• By Mustafa Khan
  • Last updated: December 20, 2023
  • 4 minute read

Digital Evidence Management System: An Alternative to Physical Disks

Discover a superior alternative to physical disks for securely storing & sharing digital evidence by using an AI-backed digital Evidence Management System

In our technologically transformed world, thanks to the launch of a Digital Evidence Management System, how we manage digital evidence is undergoing a profound shift.

According to Alison Brooks, research vice president at IDC:

"Police have been huge CD purchasers because they've had to put digital evidence onto discs and physically take them to other agencies."

However, considering these files' volume and vulnerable nature, we need better, more promising evidence storage and sharing solutions.

Thankfully, physical disks are no longer the primary vessel for safeguarding crucial information in legal cases and investigations.

Instead, a DEMS has emerged as the modern guardian of digital evidence.

There's an apparent reason for this shift: physical disks are more easily compromised for handling the ever-growing volume of digital evidence.

Studies reveal that approximately 85% of data breaches in 2022 resulted from stolen, lost, or compromised physical devices. It's a sobering reminder of the vulnerabilities of relying on tangible storage mediums.

In this blog, we will delve into the obsolescence of physical disks and present a superior alternative for digital evidence management.

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What is an example of a Physical Disk?

Examples of physical disks include:

  • Floppy Disks: A previously common storage medium with limited capacity.
  • Compact Discs (CDs): Used for storing music, software, and data.
  • Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs): Enhanced capacity compared to CDs.
  • Hard Disk Drives (HDDs): Commonly used in computers for data storage.

However, each of these options is losing relevance because of cloud storage solutions.

Besides that, with the advent of digital data transfers, the limitations of physical disks, such as storage capacity and portability, have become more apparent.

What are the Disadvantages of Physical Disks?

We've briefly touched on key terms such as "compromised" and "limited storage capacity and portability." Now, let's delve deeper to understand why physical disks are considered relics of the past.

Here are just a few limitations of using physical disks to store and disperse digital evidence:

  • Data Loss: Physical disks are susceptible to wear and tear. They can easily get damaged, leading to data loss. Studies have shown that approximately 2% of hard drives fail annually, risking the loss of vital evidence.
  • Tampering: Physical disks are vulnerable to tampering and unauthorized access. Anyone with physical access to the disk can potentially alter or delete evidence, compromising its integrity.
  • Accessibility Issues: Sharing evidence stored on physical disks can be cumbersome. It often involves time-consuming physical handovers, leading to delays in investigations and legal proceedings.
  • Limited Mobility: Physical disks tie the evidence to a specific location. This limitation can hinder the timely sharing of evidence with relevant parties involved in an investigation.

These challenges highlight the urgency of transitioning to more secure and efficient digital evidence management solutions.

What is a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS)?

In Layman's terms, a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) is software designed to acquire, store, analyze, and share digital evidence efficiently and securely.

It is often used by police forces, legal entities, and organizations dealing with various types of digital data.

Curious about the future of Digital Evidence Management? Explore a free DEMS demo firsthand.

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Transitioning from Physical Disks to DEMS for Evidence Management

Let's explore why a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) is an ideal alternative for outdated hardware such as physical disks.

How Does a Digital Evidence Management System Address Data Loss?

Cloud-Based Storage and Encryption: A DEMS can provide cloud-based storage and backup options for digital evidence, ensuring its availability and durability. A DEMS can also encrypt the proof to protect it from unauthorized access or modification.

How Does a Digital Evidence Management System Address Evidence Tampering?

Chain of Custody and Tamper Detection: A DEMS can maintain a chain of custody for every piece of evidence, recording who accessed it, when, where, and why. A DEMS can also detect any tampering attempts and alert the relevant authorities.

How Does a Digital Evidence Management System Address Accessibility Issues?

Secure Sharing: A DEMS can enable secure and easy sharing of evidence with authorized parties, such as prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and other law enforcement agencies. A DEMS can also support different formats and devices for viewing and playing evidence.

How Does a Digital Evidence Management System Address Limited Mobility Concerns?

Cloud-Based Storage: A DEMS can allow remote access to evidence if there is an internet connection. It can also facilitate collaboration and communication among different stakeholders involved in an investigation.

Click here to learn about why cloud-based storage is essential for law enforcement.

The capabilities of a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) discussed are just the tip of the iceberg. But don't just take our word for it – why not try it out and see for yourself?

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VIDIZMO: Your Cloud-Based Evidence Management Partner

Here are some of the many features that make VIDIZMO's Digital Evidence Management System an all-in-one evidence handling and sharing solution:

  • Format-Agnostic: VIDIZMO's DEMS is format-agnostic, ensuring compatibility with various file formats for versatile digital evidence handling.
  • Comprehensive Features: VIDIZMO offers an extensive range of efficient digital evidence management features.
  • Security and Compliance: VIDIZMO ensures evidence security, integrity, chain of custody, and legal compliance, including GDPR, FIPS, and CJIS. Learn more
  • Deployment Flexibility: VIDIZMO provides multiple deployment options tailored to your organization's requirements and budget.

Want a tailored solution for your evidence management needs? Contact our VIDIZMO representatives to explore customized options.

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Case Study: California DMV

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) faced challenges in handling digital evidence using physical disks like CDs and thumb drives.

This posed problems such as the risk of data loss, limited access, and non-compliance. To overcome these challenges, DMV adopted VIDIZMO, a cloud-based solution.

With VIDIZMO, DMV:

  • Eliminated the need for physical disks, reducing costs and risks.
  • Streamlined evidence management, enhancing efficiency.
  • Improved data security with encryption, authentication, audit trails, and retention policies.
  • Enabled easy access, search, and retrieval from any location.
  • Ensured compliance with industry standards.

This switch to VIDIZMO improved digital evidence management, leading to better case outcomes.

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This blog discusses the shift from physical disks to Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) for efficiently handling digital evidence.

We covered physical disk limitations and how DEMS addresses them, offering cloud storage, encryption, chain of custody, secure sharing, and mobility.

Ready to leave old habits behind? Start your free seven-day trial with VIDIZMO DEMS now! Contact us for more details.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is the best way to store digital evidence?

The best way to store digital evidence is through secure and encrypted Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS). These AI-backed systems ensure evidence safety and chain of custody. Plus, finding any evidence from a vast repository is pretty straightforward.

What is DEMS, and how does it work for evidence storage and sharing?

DEMS, or Digital Evidence Management System, efficiently acquires, stores, analyzes, and securely shares digital evidence. Basically, it allows bulk ingestion of digital data and easy retrieval as it is backed by elastic search instead of simple search.

Why should we stop using physical disks for evidence storage?

We should stop using physical disks for evidence storage as:

  • They can get Damaged.
  • Data on them can be Tampered with.
  • Their mobility is Limited.

Posted by Mustafa Khan

Mustafa is an Associate Product Marketing Strategist at VIDIZMO and an expert in digital evidence management. He researches latest trends to keep up with the law enforcement landscape. For any queries, feel free to reach at websales@vidizmo.com.

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