Whether you are faced with an internal investigation following allegations of harassment or just looking to preserve a workstation prior to terminating a key employee, Vestige has solutions that will ensure that the technical issue you’re trying to solve is handled seamlessly, and also that the legal and regulatory issues are handled properly. Since so much of corporate communication these days occurs via electronic communication, digital forensics can be the key to finding critical evidence. Vestige has experience in a wide array of employment relations matters and conducts workplace investigations.
The Benefits of Digital Forensics for HR Professionals
Digital devices can contain key evidence for many types of Human Resource investigations. Here are a few examples of Digital Forensics for HR:
- Investigating employee data theft
- Allegations of discrimination
- Intellectual property theft/trade secrets
- Sexual harassment cases
- Wrongful termination claims
- Misuse of company allocated device(s) including computers, mobile devices, digital surveillance cameras, phone systems, servers, removable media (thumb drives, DVDs, CDs and more)
- Mobile phone misuse
- Suspect Data Destruction
- Require Data Recovery
- Workers’ Compensation
- White-Collar Crime/Fraud/Embezzlement
- Incidence of Wrongful Death
It’s important to have Digital Forensic Experts and Human Resources Investigators in place as a key resource in your HR toolkit.
Primarily, Vestige provides Digital Forensics to assist HR departments with internal workplace investigation procedures that may or may not become legal matters. The good news is that we treat every case as if it IS going to court…that way, we never have to worry about the one that does. This has some practical implications, such as ensuring that all evidence is preserved and extracted in a forensically-sound manner that ensures admissibility and can be authenticated now and in the future. Since HR issues often come down to he-said/she-said arguments and procedures are examined under a microscope, this critical activity is of utmost importance. Furthermore, Vestige insulates the organization and its employees from testimony and the range of issues that often crop up when internal IT is subpoenaed or simply asked to testify. And even if testimony isn’t in the picture, eliminating the perception of bias is often an important objective.
Why have an Outside Resource?
Considerations for performing these types of corporate investigative services with an outside firm, such as Vestige, should include:
- Will individuals within the organization turn to IT for assistance when they are concerned about being “investigated” by the very people that are there to assist?
- Is there enough volume to keep internal investigator’s skills sharpened? This is a 24×7 business with new information and artifacts being discovered and disseminated daily. In our experience, if the organization doesn’t have 30 or more investigations in a year, the cost of retaining, training and keeping the software and hardware up-to-speed is more expensive than outsourcing it on an ad-hoc basis
- Will IT make a good witness?
- Does IT want to be a witness?
- Does having internal IT as a witness bias the matter or at least create the appearance that it’s biased?
- Does having IT become a witness open the organization up to discovery beyond the scope of general inquiry because the individual has “insider” information? (HINT: Yes, it does and this can be a costly mistake)
- What effect on morale does having internal IT perform these investigations have?
What Vestige Can Do For You
When conducting a workplace investigation, our team will assess your specific needs and based on that assessment we will provide a solution tailored to your specific case. Here are just some of the investigative services that we can provide you with:
- Confidential and discrete computer forensic investigations of any electronic media
- Image & Hold (preserve) electronic evidence upon the departure or resignation of key individuals of an organization
- Identification and preservation of relevant sources of electronic evidence in a manner that is admissible, ensures authenticity and removes bias
- Insulate internal IT from perceived bias
- Give an organization control over the evidence in a matter that is cost-effective and provides a fast turnaround
- Lock-down corporate IT systems when sensitive terminations occur
- Perform incident response if the organization is believed to have been “hacked into”
- Crack passwords and encryption on corporate documents when password is forgotten or unknown
- Audit IT procedures to ensure compliance with policies, procedures and regulatory requirements
Ctrl-Alt-Del IT Reboot
Vestige also offers a unique reactive Cybersecurity service to organizations and human resources departments called Ctrl-Alt-Del IT Reboot. Organizations should never feel captive by their IT Department. Vestige helps empower organizations with independent, corporate investigative services. This service provides a solution for quiet and effective transitional control of your digital environment should IT staff in critical positions leave unexpectedly, pass away, or are being let go. Vestige will step in and provide a timely, smooth, temporary take-over of the IT environment and transition to replacement personnel, including ensuring there are no backdoors to the IT environment — all with minimal disruption to your organization.