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Technical Capabilities of Computer Forensic Laboratory

The digital forensic procedure is a forensic and recognized process used in forensic investigations. Forensics researcher Eoghan Casey describes this as a number of ladders originating from the original event alert through the broadcasting of findings and results. The process is mainly utilized in mobile and computer forensic investigation and contains three steps as follows: acquisition, reporting and analysis. The tools being utilized in the collection of data contains write devices, the software write devices and the forensic disc controller. A recently launched company -- XYZ, Inc require constructing a standard computer forensics laboratory. Inc. XYZ, Inc is experiencing extremely rapid growth with over 100 employees and continuing to hire new talent. XYZ specializes in cyber-security related to the critical infrastructure industry. In this process, the company has to consider the technical capabilities of a computer forensics laboratory. This has to be taken care of from the word go (Midkiff, 2011).

The first step is to design the forensic laboratory layout. This step includes partitioning the room into three sections, that is,one room for the volatile memory data analysis, the second one for static media archival and duplication, and the third one for static media analysis. Then, the company should set up Internet and network connections so that every forensic analysis data archive and computers is networked for ease access. The XYZ, Inc. has to ensure the room layout is conducive to a reasonable run of the forensic progression: data capture, preservation, analysis and verification (Nelson, et al., 2010).

In addition, XYZ, Inc will install appropriate safety systems and physical access control devices. Forensic laboratories have to be secured against illegal access using tools such as surveillance cameras, security systems and conventional locks. Depending on the framework of the forensic facility, fire-suppression, carbon monoxide detection and adequate cooling systems should be put in place as they are important into maintaining hardware and examiner safety.

The next step will be setting up forensic computers and workstations. The company will have to clear all litter and unnecessary grime and dust from workstations. This has to be done carefully since as these can destroy target systems and physical media. XYZ, Inc has to be cautious and avoid strong magnetic materials or liquids into the computer forensic laboratory. Magnetic materials and liquids are harmful to the lab as they contribute to electrical shorts or data loss. The next step will be connecting the forensic analysis computer devices to the networks and installing appropriate security and forensic software. The company must ensure the network is protected with various firewalls to prevent hackers from attacking (Gary, 2001).

The company will then install empty forensic hard drives at the archive area and static media capture. This will then connect the drives to the computer workstation, and then set them aside to protect them from destruction damage. After every analysis, the company has to ensure the drive storage is formatted again to provide forensic reliability for the subsequent analysis. Then, they will ensure forensic computer unit areas have enough space for media target computers to be placed (Midkiff, 2011).

Physical requirements must also be met for in the computer forensics laboratory. The lab facility itself must be secure so that evidence is not lost, destroyed or corrupted. The lab must be safe; it must maintain the integrity of the evidence and must provide a secure environment during the analysis of data. Rooms in the lab will be enclosed, accessible only through a locking mechanism, contain a secure container such as a safe and also contain a visitor's log. Therefore, the company has top ensure the facility is surrounded by a secure fence. Planting trees and flowers for an attractive environment will be important so that the facility will be a comfortable place to be. Additionally, a special area will be set aside for the most sensitive investigations, such as those for crimes like murder or investigations that need to limit electromagnetic radiation into or out of the laboratory. This means that the company has to have special rooms outside the main working area. Health and sanitation are requirements of every workplace. Therefore, XYZ, Inc has to build toilets and bathrooms at the workplace. A waiting room will also be important so that clients will wait at a convenient room (Gary, 2001).

Testing the computer systems, workstations, forensic analysis hard drives and network for proper setup and ease of use is also part of the technical capabilities. Simulating actual forensic recovery functions on current systems and old hard drives is the next step. The responsible personnel has to follow all the above steps of the forensic analysis methodically. They also have to test the landscape of the laboratory for appropriate flow. The company has to pay attention to the landscape of every computer unit and make important adjustments to keep the environments, free from debris or clutter, open and favorable to meticulous forensic analysis (Nelson, et al., 2010).