Google Research

Hunting in the Enterprise: Forensic Triage and Incident Response

Digital Investigation, vol. 10 (2013), pp. 89-98


In enterprise environments, digital forensic analysis generates data volumes that traditional forensic methods are no longer prepared to handle. Triaging has been proposed as a solution to systematically prioritize the acquisition and analysis of digital evidence. We explore the application of automated triaging processes in such settings, where reliability and customizability are crucial for a successful deployment.

We specifically examine the use of GRR Rapid Response (GRR) – an advanced open source distributed enterprise forensics system – in the triaging stage of common incident response investigations. We show how this system can be leveraged for automated prioritization of evidence across the whole enterprise fleet and describe the implementation details required to obtain sufficient robustness for large scale enterprise deployment. We analyze the performance of the system by simulating several realistic incidents and discuss some of the limitations of distributed agent based systems for enterprise triaging.

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