What to Expect from a Cybercrime Investigation

June 18, 2021

At a glance:

  • Cybercrime is on the rise: Constant technological innovation is creating increased opportunities for cybercrime, leaving companies more at risk than ever before.
  • Know what to look for: Cybercrime isn’t just organized hackers targeting major corporations; anyone can be a victim of a wide variety of cybercrimes, ranging from email fraud and account takeovers to ransomware attacks
  • Next steps: Take your company’s cybercrime preparedness to the next level by creating a plan for potential future cybercrime investigations.

If you’re preparing for a cybercrime investigation, you need a team you can trust. Make sure Aprio’s Forensic and Cybersecurity professionals are a part of your investigation plan.

The full story:

Modern businesses are benefiting from technological advances like never before, but some are beginning to view this digital age as a double-edged sword. While recent innovation allows us to work and collaborate with incredible efficiency, those same technologies leave us vulnerable to malicious exploits.

Most companies know they need to take appropriate steps to protect their infrastructure from cybercrime, but it is equally important to have a plan in place if those safeguards fail. The best way to protect your business is to be prepared, which requires knowing how to identify the different types of cybercrime and knowing what to expect if your business is targeted.

Defining Cybercrime

For some, cybercrime elicits an image of a large-scale network of criminals or foreign agents like those that target big corporations through ransomware attacks, but the true definition is much broader. Cybercrime can be committed by organized crime rings, nation state actors, or lone wolf individuals, and the perpetrators can range from highly skilled to novice hackers. The only constant in the definition of cybercrime is that the crime itself either targets or uses a network or networked device, like a computer or smartphone.

As varied are the types of cybercriminals, so too are the types of cybercrimes they perpetrate, resulting in a broad web of potential cybercrimes:

Cybercrimes online

Understanding Cybercrime Investigations

Protecting your company from cybercrime often means preparing for the worst, and that includes knowing what to expect from a potential cybercrime investigation. Hacking, account takeovers, money laundering, trade and state secret theft, property infringement, and other types of cyber-related crimes can all warrant a cybercrime investigation. An investigation can help resolve disputes, track records, determine the root cause, and gather important facts and evidence to help move forward. If your organization is targeted by a cybercriminal, the results of a cybercrime investigation could be integral to future litigation as well as efforts to identify the perpetrator.

Due to the varied purposes of a cybercrime investigation, an investigative team with a broad range of experience and expertise may be the best option to investigate any potential criminal activity. Investigations can be conducted by law enforcement, digital forensics experts, private investigators, forensic accounting experts with fraud investigation experience, or, ideally, a collective team representing these skillsets. Much like any other investigation, one person or team is responsible for securing and collecting digital evidence, which is typically passed on to another individual or team, such as a forensic accountant, fraud examiner, or fraud investigator, who reviews the evidence and assists in reporting factual findings. Some investigations may involve search and seizures of evidence or other efforts to conduct asset-tracing and fact-finding; however, all such activities must always be in accordance with the law and conducted using strictly legal methods for any evidence to remain admissible in court.

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The bottom line

Whether you’re facing a cybercrime investigation right now or creating a cybercrime preparedness plan for your company’s future, you need to make sure you can call on a team of investigators you can trust. Aprio’s  Forensic and Cybersecurity  professionals have years of experience developing solutions to aid fraud investigations into alleged cybercriminal acts. Our multidisciplinary team of experts bring a deep understanding of the issues, enabling us to bridge the gaps across criminal, civil, and complex investigative matters. We work closely with both in-house, general, and special counsel, as well as regulators and outside counsel, to provide the forensic support required to document the results of an investigation. And we always stand ready to testify to support our findings.

A cybercrime investigation can be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. Call on Aprio’s Litigation Support and Forensic Accounting team to ensure any fraud investigation your company encounters is handled thoroughly and professionally.