What is Computer Forensics (aka Cyber Forensics)?

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Computer forensics is a subset of digital forensic science that deals with evidence found on computers and other digital storage devices. Computer forensics aims to study digital media in a forensically sound manner in order to identify, preserve, retrieve, analyze, and provide facts and views about digital information.

  • Although computer forensics is most commonly connected with the investigation of a wide range of computer crimes, it can also be employed in civil cases. Data recovery techniques and principles are used, but different norms and practices are in place to produce a legal audit trail.

  • Criminal investigations and law enforcement require cyber forensics. In some circumstances, such as hacking and denial of service (DOS) attacks, the computer system is the crime scene. The proof of the crime will be stored in the computer system. Proofs could consist of surfing history, emails, papers, and so forth. These computer proofs can be used as evidence in a court of law to sort out claims or defend innocent persons from charges.

Computer Forensics - Pros and Cons

Following are the advantages of using Computer Forensics −

  • In order to acquire a deep knowledge of the scenario, similar sorts of data and relevant data from multiple source systems can be compared.

  • Cyber forensics can be used to make relevant data trending over a period of time.

  • The complete data can be scanned to detect and select specific hazards for future research.

  • The effectiveness of the control environment and policies can be evaluated by identifying the characteristics that break the rules.

Following are the drawbacks of using Computer Forensics −

  • The expense of creating and storing electronic documents is exceedingly high.

  • Legal professionals must have a strong understanding of computers.

  • Evidence that is both authentic and convincing is required.

When and How is Computer Forensics Used?

Computer forensics is typically used for two purposes −

  • Inquiry and Investigations

  • Data recovery

Inquiry and Investigations

Computer forensics is becoming increasingly important in today's investigations. When a crime is committed, and an investigation is initiated, one of the most common locations to check for evidence is a suspect's computer or cell phone.

Once a suspect has been identified, and their personal computer or mobile phone has been taken into evidence, a computer forensics expert searches for content that is relevant to the investigation. They must be cautious to adhere to the established procedures when looking for information so that their findings may be used as proof. The information they find, whether it's documents, surfing history, or metadata. The prosecution could utilize this information to create a solid case against the suspect.

Data Recovery

Aside from collecting evidence, computer forensics experts may also help with data recovery. Forensics professionals can recover information from broken hard drives, wrecked servers, and other compromised equipment when it comes to data recovery. This is beneficial to anyone who has misplaced important data that isn't related to criminal investigations, such as businesses that have had a system crash.

Cyber Forensics and Cyber Security

Cybersecurity and computer forensics are commonly conflated, but they are not the same thing.

  • Computer Forensics is more reactive and active, such as monitoring and exposing data.

  • Cybersecurity is about prevention and protection.

Cybersecurity and Computer Forensics are frequently two teams that collaborate. They complement each other because the Cybersecurity team develops methods and algorithms to secure data, while the Computer Forensics team recovers, investigates, and tracks what happened. However, there are many parallels, which is why these two fields complement each other.

Skills Required to be a Forensic Investigator

You need to have the following skills in order to become a qualified forensic investigator −

  • Analytical Skills

  • Technical Aptitude

  • Effective communication abilities

  • Understanding the fundamentals of cyber security

  • Understanding of the law and criminal investigation

  • Pay close attention to the details

It is the future of the IT sector, based on current technological trends, particularly cybercrime. Because the Indian market is growing at the same rate as the US market, security is a major concern, and cyber forensics professionals will be the next highly-paid professionals in the business.

People will rely on computers for security, and they will be broken. People who can prevent this from happening and think like these hackers will be needed in the world. As a result, the demand for security experts will continue to grow.

Updated on 09-Jun-2022 13:04:24