Home > Articles > Security > Network Security

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Understanding the Scope of the Investigation

As mentioned, there are three basic types of investigation. With each type, the rules get tighter and the consequences of failure to comply get progressively stricter. A good rule of thumb is to pretend that the strictest rules apply to all investigations. However, as you might imagine, there are some role-specific requirements that don’t apply to all of them.

Internal Investigations

Internal investigation is the least restrictive of the inquiries you might make. From a standpoint of professional courtesy, internal investigations are more likely to be the least hostile type you’ll ever do. You work directly with management, and the target of your inquiries probably won’t even be aware of your activities until you are finished. You don’t have courts and lawyers combing every word you say or write, hoping to find the smallest mistake.

That is not to say that there aren’t laws that apply to internal probes. There most certainly are. State and federal laws regarding privacy apply to even the smallest organization. Also, different states have different laws regarding how companies deal with employment matters, implied privacy issues, and implied contracts. This isn’t intended to be a law book, so for the purposes of brevity and clarity, understand this. It is important to review any relevant regulations before you make your first move.

Most corporations have formal guidelines for such matters. In addition to a written employee handbook, it is very likely that a company has documented guidelines regarding issues leading to termination, use of company infrastructure (including computers, e-mail systems, and network services), and so forth. In every step of your process, make sure that you adhere to the law and to corporate policy. If there appears to be a conflict between the two, get legal advice. At the very least, make sure you have written authorization to perform every step you take. Management needs to be aware of your process and every step involved in the course of investigation, and they must sign off, giving approval. Document everything you do, how you did it, and what results you obtained. In digging into the source and impact of any internal security breach, your foremost concern is the protection of your client. However, should your probe uncover deeper issues, such as illegal activity or a national security breach, then it becomes necessary to call in outside authorities.

Civil Investigations

Civil cases are likely to be brought to the organization in situations where intellectual property rights are at risk, when a company’s network security has been breached, or when a company suspects that an employee or an outsider is making unauthorized use of the network. Marcella and Menendez (2008) identify the following possible attacks:

  • Intrusions
  • Denial-of-service attacks
  • Malicious code
  • Malicious communication
  • Misuse of resources

An investigator involved in a civil dispute should be cognizant of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Although a legal degree is hardly necessary, a strong background in civil law is invaluable. Additionally, experience in business management is useful, in that a good understanding of standard corporate policy is necessary. Good communications skills are required. Management needs to be able to feel equally comfortable dealing with a CEO or a secretary.

When working with large repositories of data connected to many different users and devices, it becomes more difficult to assess who actually committed an infraction. Proving that a specific user was accessing the network at a specific time (and possibly from a particular machine) can be critical to winning a case. Anson and Bunting (2007) point out the difficulties of generating an accurate timeline and recommend some good tools for simplifying the matter. A good manager will keep abreast of changing technology and make sure that the organization is equipped with the proper tools.

Tools required for examining large networks or performing live data capture are substantially more expensive than those used to search individual data sources. Generally, it is not possible to bring down a corporate network while the investigative team captures images of thousands of drives. Costs in time and materials would be prohibitive, as would be the negative impact of downtime on the company. Specialized software is needed to capture, preserve, and document the data. Additional tools are needed for data reduction. Filtering out the general network chatter and unrelated business documents can be a time-consuming process.

Keeping up with newer technology is essential, as is constant refresher training. The organization must continually assess its current capabilities and apply them to what imminent future needs are likely to be. As technology advances, investigative tools and techniques need to advance as well. Cases are won and lost on the ability of investigators to extract evidence. If a forensics team finds itself faced with a technology it doesn’t understand, there will be no time for on-the-job training.

Criminal Procedure Management

Defining precisely what constitutes computer crime is very difficult to do. Fortunately, it is not up to the investigator to determine what is and what is not criminal activity. However, some definitions have been presented by various experts. Reyes (2007) states that a computer crime will exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The computer is the object, or the data in the computer are the objects, of the act.
  • The computer creates a unique environment or unique form of assets.
  • The computer is the instrument or the tool of the act.
  • The computer represents a symbol used for intimidation or deception.

Generally speaking, computer crimes are little different from conventional crimes. Somebody stole something, somebody hurt somebody else, somebody committed fraud, or somebody possessed or distributed something that is illegal to own (contraband). While not an exhaustive list of possible computer crimes, the following is a list of the most commonly investigated:

  • Auction or online retail fraud
  • Child pornography
  • Child endangerment
  • Counterfeiting
  • Cyberstalking
  • Forgery
  • Gambling
  • Identity theft
  • Piracy (software, literature, and music)
  • Prostitution
  • Securities fraud
  • Theft of services

Prosecution of criminal cases requires a somewhat different approach than do civil cases. Legal restrictions are stricter, and the investigator is more likely to be impacted by constitutional limitations regarding search and seizure or privacy. Failure to abide by all applicable regulations will almost certainly result in having all collected evidence suppressed because of technicalities. Many civil investigations are not impacted as severely by constitutional law because there is no representative of the government involved in the investigation. To assure that the investigation succeeds, management of a criminal division needs to have someone with a strong legal background. Courts will use the Federal Rules of Evidence to decide whether or not to allow evidence to be admitted in an individual case.

For the same reasons, reporting procedures and chain of custody must be rigorously followed by each person involved in an investigation, whether they are involved directly or peripherally. Even a minor departure from best practice is likely to be challenged by opposing counsel. Because of this, selection of personnel becomes a greater challenge. A technical whiz with little or no documentation ability is likely to fail in criminal investigation. Anyone who demonstrates a disregard for authority is a poor candidate for investigating criminal cases.

Tools used in criminal cases are subject to a tighter scrutiny than those used in civil cases. When a person’s life or liberty hangs in the balance, judges and juries are less sympathetic to a technician who cannot verify that the tools used to extract the evidence being presented are reliable. Software and hardware tools used by the organization must be recognized by the court for use, and the techniques used by investigators must be diligently documented to show there was no deviation from accepted standard procedures.

Funding is likely to be more limited in criminal work than in civil investigations. Money will be coming from budget-strapped government entities or from law offices watching every dime. In some cases, courts will apply the Zubulake test to determine if costs should be shifted from one party to the other. This test is based on findings from the case Zubulake v. UBS Warburg (217 F.R.D. at 320, 2003) where the judge issued a list of seven factors to be considered in ordering discovery (and in reassigning costs). These factors are to be considered in order of importance, the most important being listed first:

  1. The extent to which the request is specifically tailored to discover relevant information
  2. The availability of such information from other sources
  3. The total cost of production compared to the amount in controversy
  4. The total cost of production compared to the resources available to each party
  5. The relative ability of each party to control costs and its incentive to do so
  6. The importance of the issues at stake in the litigation
  7. The relative benefits to the parties of obtaining the information
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020