Tools of the Trade – Tableau

In most situations where you need a forensic expert for a litigation case, you will hire a consultant. However, there are situations where it may make sense to do it yourself.

Personally, there have only been a few cases where I felt comfortable doing this kind of work myself. Sometimes the decision is related to a client who doesn't want to spend the money on a consultant, but even then, a litigation support professional should try to follow best practices in forensic-oriented tasks.

I usually reach out to my friends and colleagues that are forensic experts and ask them how I can follow best practices in a do-it-yourself situation. That is exactly how I became the proud owner of a Tableau. A Tableau is essentially a write blocker device. A write blocker, at a basic level, allows us to gain access to data on a hard drive without contaminating the evidence.

The Tableau referenced in these photos is the Tableau T35es-R2 eSATA Forensic Bridge model and it is built for write-blocked acquisitions of either SATA or IDE hard drives. When you think of a hard drive inside of a computer, that hard drive is going to be either a SATA or IDE hard drive. It has to do with the type of connector (as shown below).

As a rule, litigation support professionals should not take chances with forensic mishaps, but there are always exceptions in our field and we should be able to make informed decisions. This is a device that I believe every litigation support team should have in their tool kit.

Have you had an opportunity to use a Tableau yet?

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