Forensics: Internet of Things

An information security professional asked me where future opportunities lie for an individual with his background. I told him to dive into the forensics of small digital devices.

I believe the same advice applies to many other professionals, including auditors and lawyers.

Smart-Jewelry Cometh

The quantity and diversity of digital devices are exploding, and the explosion will only grow bigger.  Until recently, people had just desktop and laptop PCs. Now suddenly, everyone has smart phones and tablets.  But more devices are coming: smart watches have hatched, and smart-jewelry
Tiny Computers
is right around the corner.  A whole panoply of wearable computing devices will appear on the scene: smart-eyeglasses, smart-belt buckles, smart-shoes.

Here Come the Smart Things

These mobile, wearable devices are part of a larger tsunami known as the Internet of Things.  Digital sensors, embedded systems and tiny computers are coming to permeate our world, from our homes to our factories to our automobiles to our city streets to our shopping malls.

Legal and Accounting Evidence

All these gadgets will collect, store, communicate and analyze data.  Yet this data has meaning beyond its original purposes.  It constitutes evidence from the perspective of a lawsuit, a tax audit or a criminal investigation.

This internet-of-things-evidence will intoxicate auditors, lawyers, detectives and other investigators.  They will want it to assess what happened, where it happened, when it happened, why it happened and who was responsible.

Courts and other legal authorities are already feasting on the evidence recoverable from hard drives, mobile phones and social media.  The feast will grow evermore lavish.  The Internet of Things will create an incomprehensible banquet of evidence.

Professional Employment

All this portends well for those professionals who are talented at digital forensics.  Clients will hire them to recover the evidence and explain it to judges, juries and regulatory authorities.

Their clients will want to know:

  • at which location did the defendant climb over the fence?
  • when did the blood pressure of the deceased spike?
  • what was transpiring inside the cab of the pickup truck at the time of the collision?

Keep That Training Current

Forensic experts have enjoyed good business gathering data from PCs and cell phones.  Much more business will open for those experts who can also gather evidence from the forthcoming menagerie known as the Internet of Things.

Forensic tools and skills can quickly grow out of date.  The successful professional will keep his or her tools and training current.


  1. I have practical tips on how to grow a digital forensics practice.
  2. See my idea for how to record legal or accounting evidence from a dedicated or embedded computer.
  3. Wearable fitness tracker yields legal evidence in police investigation.
  4. How to make a forensic record of mixed reality.

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