The use of computer forensics has been growing in popularity in Poland. “The benefits drawn from computer forensics when settling disputes and in cases related to competition law have already been recognized and appreciated in the market of legal services”, explains Rafał Turczyn, Forensic and Dispute Services Practice Leader, Deloitte.
Computer forensics is an efficient development of standard investigation procedures; it also provides support to the process of obtaining information for the needs of explanatory proceedings. Based on our findings, today one in three legal firms operating in Poland applies computer forensic techniques when creating optimum claim structures or gathering evidence for cases linked with economic abuse. In practice, the application of techniques from the area of computer forensics allows you to confirm or exclude the hypotheses arrived at during investigation, relying on the information that is difficult or virtually impossible to come by in other ways. In addition, computer forensics makes it possible to structure and put findings and conclusions in order, to channelize further work, and to obtain legally viable evidence material.
Computer forensics is not only an effective tool used by law enforcement agencies in their fight against crime; it can also prove useful for companies that counteract industrial espionage, competition ban infringements, or those that want to eliminate disloyal or dishonest practices of their employees. Searching for and analysis of data recorded on various digital carriers, such as PCs, laptops, tablets, phones or smartphones, can be helpful from the perspective of compliance systems or malpractice risk management. Entrepreneurs try to identify irregularities or patterns of behaviour that are inconsistent with the approved standards, clarify them and prevent their occurrence in the future.
In computer forensics, electronic material is secured. Later it may become evidence in proceedings linked with malpractices and irregularities detected in corporations. Thus derived data is processed and analysed to find the information required for the needs of specific proceedings. In some situations the results of initial search are made available through advanced and technologically dedicated platforms. These steps make it possible for the persons engaged in the legal proceedings to carry out further detailed analyses.
The situation where a representative of the top management in a certain corporation acted to the detriment of his employer by conducting competitive business is a case in point here. Nowadays, such behaviour is not an isolated occurrence, and it would not have been treated as very extraordinary if it had not been for the fact that some of the electronic data was removed before explanatory proceedings were launched. Thanks to computer forensic experts, the data removal alerted the team dedicated to detecting irregularities, which confirmed earlier suspicions regarding the individual involved. Then the very data that the culprit had been trying to remove was used as evidence that allowed the law office representing the injured company to pursue a civil law claim. In such situations the benefits derived from using computer forensics cannot be overestimated. Were it not for the fact that all digital events leave a permanent mark, most probably, much information would remain unavailable and clarification of many issues would be harder.