Six Actual Data Loss Problems With Disastrous Results

You have heard the significance of information security, information stockpiling and information reinforcement. However the significance of these can’t be exaggerated. In this manner to better comprehend the results of information misfortune, here are six genuine case of information misfortune that brought on tremendous issues for different organizations and establishments.

1. Kid Benefit Records

Two PC plates containing information about kid advantages on almost 25 million individuals out of which around 7 million were families was lost by the HMRC. The information on the plates was so imperative as it contained the names, addresses and other individual data. The information was never recouped.

2. Driving Test Candidates

Subtle elements of no less than 3 million distinctive driving test applicants were lost. This information included names, addresses and telephone numbers and viably implied that 3 million individuals needed to take the test once more.

3. Burglary Of PC

It is a genuine catastrophe to lose both PC and information in the meantime. There is dependably the threat of thieves softening up to your home and taking electronic gadgets. While voyaging, you may leave your portable PC unattended, lose it in an airplane terminal, meeting focuses, coffeehouses or whatever other swarmed place. Yes, new PCs cost some cash, yet all the time the information spared to hard plates is considerably more costly. Regardless of the fact that there is no specific money related quality included, individual recollections, family pictures or different treasures are unquestionably critical and exceptionally important to you.

Losing PC might be less agonizing, on the off chance that you utilize legitimate information reinforcement methodology and keep information in safe stockpiling. That way you can recoup your information even after you don’t have your PC any more

4. Information on Criminals

A memory stick containing information on every one of the detainees in both England and Wales was lost. The stick likewise contained information on numerous different guilty parties. This misfortune was because of carelessness by the Home Office contractual worker PA counseling.

5. Detainee Medical Records

A wellbeing specialist was in charge of losing a memory stick containing the medicinal subtle elements of a large number of detainees. In spite of the fact that the information was encoded, the specialist was imprudent to leave a note with the watchword on the memory stick.

6. Service of Defense Data

A hard drive containing delicate documents and individual subtle elements on various armed force work force was lost. It is said that the information was not scrambled and to finish it off contained points of interest on potential newcomers.

These were five occurrences in which information was lost because of imprudence and absence of security. Not just did this make appalling circumstances for every one of these organizations however brought on much more issues because of no reinforcement being accessible. In this manner one must guarantee the security of their information and guarantee a reinforcement is constantly present if there should arise an occurrence of a crisis.

 

Data Keepage – The Pros And Cons Of Keeping Data

Perhaps you don’t have to supplant your NetApp filer. Possibly what you have to improve utilization of it. Repurpose it and rejuvenate it as opposed to supplanting it.

Unstructured information – while extraordinarily profitable – for the most part has a bluff of significance. It has a tendency to be extremely important for a brief timeframe and afterward its worth drops off abruptly – however its quality does not drop off to zero. Truth be told, there are various use cases for verifiable unstructured information that build its worth well above zero. Be that as it may, despite everything it doesn’t warrant level 1 stockpiling.

Consider only one case of an utilization case for unstructured information. Consider a doctor’s facility that stores the majority of their patient data in an unstructured configuration. The records of a week ago’s specialist visits are unfathomably essential right now, and they might be imperative years from now. Be that as it may, the estimation of them will diminish in a couple of months – yet the healing facility still needs to keep the records around. Imagine a scenario where, in any case, the healing facility could build the estimation of these records by running information investigation or sign recognition programming against them that would permit them to distinguish patterns in the a huge number of records accessible to them. Imagine a scenario in which such investigation could help them better analyze patients or distinguish great and terrible medication cooperations. The conceivable outcomes are boundless – yet just on the off chance that they keep the information around and available at a suitable expense.

Be that as it may, the difficulties of keeping huge measures of unstructured information are army. Most NAS frameworks are scale up and not scale out, which implies you definitely make information islands. It’s difficult to run information examination against information that is not halfway oversaw and found. It’s likewise trying for the clients to utilize authentic information when it is spread out among numerous frameworks.

One answer for this issue is a scale out NAS arrangement. While this will take care of the focal administration issue, it’s not by any stretch of the imagination suitable to put chronicled unstructured information on level 1 stockpiling. This is for the most part in light of the fact that the expense per gigabyte of such frameworks has a tendency to be significantly more costly than the choices.

It’s more proper to put such information on item stockpiling, since it is additionally midway oversaw, vastly versatile, and considerably less costly than scale out NAS arrangements. In any case this creates another test. Regardless of the possibility that you kept stand out filer and put everything else in the article stockpiling framework, you now have two information islands. Clients should make sense of where they have to go keeping in mind the end goal to discover the information that they’re searching for. Another test is that you may need to make an interface between the clients and the capacity convention the item stockpiling framework employments. This many-sided quality is precisely what you’re attempting to make tracks in an opposite direction from.

 

508 Compliance Services – All You Should Know

Have you used mobile phones or the laptops standing in the year of 1990? Obviously, those were just the dreams then. You could not even think about a handy computer or a telephone which will easily fit into your pocket and you can do anything on that device. The same goes for the business possessors. The marketing of their business was only based on the newspapers, pamphlets, Television advertisements and word of mouth. As the technology grew up and the advancement introduced a completely new world in front of us and that’s called the internet. Each and every individual was driving towards it and it was widespread within a night.

The huge popularity and the wide acceptance led the people to consider the internet to be a vital part of the business. The website came into the market and took the market by storm. With the humongous opportunity for the businesses, ample of the websites were created and with the continuous progression, websites are being built still now in a large number. But there are a few things which would be considered as the minimal matter but can affect your website severely. Basically, the website is built for the online presence of your business. Showcasing your products and services is one of the main aspects that you have in your mind.

What if someone cannot access to the amazing products you have shown on your website? It is possible when an individual is visually disabled. They hardly can see anything and your website is overlooked for the same reason. 508 Compliance is something that can take your website out of this hassle. With a single line of code embedded in your website’s backend, your website can meet the accessibility criteria of WCAG 2.0 AA and the particular website can be seen by every individual according to their preference.

The conventional 508 Compliance services usually take a prolonged time and complicated programming which can take your precious time. For the lengthier websites, the conventional 508 could take almost 2400 hours for 200 operable pages and it can take even longer for the PDF. With the single line of code, your site will automatically meet WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility. If you embed the code in your website, you would be able to see an icon on top of your website that will ensure you about the accessibility. There you can find multiple useful functionalities.

Color Adjustment for the Visually Impaired:

The website’s color will automatically fit according to your visual preference by just a click on the icon. The visually impaired people will also get the access to the website’s content without any difficulties.

Color Adjustment for the Color Blind:

If you are a color blind, that would not come in the way of reading the content of a website. If the website has the 508 compliance, you can click on the icon and spontaneously the colors will be converted to black and white.

Hide Animations and Flashes:

If you are uncomfortable with the animations and flashes, it also can be stopped with a click. The pictures and sliders will be there but without those animated effects.

Normal View:

You can get back to the normal look and feel of the website anytime you want.

Font Size:

If you are feeling uneasy with the font size of the website, you can enlarge the fonts or can reduce that according to your visual comfort.

 

Cyber Security in the US – Secure Your Company

The hackers are creating enormous trouble in running the IT section of a business. The problem occurs when the data breaches take place. This problem is one of those which can ruin your company and you would not even know about it. Silently this thing can turn you down in the race among your competitors. The researchers have proven that 62% of the organizations have acknowledged about the daily data breaches that they are suffering from and only 34% of those organizations have an effective security system which would be able to prevent those. That builds a sheer pressure in your mind and your business that is highly unwanted.

People were going all the way to find a way that can give them a solution and there the cyber security arises. When almost 100% people in the US are using the internet and every business have and IT section for their business, the cyber security in the US is one of the most important features that you can look up to.

There are two options that you have regarding your computer and internet security. Preventing the data breaches before it can even happen and have a solution which would be able to show you the perfect procedure which can turn the situation correct.
The Cyber Incident Response is the best solution if you want to be safe from being the next victim of a cyber crime. With the proper internet security response, you can be availed with the instantly actionable security alerts, valuable intelligence, and incident context and allows adaptive response to the complicated cyber threats.

On the other hand, there is the incident response planning. With the various new and unique methods of data breaches and cyber threats, it is almost impossible to be ready with the system that can prevent those attacks. That’s why having a plan how to get out of the after effect of the attack is becoming mandatory and numerous companies are availing the best plans that can reduce the effect of those attacks.

Cyber security in the US is one of the most used techniques and this has made every organization enjoy the business and do the business hassle-free. Keeping the fact in mind that the internet is one of those things which have become the initial part of our daily lives for business and personal reasons, availing a proper security is the best thing you can do. As there is plenty of businesses arising, the requirement for the cyber security is also rising with it. If you don’t put enough attention to the security of your computing section, you may bear a loss.

 

5 Benefits of Data Backup

As far as the security of vital information goes, it’s important that business owners take necessary steps to make sure that the data is backed up on a regular basis. Unfortunately, just half of the businesses make sure that their data is backed up on a routine basis. At times, the professionals are not experienced enough to carry out the data backup process.

The sad part is that disasters don’t give warnings before making a strike. As a matter of fact, dropping a hard drive by mistake can ruin a well established business. Irrespective of the kind of tragedy your business may suffer from, you should take steps to make sure your data is in good hands. Given below are 5 benefits of data backup for your business.

Higher Reliability

According to IT experts, the biggest benefit of data backup is the reliability it offers. The beauty of the system is that the backup process can be carried out on a daily basis without any problem and that the process is fully automated. Aside from this, you can get access to your files instantly, as the data is stored on a cloud server. So, you don’t have to wait for your files to be resent to you.

Easy Set-Up

At first, you may feel that creating a backup of your data is a hard nut to crack, but once you have got an understanding of the process, you will be able to do it with a few clicks. All you have to do is get the system ready and enable the automation feature. Once you have done that, rest assured that your data is safe and backed-up on a regular basis.

Reduced workload

It can take a lot of time to manually back up files. The manual process requires the services of at least one professional. On the other hand, remote data backup is automated, so you don’t need to worry about creating a backup of the files and then storing them on a DVD or USB drive. So, the whole process saves you a great deal of time.

Greater Security

In remote data backup, the data is stored in a safe location. So, the information is in good hands at all times. Usually, the security is increased through some advanced encryption systems. They are used on both software and hardware level. As a result, there is almost no chance of anyone breaking into the system. Your data will be safe from hackers as well.

Saves Money

For a moment, just think about the equipment required in order to create a backup of your business files. Aside from the equipment cost, you will also spend a good deal of money to buy space for the equipment installation. And if you own a lot of computers with plenty of data, the cost of the equipment and space requirement will be very high. So, opting for cloud storage can save you plenty of money.

So, these are 5 benefits of data backup for your business. Create the backup of your files to ensure the long life of your business.

 

Key Cloud Migration Considerations

The business case has been made and you’ve appointed your project resources for cloud migration. It’s now time to scope and plan your migration. Moving your Enterprise IT workloads to the public cloud is a big decision and immediately alters the way you operate your business. It has to be approached strategically and shouldn’t to be taken lightly. There are many benefits to cloud IT, but you must carefully deliberate and plan. The wrong decision is going to cost you in more ways than you care to calculate.

Many thoughts must have cluttered your mind such as, which of the cloud service providers best meets your needs? How would you calculate the cost of cloud migration and operation? How can you ensure service continuity during and after the move? What kind of security measures should you take and what do you need to prepare for? How can you ascertain regulatory compliance? There are many more questions that you should answer prior to migrating to the cloud.

In this article, we will discuss few of the most pressing issues to consider when planning the move.

Private, public or hybrid?

One of the first things to decide when migrating to cloud is whether you will go private, public or hybrid.

On a private cloud, you will have a dedicated infrastructure for your business, managed either by your teams or third-party providers. Your organization will have its own dedicated hardware, running on your private network, and located on or off premises.

A public cloud provides its services over a network that is not your private one and it is available for others to use. Usually it is off-site and provides a pay-per-usage billing model that could result in a cheaper solution, once it efficiently shares resources over the various customers.

Hybrid cloud combines your private or traditional information technology (IT) with a public cloud. Usually it is used to scale up and down your infrastructure systems to meet demand needs for seasonal businesses, spikes or financial closings, or to handle the application apart from the data storage, such as setting up the application layer in a public environment (for example a software as a service) while storing sensitive information in a private one.

Current infrastructure utilization

This is definitely one of the things you want to evaluate when considering a move to cloud. In traditional IT, businesses usually purchase their hardware based on utilization spikes in order to avoid issues when these scenarios occur. By doing that, organizations may end up with underutilized equipment, which could result in a huge waste of money. Taking a look at your performance and capacity reports can help you address these workloads on cloud and decide whether to release unused capacity for other workloads or simply move them over and avoid new investments.

Cloud Workload Analysis

Out of your IT workloads running in your datacenter, some may not be appropriate for migrating to the cloud. It isn’t always easy to generalize the criteria for selecting the right applications for migration, but you need to consider all aspects of the execution environment. Given the service parameters promised by the provider, can you achieve the same level of capacity, performance, utilization, security, and availability? Can you do better? Can you afford less?

Your future growth must be factored into the decision. Can the cloud infrastructure scale as your resource consumption grows? Will your application be compliant with regulatory rules when hosted in the public cloud? How does the cloud infrastructure address compliance, if at all?

In order to make the right decision, you should thoroughly understand your current workloads and determine how closely their requirements, both for present and future evolution, can be satisfied.

Application Migration approaches

There are multiple degrees of changes you may want to do to your application depending on your short term and long term business/technical goals.

Virtualization – This model facilitates a quick and easy migration to cloud as no changes will be required to the application. Ideal candidate for legacy applications.

Application Migration – In this case your application will go through minimal architecture and design changes in order to make it optimal for a cloud model of deployment. For example, you may choose to use a No SQL database available on cloud.

Application Refactoring – This model will require a major overhaul of your application right from the architecture. This is typically done when you want to leverage the latest technology stack.

Backup policies and disaster recovery

How are your backup policies running today? Do they fit with your cloud provider? This is also an important point that organizations have to carefully consider. Cloud providers can have standard backup policies with some level of customization. It is worth it to have a look at those and see if they are suitable for your company before they become a potential roadblock. You’ll want to pay attention to retention frequency, backup type (such as full, incremental and so on) and versioning.

Disaster recovery and business continuity are important even for the smallest companies. Recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) are important values that define how much data you are willing to lose and what amount of time you are willing to allow for the data to be restored.

Licensing

Is the application licensed per VM, per core, or for total infrastructure footprint? This can have massive cost implications. If the licensing model requires that all available resources be taken into account even if not allocated to the client, licensing costs will increase if migrated to a public-cloud platform. Similarly, if the application licensing is based per core and the cloud provider does not offer the ability to configure your cloud environment per core, this will have an adverse impact on your licensing cost.

Integration

Organizations often discover application dependencies too late in the process of migrating workloads, resulting in unplanned outages and limited functionality to systems while these dependencies are addressed. Understanding the relationships between applications is critical to planning the sequence and manner in which cloud migrations occur. Can the application exist on the cloud in isolation while other systems are migrated?

Compatible operational system

Clouds are all about standards, and you need to keep versions of your operating systems and middleware up to date when you aim to migrate them to a cloud provider. You need to take into consideration that cloud service providers (CSPs) do not support end-of-life operating systems or those that are being phased out. The same likely applies to your middleware and databases.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Cloud Service Provider

Seemingly everybody is talking about cloud solutions, from small businesses to large Enterprises. It’s not hard to see why – the benefits over on-site deployments are numerous – rapid deployment, potentially lower costs of ownership, and reduced maintenance and administration, to name but three.

For IT companies and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) offering solutions to their clients, the cloud equals opportunity. Unsurprisingly, rather than investing the considerable time and effort required to develop their own cloud solutions from scratch, the majority of smaller IT solution providers instead partner with cloud service vendors to provide their clients with services ranging from CRM to backup.

But one of the benefits of cloud services – rapid deployment – can also lead some IT companies to look at partnerships with cloud vendors with rose tinted glasses. If things go wrong with the cloud service, the first complaints won’t come into cloud vendors – they’ll come into the IT solution providers selling those services. For this reason alone, it’s important for IT Solution Providers to take a step back and ask potential cloud partners “What happens when things go wrong? And is it really the best solution for your business?

Below are a few questions that you should ask your potential cloud solution provider:

Does the cloud fit our current business needs?

It is true that, for many businesses, the cloud is the way to go. Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has said that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-Internet” policy is today. This is the kind of hype that makes it seem like everyone who matters is already using the cloud, and those companies who have remaining physical infrastructure will be left in the dust. But that may not always be the case. Cloud migration doesn’t make sense in all scenarios.

Security and Availability

For one, moving systems to the cloud may complicate security measures and/or unique regulatory compliance considerations. In some cases, (i.e. HIPAA, instances of national security, etc.) extreme information security is necessary and having direct control of an on-site system is critical.

Learn about how they deal with and monitor security issues, install patches and perform maintenance updates. Does it match your company’s expected level of security or service? Ask where they host data and if it’s a shared or a dedicated environment, and find out how many servers they have and if those servers are set in a cluster. It’s also critical to know if the infrastructure is mirrored and 100 percent redundant. While you’re at it, investigate their disaster recovery processes and determine if they operate out of a Tier 1 or Tier 4 data center.

Integration

This is a deal breaker. Be sure to ask how their solution integrates with your current IT environment and other solutions. What’s their track record and game plan when it comes to integrating with other, on-premise solutions you already have installed? If halfway down the road they realize it does not integrate, what is their contingency plan and what kind of guarantees are they willing to offer?

Uptime Metrics and Reports:

Find out how your vendor measures uptime and how that’s communicated to clients, such as what part of the hosting infrastructure (hosting, server reliability, service delivery, etc.) the uptime calculation takes into account. Ask about processes in place for handling major outages: do they have a SWOT team in place, how do they typically communicate with the client (phone, email, RSS Feed, Twitter, SMS), and at what speed and with what level of details. Determine if they are proactive or proactively reactive when a problem occurs.

Are applications essential to your business operations cloud compatible?

Some applications may not run as well in the cloud, as Internet bandwidth issues may impede performance. It isn’t enough to have a high-performance hosted application server if your Internet bandwidth limitations will deliver a bad user experience.

Another consideration to keep in mind is application portability. Although it is often easy to migrate an application server to the cloud, the application might have external dependencies that complicate the move.

Finally, older applications that run on legacy operating systems may not have cloud-friendly functionality. Before initiating a transition to a virtual infrastructure, it’s essential for you to check in with your MSP partner about each application’s cloud compatibility, as they should do rigorous lab testing to identify issues in advance of a move.

Assess the Vendor’s Sales Process

Does the rep take the time to understand your company’s needs or is he or she just selling for sales’ sake? If the rep spends time to assess your business requirements, it’s likely that same attitude permeates the entire company. Industry studies show that many applications sold out of the box fail to meet the customer’s requirements because they’re not customized to the client’s needs. Make sure that the vendor pays attention to what you need and not just what they want to sell. Finally, after-sale support can tell you a lot about the seriousness, professional nature and quality of the internal processes of an organization.

How does a move to the cloud fit into our existing IT roadmap?

Technology is the backbone of modern business. That said, your IT roadmap should complement your business goals. Cloud infrastructure allows the right systems to be quickly and efficiently implemented across the business. Whether you’re looking to expand your client base, attract top talent, or all of the above, using technology that boosts your business’s capabilities can be a huge asset.

How is Pricing Set Up?

Obviously, pricing is an important question to ask. You’ll want to learn about the vendor’s billing and pricing structure. Most set up billing as a recurring, monthly item, but it’s always good to do your homework. Are you being asked to sign a contract, or does your deal automatically renew, as with an evergreen agreement? If the vendor’s price is unusually low compared to others, it should raise a red flag. Find out why. Can you cancel at any time without hidden fees? Do you have a minimum of users required in order to get the most attractive price?

By thoroughly covering this ground, you’re most likely to find not only the right cloud vendor, but also the best solutions for your company and your clients.

An Introduction to Forensics Data Acquisition From Android Mobile Devices

The role that a Digital Forensics Investigator (DFI) is rife with continuous learning opportunities, especially as technology expands and proliferates into every corner of communications, entertainment and business. As a DFI, we deal with a daily onslaught of new devices. Many of these devices, like the cell phone or tablet, use common operating systems that we need to be familiar with. Certainly, the Android OS is predominant in the tablet and cell phone industry. Given the predominance of the Android OS in the mobile device market, DFIs will run into Android devices in the course of many investigations. While there are several models that suggest approaches to acquiring data from Android devices, this article introduces four viable methods that the DFI should consider when evidence gathering from Android devices.

A Bit of History of the Android OS

Android’s first commercial release was in September, 2008 with version 1.0. Android is the open source and ‘free to use’ operating system for mobile devices developed by Google. Importantly, early on, Google and other hardware companies formed the “Open Handset Alliance” (OHA) in 2007 to foster and support the growth of the Android in the marketplace. The OHA now consists of 84 hardware companies including giants like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola (to name a few). This alliance was established to compete with companies who had their own market offerings, such as competitive devices offered by Apple, Microsoft (Windows Phone 10 – which is now reportedly dead to the market), and Blackberry (which has ceased making hardware). Regardless if an OS is defunct or not, the DFI must know about the various versions of multiple operating system platforms, especially if their forensics focus is in a particular realm, such as mobile devices.

Linux and Android

The current iteration of the Android OS is based on Linux. Keep in mind that “based on Linux” does not mean the usual Linux apps will always run on an Android and, conversely, the Android apps that you might enjoy (or are familiar with) will not necessarily run on your Linux desktop. But Linux is not Android. To clarify the point, please note that Google selected the Linux kernel, the essential part of the Linux operating system, to manage the hardware chipset processing so that Google’s developers wouldn’t have to be concerned with the specifics of how processing occurs on a given set of hardware. This allows their developers to focus on the broader operating system layer and the user interface features of the Android OS.

A Large Market Share

The Android OS has a substantial market share of the mobile device market, primarily due to its open-source nature. An excess of 328 million Android devices were shipped as of the third quarter in 2016. And, according to netwmarketshare.com, the Android operating system had the bulk of installations in 2017 — nearly 67% — as of this writing.

As a DFI, we can expect to encounter Android-based hardware in the course of a typical investigation. Due to the open source nature of the Android OS in conjunction with the varied hardware platforms from Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc., the variety of combinations between hardware type and OS implementation presents an additional challenge. Consider that Android is currently at version 7.1.1, yet each phone manufacturer and mobile device supplier will typically modify the OS for the specific hardware and service offerings, giving an additional layer of complexity for the DFI, since the approach to data acquisition may vary.

Before we dig deeper into additional attributes of the Android OS that complicate the approach to data acquisition, let’s look at the concept of a ROM version that will be applied to an Android device. As an overview, a ROM (Read Only Memory) program is low-level programming that is close to the kernel level, and the unique ROM program is often called firmware. If you think in terms of a tablet in contrast to a cell phone, the tablet will have different ROM programming as contrasted to a cell phone, since hardware features between the tablet and cell phone will be different, even if both hardware devices are from the same hardware manufacturer. Complicating the need for more specifics in the ROM program, add in the specific requirements of cell service carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc.).

While there are commonalities of acquiring data from a cell phone, not all Android devices are equal, especially in light that there are fourteen major Android OS releases on the market (from versions 1.0 to 7.1.1), multiple carriers with model-specific ROMs, and additional countless custom user-complied editions (customer ROMs). The ‘customer compiled editions’ are also model-specific ROMs. In general, the ROM-level updates applied to each wireless device will contain operating and system basic applications that works for a particular hardware device, for a given vendor (for example your Samsung S7 from Verizon), and for a particular implementation.

Even though there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to investigating any Android device, the forensics investigation of an Android device should follow the same general process for the collection of evidence, requiring a structured process and approach that address the investigation, seizure, isolation, acquisition, examination and analysis, and reporting for any digital evidence. When a request to examine a device is received, the DFI starts with planning and preparation to include the requisite method of acquiring devices, the necessary paperwork to support and document the chain of custody, the development of a purpose statement for the examination, the detailing of the device model (and other specific attributes of the acquired hardware), and a list or description of the information the requestor is seeking to acquire.

Unique Challenges of Acquisition

Mobile devices, including cell phones, tablets, etc., face unique challenges during evidence seizure. Since battery life is limited on mobile devices and it is not typically recommended that a charger be inserted into a device, the isolation stage of evidence gathering can be a critical state in acquiring the device. Confounding proper acquisition, the cellular data, WiFi connectivity, and Bluetooth connectivity should also be included in the investigator’s focus during acquisition. Android has many security features built into the phone. The lock-screen feature can be set as PIN, password, drawing a pattern, facial recognition, location recognition, trusted-device recognition, and biometrics such as finger prints. An estimated 70% of users do use some type of security protection on their phone. Critically, there is available software that the user may have downloaded, which can give them the ability to wipe the phone remotely, complicating acquisition.

It is unlikely during the seizure of the mobile device that the screen will be unlocked. If the device is not locked, the DFI’s examination will be easier because the DFI can change the settings in the phone promptly. If access is allowed to the cell phone, disable the lock-screen and change the screen timeout to its maximum value (which can be up to 30 minutes for some devices). Keep in mind that of key importance is to isolate the phone from any Internet connections to prevent remote wiping of the device. Place the phone in Airplane mode. Attach an external power supply to the phone after it has been placed in a static-free bag designed to block radiofrequency signals. Once secure, you should later be able to enable USB debugging, which will allow the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) that can provide good data capture. While it may be important to examine the artifacts of RAM on a mobile device, this is unlikely to happen.

Acquiring the Android Data

Copying a hard-drive from a desktop or laptop computer in a forensically-sound manner is trivial as compared to the data extraction methods needed for mobile device data acquisition. Generally, DFIs have ready physical access to a hard-drive with no barriers, allowing for a hardware copy or software bit stream image to be created. Mobile devices have their data stored inside of the phone in difficult-to-reach places. Extraction of data through the USB port can be a challenge, but can be accomplished with care and luck on Android devices.

After the Android device has been seized and is secure, it is time to examine the phone. There are several data acquisition methods available for Android and they differ drastically. This article introduces and discusses four of the primary ways to approach data acquisition. These five methods are noted and summarized below:

1. Send the device to the manufacturer: You can send the device to the manufacturer for data extraction, which will cost extra time and money, but may be necessary if you do not have the particular skill set for a given device nor the time to learn. In particular, as noted earlier, Android has a plethora of OS versions based on the manufacturer and ROM version, adding to the complexity of acquisition. Manufacturer’s generally make this service available to government agencies and law enforcement for most domestic devices, so if you’re an independent contractor, you will need to check with the manufacturer or gain support from the organization that you are working with. Also, the manufacturer investigation option may not be available for several international models (like the many no-name Chinese phones that proliferate the market – think of the ‘disposable phone’).

2. Direct physical acquisition of the data. One of rules of a DFI investigation is to never to alter the data. The physical acquisition of data from a cell phone must take into account the same strict processes of verifying and documenting that the physical method used will not alter any data on the device. Further, once the device is connected, the running of hash totals is necessary. Physical acquisition allows the DFI to obtain a full image of the device using a USB cord and forensic software (at this point, you should be thinking of write blocks to prevent any altering of the data). Connecting to a cell phone and grabbing an image just isn’t as clean and clear as pulling data from a hard drive on a desktop computer. The problem is that depending on your selected forensic acquisition tool, the particular make and model of the phone, the carrier, the Android OS version, the user’s settings on the phone, the root status of the device, the lock status, if the PIN code is known, and if the USB debugging option is enabled on the device, you may not be able to acquire the data from the device under investigation. Simply put, physical acquisition ends up in the realm of ‘just trying it’ to see what you get and may appear to the court (or opposing side) as an unstructured way to gather data, which can place the data acquisition at risk.

3. JTAG forensics (a variation of physical acquisition noted above). As a definition, JTAG (Joint Test Action Group) forensics is a more advanced way of data acquisition. It is essentially a physical method that involves cabling and connecting to Test Access Ports (TAPs) on the device and using processing instructions to invoke a transfer of the raw data stored in memory. Raw data is pulled directly from the connected device using a special JTAG cable. This is considered to be low-level data acquisition since there is no conversion or interpretation and is similar to a bit-copy that is done when acquiring evidence from a desktop or laptop computer hard drive. JTAG acquisition can often be done for locked, damaged and inaccessible (locked) devices. Since it is a low-level copy, if the device was encrypted (whether by the user or by the particular manufacturer, such as Samsung and some Nexus devices), the acquired data will still need to be decrypted. But since Google decided to do away with whole-device encryption with the Android OS 5.0 release, the whole-device encryption limitation is a bit narrowed, unless the user has determined to encrypt their device. After JTAG data is acquired from an Android device, the acquired data can be further inspected and analyzed with tools such as 3zx (link: http://z3x-team.com/ ) or Belkasoft (link: https://belkasoft.com/ ). Using JTAG tools will automatically extract key digital forensic artifacts including call logs, contacts, location data, browsing history and a lot more.

4. Chip-off acquisition. This acquisition technique requires the removal of memory chips from the device. Produces raw binary dumps. Again, this is considered an advanced, low-level acquisition and will require de-soldering of memory chips using highly specialized tools to remove the chips and other specialized devices to read the chips. Like the JTAG forensics noted above, the DFI risks that the chip contents are encrypted. But if the information is not encrypted, a bit copy can be extracted as a raw image. The DFI will need to contend with block address remapping, fragmentation and, if present, encryption. Also, several Android device manufacturers, like Samsung, enforce encryption which cannot be bypassed during or after chip-off acquisition has been completed, even if the correct passcode is known. Due to the access issues with encrypted devices, chip off is limited to unencrypted devices.

5. Over-the-air Data Acquisition. We are each aware that Google has mastered data collection. Google is known for maintaining massive amounts from cell phones, tablets, laptops, computers and other devices from various operating system types. If the user has a Google account, the DFI can access, download, and analyze all information for the given user under their Google user account, with proper permission from Google. This involves downloading information from the user’s Google Account. Currently, there are no full cloud backups available to Android users. Data that can be examined include Gmail, contact information, Google Drive data (which can be very revealing), synced Chrome tabs, browser bookmarks, passwords, a list of registered Android devices, (where location history for each device can be reviewed), and much more.

The five methods noted above is not a comprehensive list. An often-repeated note surfaces about data acquisition – when working on a mobile device, proper and accurate documentation is essential. Further, documentation of the processes and procedures used as well as adhering to the chain of custody processes that you’ve established will ensure that evidence collected will be ‘forensically sound.’

Conclusion

As discussed in this article, mobile device forensics, and in particular the Android OS, is different from the traditional digital forensic processes used for laptop and desktop computers. While the personal computer is easily secured, storage can be readily copied, and the device can be stored, safe acquisition of mobile devices and data can be and often is problematic. A structured approach to acquiring the mobile device and a planned approach for data acquisition is necessary. As noted above, the five methods introduced will allow the DFI to gain access to the device. However, there are several additional methods not discussed in this article. Additional research and tool use by the DFI will be necessary.

 

5 Data Recovery Tips

There is no doubt that our lives have become a lot easier because of technology. Nowadays, we have a lot of up-to-date and automated ways of doing things. For instance, today, we can store a huge amount of data on small chips called memory cards. And the chances of data loss are not so high. Even if we lose data, we can get it recovered with a few clicks of the mouse. Read on to know 5 data recovery tips.

Make a Recovery Plan

If you have a plan, you won’t panic in case something goes wrong. For data recovery, you can choose from a lot of free tools as they are designed specifically for this purpose. So, what you need to do is install a good app ahead of time. You can also hire one of the best data recovery services, but it may cost you more.

Use Flash Drives

Ideally, it’s a good idea to create a back up of your important data. You can store your backup on a flash driver, for instance. And if your hard drive fails, you can get your data back within a few minutes.

Cloud Storage

With cloud storage, you can store your data in a separate location. This is one of the many reasons cloud storage is increasing in popularity. This place won’t be touched by your failed hard drive, flash drive or other data storage units. This is the reason most of cell phone service providers offer cloud storage. As a matter of fact, cloud storage is one of the best ways of preventing data loss.

Recovery of deleted files

Keep in mind that most files that get deleted can be recovered provided you can use the right tool. But if the files have been shredded or deleted permanently with a special data deletion tool, then you can’t do anything. This means that if you have deleted some files and they are lying in your recycle bin, you can get them recovered.

Looking for Lost Data

If you want to recover data, you should first find out a way of searching for the data. But this task requires a lot of patience even if you use an app to perform the search for deleted or lost files. So, if you have a huge amount of data to recover, we suggest that you let the professionals handle the job, especially if the data is really important to you. Usually, hiring professionals is a great idea if your business data is at stake.

Keep in mind that you may need to recover data no matter how cautious you may be. Actually, the idea is to get ready and find out what to do when data loss happens. With technology, our lives can become a lot easier and convenient. As far as data loss goes, we suggest you stay prepared at all times and use the best tools that are at your disposal. This way you can rest assured that lost data would be recovered safely.

 

7 Strong Advantages Of Using A Document Management System (DMS)

There are many types of people working in an office environment, some need silence to bring out their creativity while some like chaos to fuel their inspiration. While that sounds somewhat true, it hardly works in a professional environment where people get the right productivity tools for performing their jobs. Here in this post we have highlighted the benefits of managing your important documents through a document management software (DMS).

To be honest, when working in a professional environment no matter how hard you try, you do end up losing an important file and then waste hours in looking after it. Then you friend or co-worker, tells you in one of the most dismissive tone: “Quit searching for it, you will find it when it decides to show up.”

And guess what, the most frustrating and surprising part is they end up right. The moment you stop looking for it, the darn thing will come in front of you lying on a pile of other documents, which you have probably turned upside down while looking for the file.

Now, this is situation you can laugh about if the document isn’t a matter of life-death or critically important for the business. What if that one file is so important that your team needs to immediately start working on it, because the project is time-sensitive? What if it is something that can assist a struggling company from an expensive litigation? Or perhaps a government authorized shutdown?

This is where the document management system DMS becomes an absolute necessity.

What Is A Document Management System (DMS)?
Many people are not aware of what a document management system is, so here is a brief intro for it:

“Document management includes the procedures and processes that your business uses as it related to storing, capturing, and securing and saving information on a regular basis, it’s a process that can be simplified through the usage of document management software.”

Document management systems makes it very easy for corporations to combine digital files and paper into a single hub as business cards, physical documents, scanned and digital formats. File formats that are supported can range from Excel spreadsheets, power point, word document, PDF files, and presentations and so on.

The basic components of document management system are as following:

• Check in/ Check out
• Document storage
• Security and proper access control
• Simultaneous editing coordination
• Version control
• Retrieval and search
• Audit trails
• Classification and indexing
• Annotations

Aside from assisting trees to keep their roots strong and protect the environment from economic and health hazards such as flooding, pollutions and landslides, getting a cloud- based

Aside from helping keep trees upright to protect the environment from health and economic hazards such as pollution, landslides and flooding, employing a cloud-based document management software solution comes with a host of advantages. Here are some of them listed below:

1. Document Repository
Cloud based document management systems work as a central source for all your essential files that can be consequently viewed, changed, accessed and shared with your colleagues. No more wasting hours upon hours of your precious time trying to search through folders to find a single document.

2. Document Security
When your documents are not managed in the correct way, there are chances that the information can go into wrong hands. Sensitive and important documents if fall in the wrong hands can bring damage that cannot be changed. DMS solutions help you in this matter and keep your confidential documents save. In case of flooding or fire, cloud-based DMS ensures that your data is intact and is not erased from the face of this earth.

3. Anytime Anywhere Access
With cloud-based software solutions, you get the liberty to access the files and documents from anywhere and anytime regardless of what kind of devices you use. This is quite handy when you are working on a project with team members who are located somewhere else or working remotely.

4. Incorporation With Third-Party Software
App integration is another nifty ability that erases redundant data input and offers seamless flow of information between dissimilar platforms. Not only does it save effort and time, it also maintains data accuracy and integrity. Some DMS solutions also support email incorporation, giving you the ability to directly sending files and documents to colleagues, partners and customers.

5. Better Organization
With categories, tags, metadata and subcategories to mark your documents and files, they become very easy to locate, organize and retrieve for future use. A search using the appropriate keyword can get results in a matter of seconds.

6. Time And Cost Efficiency
Employee efficiency is time-saver. Business wise, because time saved is money saved. And that is what exactly a document management system offers it saves time along with saving cost.

7. File Sharing

With DMS, users get to collaborate and share documents and files with co-workers, regardless where they are located. They control who they share the documents with and files can be shared through links or published on web or sent as password protected files.

DMS also offers the facility of audit trail, they can keep track of who has accessed and edited the files.