What you should look for when purchasing a Forensic Data Acquisition Device
- Determine the maximum number of Suspect drives that would need to be Captured for any given assignment. Choose a solution that can adjust to a growing need if necessary.
- For high volume needs, the Forensic Data Acquisition Device should be capable of performing multiple operations simultaneously also known as "Multi-Session".
- The Forensic Data Acquisition Device transfer rate capability should be designed for current and future advanced drive technologies.
- List the required Capture Formats that would be needed to perform the assigned tasks. Choose an Acquisition Device that offers the common Capture Formats, which include Segmented and Encase File formats.
- Inquire about the Hash functions available which assist in data integrity verification. Which Hash methods are available? How do the functions effect transfer rates? Are the functions implemented through Hardware or Software?
- Verify if the Forensic Data Acquisition Device provides a Write-Protect environment for all ports which drives can be connected to.
- Does the Forensic Data Acquisition Device offer a method of previewing Suspect's Drive data in a Write-Protected Environment.
- Are tools available to Capture data without the need to remove the storage device from the Notebook or PC?
- Does the Forensic Data Acquisition Device offer a method to Encrypt confidential data during duplication? What methods are available to Decrypt data on an Encrypted drive? Is Encryption performed using Hardware Acceleration or using Software.
- If your organization requires some special features not commonly available, choose a Company that is willing to customize a solution for your particular needs.
- Which drive interfaces need to be supported? The common drive interfaces include PATA, SATA, SAS, USB, SCSI (Wide, Narrow, SCA80), FireWire, MircoSATA, ZIF and Fibre Channel. Choose a Duplicator which can duplicate between the different drive interfaces.
- What Form Factors do the drives use? The common Form Factors are 3.5", 2.5", 1.8". Choose a Duplicator that is flexible to accommodate drives with proprietary Form Factors such as enclosed drives.
- If your drive inventory includes drives with a special interface connector, choose a Company who is willing to develop the necessary adapters.
- If ease of use is important, select a Duplicator with a Touch Screen Display and sophisticated Software, offering a User Friendly Interface.
- Inquire if the listed features and options require individual purchase or are offered with the standard purchase.
- Look for Forensic Data Acquisition Devices which offer Network Connectivity, allowing images to be stored locally and on a shared Network folder.
- Does the Forensic Data Acquisition Device offer Audit Trail functions which records and logs results of the operations performed?
- Inquire if there is a method of securing cables to the Duplicator to avoid accidentally disconnecting cables during operation.
- Inquire if the Duplicator offers a cooling mechanism for the drives in use.
- Inquire if the Duplicator is made of metal or plastic. Metal provides improved EMI Shielding.
- Choose a Company with long term experience, offering support in the USA and Internationally.
- Inquire about the Warranty and Repair options offered. Choose a Company which offers to perform repairs within a reasonable time period and can provide spare parts with short notice.
- Inquire if the Duplicator's interface provides multi-language support.
- If portability is important, select a device which is light weight, compact and can store most of its accessories in one case.
- Inquire about the method used to update the Forensic Data Acquisition Device Software and Firmware. The upgrade process should be User Friendly and free of charge.