims of cyber attacks each year. Of these cyber attacks, more than 80% are phishing scams.

You should do whatever it takes to prevent phishing scams from negatively impacting your company. This will start with you learning about the different types of phishing attacks that exist.

You should also teach your employees about phishing scams and make sure they’re ready to stop a phishing attack from taking place. It’ll make your entire company safer when it comes to cyber attacks.

Here are some of the most common types of phishing attacks and what you can do to spot them.

Spear Phishing

Of all the types of phishing attacks on this list, this one is probably the simplest and most straightforward. But it’s also one of the phishing scams that people tend to fall victim to most often without thinking twice about it.

During a spear phishing attack, one or more of your employees will receive an email that will ask them to either download a file or click on a link. When they do, they’ll invite malware onto their computer and into your system. It can then wreak havoc on your company as a whole.

You should train your employees on how to spot spear phishing attempts. These types of phishing scams can strike quickly if those within your company aren’t careful.

The National Cyber Security Centre recently warned UK businesses of spear phishing attacks originating from Russia and Iran. They should be on your company’s radar.

Email Phishing

Email phishing is a lot like spear phishing in that it will involve your employees receiving emails with files to download or links to click. The big difference between these two types of phishing attacks is that email phishing will involve mass emails going out and hitting more of your employees’ inboxes.

The good news is that there is anti-phishing technology that can be used to stop email phishing attempts. But one of these attempts might slip past this technology every so often and cause complications.

Just like with spear phishing, you should train your employees on how to spot email phishing attempts. You should also tell them to always think twice before downloading a file or clicking on a link from someone they might not know.

Clone Phishing

Clone phishing is one of the scariest types of phishing attacks because it isn’t always easy to identify a phishing attack when it’s used. It involves an attacker using an existing email to try to phish those who work for your company.

The problem with this type of phishing attack is that it’s going to look very convincing. The emails that your employees receive during a clone phishing attack might look just like the emails they would normally get. It can make it difficult for you to train your employees not to open them.

You can, however, stop clone phishing attacks from taking a toll on your company by investing in anti-phishing software that can spot them. This software should help your employees make good decisions about opening up emails and clicking on links in them even when they appear to be from trusted sources.

Credential Phishing

If a prompt popped up on your employees’ screens asking them to input their login credentials, what would they do? Ideally, they would report this to your company’s IT team to make sure it’s legit.

But unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. It’s why some companies will fall for credential phishing attacks.

These attacks take place when those who work for a company start inputting their login credentials into prompts that aren’t legit. It can lead to a company’s internal system being exposed and confidential data falling into the wrong hands.

You should ask your employees to please report any unexpected prompts on their various devices that ask for their login credentials. It might help stop these credentials from getting stolen by attackers.

Smishing

Email phishing scams have become so common over the years that many of them have stopped working. It’s forced those who try to pull these types of phishing scams to get a little more creative.

Some of them have responded by taking part in what is called “smishing.” It’s just like email phishing except that it involves trying to get people to click links through text messages.

If your company provides cell phones to your employees that are utilized for work purposes, you should talk to them about smishing and advise them not to click on links in any text messages from unknown senders.

Image Phishing

In an effort to deceive those who might be too smart to fall for other types of phishing scams, some attackers have started to participate in image phishing. This type of phishing involves sending images that people can click on through emails as opposed to links.

Many people have been taught not to click on links, but they haven’t always been advised not to click on images. Some will even accidentally click on these images in an email without thinking twice.

You should discuss image phishing with your employees and ask them to send any potential image phishing attempts to your IT team.

Pop-Up Phishing

Most companies have put pop-up blockers into place to stop pop-ups from appearing on their employees’ computer screens. But it isn’t impossible for those who launch pop-up phishing attacks to get around these blockers.

You should talk to your employees about not clicking on any pop-ups that might appear on the screens of their devices. If they do, it could expose your company to malware.

Avoid These Types of Phishing Attacks at All Costs

There are so many types of phishing attacks that take place these days. It can be difficult for your company to keep up with all of them.

But you should make an effort to teach your employees how to stop phishing attacks in their tracks. You should also invest in the latest anti-phishing technology to ensure that you’re able to eliminate as many phishing attacks as you can automatically.

SYTECH can provide you with many of the cyber services you’ll need to keep your company safe. Contact us today to get more information on them.