Database Forensics & Database eDiscovery

When the answers you seek are “in the data” , GDF has the proven expertise and experience to not only find them, but also help ward off troublesome fishing expeditions – from QuickBooks, to Oracle ERP, and beyond.

At GDF we don’t slay the database ESI monster, we tame it to do your bidding!

Database Forensics & eDiscoveryWe live in a complex data-driven world where the days of Ebenezer Scrooge slaving over an abacus and ledger book are long and forever gone, transformed into today’s world of the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. From the local building contractor using QuickBooks®, to massive, multinational companies that manage everything in an ERP, from payroll, manufacturing and logistics, to client contacts and order processing, chances are the evidence you are looking for is stored in a database. Whether you suspect tampering, editing or deletion of data, or you have to produce information stored in a database of any size, a database forensics expert can analyze your needs, design a production or extraction plan, and make the data accessible and usable. Remember, when complex cases converge with the even more complex world of digital evidence, it usually becomes a job for database forensics experts to turn this source of evidentiary wealth into an iron-clad case, another Global digital Forensics specialty.

The truth is in the data

When reports aren’t enough, GDF opens new perspectives into complex data collections through our deep technical and business knowledge.

When a database is part of the evidence needed to prove a case, or to satisfy a request, the facts are simple – one must look beyond the single database to the business applications that use the data, like business intelligence systems, marketing applications, payroll and commissions, insurance, employee benefits, contribution applications and much more. Complex database applications often share data with systems out of the direct control of the data owner. For example, a dining rewards application could easily tie into multiple credit card processing databases or a SAP application could share data with an employee benefits application at a charity. Reservation systems at hotels and airlines can share data amongst a dozen unrelated systems in a single transaction. Speak to a GDF database expert about your case and the systems involved before key evidence is missed, or your opponent goes on a fishing expedition.

We have successfully assisted both requesting and producing parties solve their database mysteries, so don’t hesitate, the consultation is absolutely free and we can help with:

Accounting and ERP Systems
Credit Card Processing Systems
SAP and PeopleSoft
SAS/Cloud Applications
Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence
Accounting Systems
Supply Chain and Inventory Management
Cash Management and Treasury Management
Custom Business Applications and more
Windows – Unix/Linux – Mainframes

Database Forensics – More, Much More than Financials

It’s hard to really envision the amount of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) coursing through our world (over a mind boggling 1.8 zettabytes at last count), but when you get into the database systems of a monster corporation, a financial institution, or a hospital, for instance, it becomes a little easier. Databases are at the center of everything, tracking our transactions, storing our confidential information, maintaining client data, handling orders and inventory, coordinating schedules, making bar code scanners work at the grocery store, matching ads to our viewing habits, and even keeping our airplanes safely in the air. It all touches a database somewhere along the line. And that’s where GDF shines.

GDF’s Database Forensics Experts – People Skills to Boot

At GDF, we know that when it comes to database forensics, more than half the battle is knowing where to find the ESI relevant to your case, which is certainly no small task. But after years of real world experience with some of the most recognizable entities in the world, we’ve got the process and the people skills down cold. We know what questions to ask of whom to not only streamline the process, saving you both time and money, but effectively find what is sought. Only then is it on to the heavy lifting of acquiring, analyzing and producing the relevant ESI, and get it all done with minimal disruption to daily operations, a crucial consideration in today’s non-stop digital world. And we’ve dealt with opposition onsite many times, so we do know how to handle those delicate situations.

Regulatory Compliance

Then there’s the matter of keeping the watchdogs at bay. Whether you are a hospital dealing with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or a financial institution bound by Sarbanes-Oxley compliance (SOX) or even a retailer forced to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS compliance), there can be severe consequences if missteps are taken. You can trust GDF’s database forensics experts will have them on radar every step of the way, helping you through the regulatory compliance maze as quickly, and with as little pain as possible.

What Makes Database Forensics Different?

The first thoughts that spring to mind when discussing digital forensics are of emails, documents, spreadsheets and other user created files that may contain the golden nugget(s) of evidence you’re looking for. But when it comes to fraud cases, Intellectual Property (IP) or patent infringement cases, corporate espionage and even intrusion events like a data breach or an instigated virus infection, it is in the structured ESI of a database where a savvy database forensics expert will often find the evidence that will make or break a case. GDF’s skilled database forensics experts know how to unleash the endless data possibilities which can be extracted from this prized source. But you’ll also feel safe knowing that if the trail happens to end up leading to standalone systems like desktops and laptops, or digital devices like phones, tablets and pads, our experts won’t miss a beat.

What can a GDF Database Forensics Specialist Uncover?

In the fast paced and often overwhelming world of eDiscovery, especially where large complex data sets are concerned, sources of extremely valuable information can be, and routinely are, overlooked. In intellectual property cases, for example, financial databases may be very important for damages, but knowledge management systems, source code repositories and document management systems can yield amazing insight into an alleged infringement, while helping defendants protect against troublesome fishing expeditions, and/or invalidate claims against them. These specialized databases, when analyzed by a skilled database forensics analyst, can be used to review document lifecycle and versioning. Even extended metadata, like keywords, descriptions, annotations and comments, can give insight to the purpose of a document, reveal who authored or accessed information, and expose where it was routed. In the hands of a highly trained and perceptive expert, a new view of the available data may also be achieved. Whether you’re producing a database or requesting it, you need the assistance of a court-tested and proven group of experts like ours at GDF.

GDF’s database forensics experts are experienced with a wide range of systems, including this short list:

Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP Systems
Small Business Management Systems
Sage and Microsoft Financials
Oracle Databases – including Oracle Financials
MySQL, PostgreSQL. MS SQL Server
Engineering and Architectural Management
Midrange Systems (Stratus and HP)
Airline and Hotel Reservations
Healthcare Management and Hospital Systems
FDA Regulated Systems
Search Engines and Knowledge Management Systems
Source Code Repositories
IBM Mainframes (IMS, DB2 Etc.)
XML, Access, DBX

The Value of Knowing When to Play Nice

We’re certainly not new on the block, and while we will be the fiercest ally imaginable for our clients, we also understand there are times when working with both parties can prove extremely beneficial to achieve the objectives of a particular case without subjecting both parties to an endless black hole of unnecessary eDiscovery costs. Our expertise working with counsel for both parties during the meet and confer, discovery conference, or subsequent steps of the legal proceedings, has often been relied on to offer eDiscovery methods and solutions that will not impact the facts of a case, but will streamline the process and lower the eDiscovery costs for everyone involved. After all, cases should be decided on facts and merit, not just who has the bigger piggy bank.

So, instead of breaking into a sweat thinking about the impending ESI nightmare that big case involving a database might turn into, stop, relax, take a deep breath, pick up the phone and call GDF now. We’ll get you through it with flying colors.