There is an article by Ken Mizota of Guidance Software about the capabilities of Encase Portable which are now included with Encase 7.10. It is called Feature Spotlight: Portable Triage. I bring to your attention because it help explain what a forensic data collection involves in terms comprehensible to a non-technical user.
As the article explains, EnCase Portable is a forensic data collection device contained on a USB key. It can be used on-site either by a forensically trained investigator who can configure it as required or by an unskilled user who has been sent a pre-configured one.
It can be sent by courier to remote locations to ensure that data is collected to the same standard as from more accessible places. It might be used to do an immediate collection from a laptop brought to a meeting or seized pursuant to an order. Its use jumps over the need to make appointments to collect data, saving not only expense but time, which may be short.
I was present at the meeting of Guidance Software’s Strategic Advisory Board when Portable was announced. Most new tools move us forward incrementally. This was one of those moments when we realised that we were taking a big step forward in the specialised world of forensic data collection.
Ken Mizota’s article is amply illustrated with screenshots and photographs and might be usefully read by anybody who may one day have to collect data, if only to understand the difference between a forensic collection and a conventional copying exercise by the user or an IT department.