Since December 2010, the Netherlands Forensic Institute provides a service-based approach for processing and investigating multiple terabytes of seized digital material: Digital Forensics as a Service (DFaaS). This previous implementation was called Xiraf, the current one Hansken. Now this approach has become a standard for hundreds of criminal cases and over two thousand investigators, both in The Netherlands and abroad.

Digital Forensics as a Service: a game changer

The NFI provide a service that processes multiple terabytes of digital material in a forensic context and gives easy and secure access to the processed results.

Using this service-based approach for doing digital forensics asks for several changes in the investigation process.

To minimize the case lead time, processing of the seized material must be automated. Apart from that, case detectives should be the ones looking at the digital material since they can use their valuable case knowledge for identifying relevant traces.

This impact on the digital forensic process is explained in detail in our paper 'Digital Forensics as a Service, a game changer'.

Digital Forensics as a Service: game on

Centralization of forensic data analysis and the associated risks, mandate keeping track of several design principles; the NFI identified eight. The three most important principles are sociologically driven and go hand-in-hand: security, privacy and transparency. These principles are set out from the viewpoint of the seized material, the people involved with processing the data, and system design itself. The other five principles are mainly business driven: multi tenancy, future proof, data retention, reliability and high availability.

How the principles impact the implementation of Hansken and what (distributed) technologies the several component of Hansken are based on, is explained in detail in our paper 'Digital Forensics as a Service: game on'.


For more information on Hansken, please contact our Hansken team.