3 Questions to Ask Every Private Digital Forensics Lab Before You Hire One

As there is a thriving need and demand for processing digital evidence in every state crime lab, law enforcement agencies need to seek an alternative for time sensitive and high profile cases. This is where private digital forensics labs like Elijaht cyber due diligence come in. But, before you hire one, here are the questions you should ask.

  • What accreditation does your lab hold?

The third party entities that provide accreditation to state and federal crime labs provide them to private labs as well. Checking on this must always be prioritized when working with any private digital forensics lab. Retaining accreditation via a third party like ASCLD/LAB international guarantees that the lab pays heed to particular policies and procedures, validates the tools, trains the team and keep them competent in their field of expertise.

  • Can we review a sample findings report?

State digital forensics labs are loaded with cases, hence with a more manageable caseload, private labs conduct more in-depth investigation and offer detailed explanations of findings within a report. Feel free to ask them for a redacted lab report to review to gain an idea of the reporting quality. Quality doesn’t just mean more detail though. Reports should be precise, concise, and easy for a case agent and officers to understand. Forensic examiners of the private digital forensics lab testify in court on a frequent basis, so always ask for a CV of the examiner who will deal with your evidence as well.

  • What would be the cost?

Certainly, you will not forget to ask this question, however, this is the hardest part of dealing with a private forensics lab. While public digital forensics labs aren’t free of cost, their costs have already been included in the budget of the department, no matter how long the backlog is. You may need to fight for a little budget authority, no matter if the payoff justifies the costs. Also ask the private digital forensic lab if they provide options that can be shaped like a budget line item. Many of them come bearing case work packages where you will need to pay a fixed amount that is applicable on specific cases. The flexibility and fast turnaround times available with these packages are hugely beneficial for law enforcement agencies. Hence, you need to know how and when these labs will get your cases accomplished quickly and guarantee that any evidence can be presented in court.

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