As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, one of the most significant changes the world has observed is the widespread acceptance of the work from home culture. While it is a terrific solution to a terrifying problem that the world is currently battling, the truth remains that it has made some jobs at least a tad challenging, if not wholly impossible. Take investigations, for example, the ability to gather evidence from the site, interview people in person, and collaboration are all critical elements of sound research. Companies all across the globe are struggling with investigations, among other things, as a direct consequence of the COVD-19 outbreak. And sure enough, not every inquiry is time-sensitive, but what do you do about the ones that are, in fact, in need of consideration right away?
The only solution, then, is a remote investigation. Despite the current set of circumstances, technology has been able to help companies and investigators effortlessly deal with a wide variety of challenges in this regard. There are plenty of solutions and resources that allow investigators to execute essential facets of their jobs remotely, including conducting virtual interviews, collaboration, and collection and analysis of data and relevant information among several other things. So, there is plenty of help and tools at hand, and yet, the process of remote investigations can get far too complicated very quickly. To help prevent that and ensure the continued success of such efforts, we have collated a list of useful tips and tricks for investigators as they work remotely.
- Plan the investigation: Even though every research tends to be unique, they still need a solid foundation comprising a well-thought-out strategy. So, when you are putting together your remote investigation plan, don’t forget to factor in considerations that are novel to remote investigations. Some examples of such factors include security levels of the system used for sharing documents, plan of action for remote interviews, and the process for acquiring materials remotely among several other things.
- Ensure privacy: An investigation involves sensitive data, and it can be subjected to increased risk at home owing to the difference in the IT infrastructure investigators may have access to at their residences. Besides that, one mustn’t forget about privilege either. Thankfully, it is easy to tend to these risks — first, start with scrutinizing the policies regarding the devices you use as well as the one implemented by the organization in this context.
- Don’t ignore cybersecurity: While everyone seems to be aware of the importance of cybersecurity, the fact remains that it can be all too easy to ignore when there are more pressing matters at hand. Nonetheless, considering the risks involved, it is essential to take protective measures. It should include compliance with clients’ cybersecurity regulations, avoiding the use of personal devices, using VPN, using only secure WiFi connections, etc.
- Leverage a centralized tracking system: When teams and resources are spread all over the world, it can get challenging to keep track of the investigation’s progress, the documents, and other relevant factors. Hence, it is advisable to use a centralized system that will allow investigators to keep an eye on, report, and share real-time updates.
- Put forensic accounting analysis to use: Today, seamless forensic accounting analysis remotely is possible thanks to digital access to relevant data, including that from ERP systems, along with requisite documents. Investigators can also leverage advanced data analytics to accelerate the process of accessing vast amounts of data and predictive analytics to determine the transactions that are relevant to the investigation.
Investigators are foraying into new territories, and that can be understandably challenging. However, they can be adequately tended to with assistance from a robust investigation case management software that can help you execute remote investigations as effectively as traditional investigations.