How To Build A Mobile Device Forensics Lab: 6 Things To Consider

Originally posted here: https://www.grayshift.com/how-to-build-a-mobile-device-forensics-lab-6-things-to-consider/

When it comes to fighting crime, digital evidence is becoming more critical. Mobile devices are now the primary source of data in many investigations. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, you need a mobile device forensics lab. But knowing how to build a lab or even where to start isn’t always straightforward. Before you begin to build your lab, there are a few things to consider to make the process easier.

Key Stakeholder Buy In

First, ensure that you have the authority or get the power to put your proposal forward. It would be best to have a sponsor for your business proposal, who may also be the keeper of funds and grants. Identifying this person early in your process will help you move forward smoothly. They will also be the ones to help you with any bureaucracy and push your proposal through the ranks.

Business Need

Before identifying necessary resources, you must define the scope of your lab’s service and core mission. For example: will your lab only examine devices for your agency?  Will it service other local agencies? What type of cases will your lab deal with? Knowing the answers to these questions will help determine the mission and scope of your lab. Once that is defined, you can use that information to identify the equipment and software you need.

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Budgetary Impact

Cost is always a consideration when building anything, and a mobile device forensics lab is no different. You will need to factor in the cost of equipment, software, training, and personnel. But keep in mind that this is an investment in your agency’s future. A mobile device forensics lab will help you solve cases quickly and efficiently. Also, remember to think about policies, procedures, and standards that you must follow. These items can have a budgetary impact.

Financial Benefit

To measure the financial benefit of building a mobile device forensics lab, consider the return on investment (ROI) and the value of this service. When you have your own lab, you can process devices in house, saving outsourcing fees and time which helps you simplify chain of custody and examine exhibits in a timely manner. All of these benefits help you justify the financial cost of your lab.

Business Case

Use these prompts to help you outline why your agency needs a mobile device forensics lab. Reach out to other agencies who have gone through this process before and may be willing to advise or assist you with your proposal. Once you have your business case outlined, share it with your key sponsor to get feedback and address initial concerns before running it up the chain of command. If you need help understanding GrayKey benefits to help you complete your business case, reach out to [email protected].

Grant Applications

For many, purchasing modern technology and building new capabilities may seem out of reach due to the lack of funding. When possible, leverage government resources for financing. In the United States, there are many federal and state grant programs available to assist public safety agencies with funding for new technology and capabilities, including mobile device forensics labs. Look for grant opportunities that align with your agency’s needs and your mobile device forensics lab’s goals. If you need help sourcing funding or have specific questions about grants, reach out to [email protected] to learn more.

Read A Beginner’s Guide To Building and Funding a Mobile Device Forensics Lab eBook to learn more.

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