Digital Forensics

WHAT’S AT RISK?

Insider Threats

In a perfect world, you would expect your employees to be ever faithful to your company and vigilant protectors of your network systems. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Employees often open companies up to a wide range of issues that are not always easy to protect against.

Stolen Data

One of your key employees suddenly quits, and you later learn they are now working for a leading competitor. How much information was given to their new employer? Are they going to market while undercutting your pricing? How do you prevent this from happening?

Shutting Down Systems

Whether accidentally or intentionally, internal employees often have the ability to cripple computer systems with little to no checks in place to stop them. Protecting your systems from your own employees is critical.

Intellectual Property Theft

Are employees leaving your company with product blueprints in hand? Have they leaked company advantages with no proof to recover damages?

Financial Loss

You’ve invested millions, or possibly billions, of dollars into your intellectual property. And sometimes it’s hard to detect what’s been lost or stolen and when and how it happened. It can be even harder to get the information out of someone else’s hands and back into yours.

Corporate Espionage

Your data falling into your competitors’ hands can cause irreparable damage to your operation. Disgruntled employees leaving your company can be the perfect agent for effecting this transfer.

Family Matters

Wealth concealed in clandestine monetary sources can stay undisclosed, prohibiting the lawful dissemination of marital assets. Pathway’s forensic experts – along with Briggs & Veselka’s asset tracing team – work together to ensure these valuable assets are found and properly handled.

Departing Employees

When employees leave your company, they can accidentally or intentionally take valuable information with them, seriously hindering your company’s ability to stay competitive. Do you have a solid, repeatable plan for how to offboard an employee’s device(s) to protect your company from data loss upon their departure?

Litigation

If you ever want to pursue civil or criminal charges, your data recovery processes must be defensible in a court of law. Do you believe your employees properly documented their procedures and are able to defend said procedures in a court of law?

identification of devices, individuals who used them and evidential data — and proving relationship between them

identification of devices, individuals who used them and evidential data — and proving relationship between them

WHAT WE CAN DO

Data Collection & Preservation

Pathway Forensics is a team of professionally trained forensic examiners. Utilizing specialized hardware and software, we can validate our collected evidence through hash-value authentication, ensuring that our procedures are admissible and defensible in court.

Data Triage

Our Data Triage Services detect data loss or other improper activity on any device. We can collect and preserve data from phones, laptops, cloud systems, and much more from current or former employees. Our examiners hold current professional certifications in forensics and Private Investigator licenses in order to detect data loss and theft regardless of the methods used.

Digital & Employee Investigations

Our experts provide clients with comprehensive investigative, analytical, and defensible examination results. Intellectual property (IP) theft, departing employee investigations, and spoliation are just a few areas we specialize in.

Remediation

Critical and confidential business data can reside in places it shouldn’t. Pathway can locate and securely delete this data, ensuring it’s not recoverable by others. This can be coupled with affidavits or expert witness testimony.

Expert Witness Testimony

Our forensics experts have extensive courtroom experience and can explain complex ideas and evidence so judges and jurors can understand the facts of the case. We are often asked to be a neutral third party due to our great reputation and our clients’ trust in our honesty and integrity. You also can reduce costs by having just one forensics company working for both parties, especially when counsel on both sides are comfortable using our experts.

CASE STUDIES

Departing Employee Data Exfiltration Investigation

Investigation and Remediation Effort Protects IP from Competitors

Problem

A US-based energy services and equipment company had departing employees recruited by a competitor. Shortly after, the competitor began to outbid them on key contracts using pricing and schematic models that appeared to be derived from their proprietary templates.

Solution

The company employed Pathway Forensics to work with HR, IT, and outside counsel to identify and collect computer and online account data related to the former employees, and investigate their activity prior to and after their departure. Pathway’s analysis indicated several key schematics and sales model templates that were exfiltrated via webmail, removable media, and cloud services in the few weeks leading up to the employees’ departures. Pathway provided expert witness testimony that helped the client win a temporary injunction hearing. We also created and executed a file remediation plan for the client to ensure the exfiltrated intellectual property was contained and deleted securely.

Results

Pathway worked with the client’s HR and IT teams, along with outside counsel, to ensure the client’s intellectual property was removed from all sources outside the client’s control and provided expert witness testimony to help secure a favorable settlement and recovery of damages resulting from the use of the client’s proprietary information.

Services Employed

Forensic Data Preservation

Forensic imaging of desktop and laptop computers

Forensic collection of online cloud storage and webmail accounts

Forensic Analysis and Reporting

Detailed analysis of user activity and artifacts of data exfiltration

Forensic reports and exhibits used in hearings

Expert witness testimony

Secure Data Remediation

Tracing sources of exfiltrated data and planning remediation protocol agreement

Secure deletion of exfiltrated intellectual property

High-Tech IP Taken by Former Employees

Keeping Source Codes Protected from Inside Threats

Problem

Quantlab, a high-tech company in Houston, Texas, invested many years and millions of dollars in developing valuable source code. Three employees abruptly left the company, leaving behind a mole. Six months after leaving, the departing employees started a competing business. Quantlab suspected the former employees took the proprietary code with them to the new company.

Solution

Pathway Forensics was hired to preserve and analyze devices retrieved from multiple sources, including the former employees’ new company and their personal items. Our experts examined more than 125 pieces of evidence, and our analysis proved Quantlab’s suspicions were merited. We found evidence the former employees and the mole not only took their employer’s source code, but also took intentional steps to cover their tracks, thus spoliating evidence in an attempt to avoid justice. We provided evidence and expert witness testimony in the evidentiary hearing that led to death penalty sanctions being imposed.

Results

After documenting our findings in more than 300 pages of expert reports, declarations, and affidavits, plus offering expert witness testimony over two days in a federal court trial, Quantlab received a favorable verdict and was awarded more than $40M.

Services Employed

Digital forensics

eDiscovery

Expert witness testimony

TALK TO AN EXPERT

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