In this article we look at using native features present in Ms Exchange for Forensics analysis
As the name suggests, Forensic Analysis involves rigorous investigation of your Exchange server mailboxes, using specialized tools. Forensic Investigation for Email Data in MS Exchange can be done with the help of all the in – built features of the application, and not necessarily using a third party application, which is commonly practiced. These days, there are hardly any organizations left which are not making use of emails, to communicate. This has given rise to multiple illegitimate activities like account hacking, phishing, disclosing confidential content, etc. To avoid this, organizations often indulge in email investigation, installing antivirus software, building a firewall, etc, but still at times fail to provide full proof protection for all accounts. Exchange Forensic Analysis is used when there has been a data leak, and the business owners need to investigate the one responsible for it.
Many organizations switch to investigation and monitoring the email accounts at the time of need, but if that does not fetch all the required information, the Forensics Analysis come into play. Forensics Analysis involves investigating all the suspecting email accounts, to know who leaked the information or caused any damage. Forensics Analysis is performed by Forensics experts, using specialized tools and equipments, for reliable and accurate results. Forensics Analysis can be performed using third party tools as well as in-built Exchange features.
Implementing Forensics Investigation in MS Exchange
The first thing to keep in mind while implementing Forensic Analysis in your Exchange system using native features is, to always start with Exchange application at your end. Begin with Exchange Analysis, if nothing useful comes out, you then move towards investing the client Exchange. Shutting the server at the time of analysis could be considered ones, but not anymore. Server do not just support the business, but form the business, and cannot be shut. Shutting down servers was important when there was a dearth of advanced and efficient tools, today we have tools, which cannot only preserve data during analysis, but also minimize impact on usual operations.
Latest Approaches to Exchange Forensic Analysis
Recently, another approach has been gaining popularity; it makes use of the Native features in Ms Exchange for investigation. Exchange provides its users with features like Audit Log and In – Place Hold, which help in investigating misuse of data, along with multiple other functions. They assist in investigation by keeping a detailed log of all actions, along with keeping data intact, and combining all these features, Forensic investigation of Exchange databases can be done easily and efficiently through in-built tools.
When Should you use Forensic Investigation / Why is it important
Forensic Investigation helps in preserving the data contained in mailboxes, it is not just a way to know who did the damage to the system, but can also help in retaining deleted accounts or mailboxes. Whether these mailboxes are the ones belonging to employees who have left or are simply being retained for compliance purposes, can depend on the needs of an organization. In case you experience issues in retaining old mailboxes, you can convert them using an ost to pst conversion tool and store them at a different location.
Van Sutton is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair Outlook pst file and bkf recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com