Andy Harbison

Title
Director - IT Forensic Lead, Forensic and Investigation Services

Experience
Andy is the most experienced computer forensics investigator in private practice in Ireland. He has completed in excess of 350 separate computer investigations for clients ranging from multinational companies and major financial services companies to small and medium sized enterprises and private individuals. He has innovated a number of important IT investigative techniques and seen them put into Irish precedent.

He is the country’s most experienced electronic discovery practitioner and has completed dozens of e-discovery assignments under Irish, UK and US rules of evidence. He has recently written chapters on computer fraud and electronic discovery for the Law Society of Ireland Solicitors’ Practice Guides, and advised the Law Society committee on electronic discovery.

As a specialist in IT incident management, he has helped a number of major firms develop their IT incident management plans.

Before joining Grant Thornton in 2009. he established and led the IT forensics units at two Big Four firms.

Andy began his career as a system analyst and administrator with Siemens in Germany, rising to computer systems manager with the company’s Kuwait Emergency Response team.

During his five years at Trinity College, Andy lectured in operations and IT management, while conducting research into process management, business process improvement and information management. He has produced over a dozen publications in these areas.

Andy is also a highly experienced “white-hat” hacker and has conducted and managed a large number of passive and intrusion tests on clients’ IT networks, both internal and external. He has been lead instructor in hacking techniques both in a big four firms extreme hacking courses and Microsoft’s trusted computing initiative.

Sector experience
Andy's experience includes:

  • detection and investigation of major procurement fraud at a state body;
  • implementing a turn-key IT forensics, e-discovery and incident response capability at one of Ireland’s largest financial services companies;
  • internet forensic tracing identification of the beneficial owner of the “Rate Your Solicitor” web-site in a high court libel case (Maguire –v-Gill) an Irish precedent;
  • metadata analysis of Microsoft Word documents in Balla Lease –v- Keeling (Commercial Court) an Irish precedent
  • delivery of electronic discovery services in the largest FCPA case in European history;
  • large scale electronic discovery at an Irish insurance firm requiring forensic analysis of over 50 computers;
  • investigation of large scale theft of copyright material in an Irish public institution, in response to an MPIAA complaint;
  • investigation of theft of financial and customer relationship data from a large insurance firm;
  • investigation of accusations of computer misuse by the chief executive of a major Irish company;
  • investigation of large-scale internet fraud against a major financial services company;
  • collection of IT forensic evidence in the execution of Anton Pillar orders on multiple occasions; and
  • appointed by High Court as independent IT forensic examiner in Walsh-v-Microsoft.

Professional qualifications and memberships
Andy is a member of the Information Systems Security Association, the Irish Information Security Forum and the Society for Computers and Law. He holds a BSc in Electronics Engineering and two Masters degrees in Business Administration and Information Technology.

Professional affiliations and membership
Andy is adjunct lecturer in digital investigation at University College Dublin. He also regularly lectures on these topics at the Law Society of Ireland and Dublin City University. He has published extensively in IT forensics, computer fraud, electronic litigation and data privacy and is a regular speaker at conferences and private corporate seminars.