Insider fraud is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), a typical fraud case lasts 12 months before detection and causes a median loss of $117,000. Once your organization suspects fraud, there are certain steps you need to take to investigate.
What to do when you suspect insider fraud: 10 tips for investigating with digital forensics
- Pinpoint potential compromise locations. When you suspect fraudulent activity, the initial step is to identify where and how it occurred. Which systems were breached? What data was compromised? What was stolen?
- Identify suspects. The next step is to focus on answering the “who” question. Who was involved? Was the misconduct deliberate? If malicious, what were the potential motives behind the fraudulent act?
- Investigate devices to confirm or eliminate suspects. This phase of your investigation involves a deep dive into the systems used, both physically and digitally. At this stage, you’ll analyze the evidence to determine the suspects and those who you can rule out.
- Build a case from collected evidence. Armed with the information you’ve gathered, it’s time to construct a comprehensive case, including detailing what actions were taken and what information was stolen.
- Use the right digital forensics tools. Digital forensics tools can assist with each step of your fraud investigation. They can help you determine subsequent actions for the perpetrator. Are they worthy of a warning, termination, or potential legal action? Each scenario requires a burden of proof. The right digital forensics tools play a pivotal role in building a compelling case to protect organizations from adverse outcomes.
- Look for digital forensics tools that offer a consolidated view. A centralized view will allow you to efficiently manage all aspects of your investigation. Given the complexity of digital investigations involving computers, mobile devices, and cloud-based applications, this is crucial.
- Look for off-network remote collection capabilities. Ensure the digital forensics tool you’re using can leverage cloud computing for off-network remote collection from Mac, Windows, and Linux systems, even when they are not connected to your corporate network.
- Use rapid and covert remote collection. Tools should enable quick and covert remote collection of data from Mac, Windows, and Linux endpoints, even when not connected to your network.
- Take advantage of advanced analytics. Your digital forensics tool should offer powerful analytics capabilities that expedite examinations and provide insights on where to focus next in the investigation.
- Look for compatibility with eDiscovery platforms. You want the ability to generate load files compatible with eDiscovery review platforms, ensuring seamless integration with your legal processes.
Seek Digital Forensic Expertise
If you suspect insider fraud within your company, it’s important to seek assistance from a digital forensics expert—or, if you already have an in-house investigator, equip them with the right digital forensics tools. Digital forensics experts know how to conduct a thorough investigation and provide valuable insights and evidence to help uncover fraud and prevent it from happening in the future.
By following these 10 tips, you can effectively use digital forensics to unmask insider fraud and protect your business from potential losses. For more information about safeguarding your business from insider threats, and what tools you can use to do it, download “Identify Insider Fraud with Digital Forensics.”