What is Forensic Analysis, and What are its Main Goals?

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Forensic analysis is an investigative field that performs extremely detailed analysis and research of financial information to investigate financial manipulation or fraud in an organization. Forensic analysis services are often necessary for preparing litigation related to insolvency, insurance claims, fraud, divorces, embezzlement, and other types of financial theft. Using a combination of financial auditing and criminal investigation activities, the forensic analysis identifies criminal activities from outside or within an organization. 

Moreover, forensic analysis helps prevent, detect, and recover activities for investigating terrorism and other criminal activities, assessing an organization’s vulnerability to fraudulent financial activities. Let’s learn more about forensic analysis and its main goals.

What Does Forensic Analysis Involve?

Forensic analysis utilizes investigative, accounting, and auditing skills to analyze an organization’s financial statements and detect possible fraud related to ongoing or anticipated legal activities. Forensic analysis services examine a company or individual’s financial statements to discover tax fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, money laundering, scams, and other finance-related crimes. 

Their ultimate goal is to discover such crimes, prevent them, report them, and prosecute the responsible individuals. Forensic analysis can also help recover the stolen funds if a financial crime has occurred. Intelligence agencies often use these services to expose terrorism. Since terrorist groups require funding for existence, forensic analysis is an effective measure to uncover terrorist cells. 

Companies, agencies, and governments also hire these experts to design auditing and accounting systems for risk management, identification, and reduction. The concept has become extremely popular over the years as organizations now look for ways to identify and prevent crime before it actually happens rather than discovering it afterwards.

Goals of Forensic Analysis in an Infrastructure’s Security

Knowing the benefits provided can help understand the goals of forensic analysis in an infrastructure’s security.

  • Prevent Hackers: With forensic analysis, financial companies can develop technologies that prevent hackers from accessing their networks, devices, or websites. By knowing how criminals exploit or steal data, analytical firms scan networks and protect appropriate data to ensure inaccessibility to outside parties.
  • Put Off Malware: Anti-malware is one of the most significant benefits of forensic analysis. It identifies how malware enters into network infrastructure and behaves there. The analytical activities can detect malware before it exploits a vulnerability and removes it.
  • Retrieve Information: Retrieving information is crucial for any forensic investigation, especially in the case of identity theft or data breach. Forensic analysts use complex techniques and tools to retrieve and present information before the law to prove their point.
  • Identify Vulnerabilities: Since vulnerabilities are not usually apparent, hackers find them easy to exploit. Forensic analysts provide valuable data to identify the weakest points in an infrastructure, website, or application. Based on this data, they can focus on fixing these vulnerable points.
  • Prepare for Litigation: Forensic analysis analyzes financial data that an organization can use to support its case in court. Extracting this financial information can take a long time and requires specialized experts to solve the mystery. Many medium to large-sized firms engage forensic analysis experts while defending themselves or prosecuting someone.

The Extent of Forensic Analysis

Here are a few types of cases forensic analysts might work on:

  • Monetary Theft occurs when an employee, individual, or customer steals an organization’s money. Forensic analysts study the event and look for theft evidence in receipts, profit and loss statements, and other documents.
  • Securities Fraud: It is a white-collar crime that often occurs when investors receive false information. Both organizations and individuals like brokerage firms and investment banks can commit such frauds. Forensic analysts search the firm’s documents to determine who committed the crime.
  • Money Laundering: It is the process of generating money through illegal ways that seem legal. For instance, an individual may steal cash and spend it on opening a restaurant using illicit funds. A forensic analyst might detect money laundering by investigating the shell company’s documentation, suspicious transactions, and significant income changes.
  • Valuation Disputes: Forensic analysis services help determine a business’s value by researching its finances and identifying any hidden issues.
  • Tax Evasions: Forensic analysts study an organization’s tax documents, financial transactions, and profit and loss accounts to determine if it committed tax evasion.

Forensic analysis services involve detailed detection, investigation, and documentation of security incidents or violations against organizational or state laws. They provide evidence in court proceedings, especially for financial crime investigations. They employ a wide range of investigative technologies and procedures to achieve the goals mentioned in this article.