What is Digital Forensics?

Digital forensics is the extraction, identification, interpretation, preservation and documentation of computer evidence, which can be used in a court of law. The different branches of digital forensics speak to the different areas which they focus on. 

These branches include: 

Network Forensics 

The capture, recording and analysis of network events in order to discover the source of security attacks or other problematic incidents.

Firewall Forensics

This is a vital element for the security of a private network. It is placed at the drop-off of the private network and internet. It implements an access control policy for the TCP/IP traffic exchanged between the two networks. All the packets exchanged between the private network and internet must imperatively pass through the firewall in order to be filtered according to the implemented access control policy. The policy consists of filtering rules which examine all of the incoming and outgoing TCP/IP packets individually in the aim to allow or deny their transit by the firewall.

Database Forensics

This relates to the forensic study of databases and their related metadata. The discipline is similar to computer forensics, following the normal forensic process and applying investigative techniques to database contents and metadata.

Mobile Device Forensics

This relates to the recovers of digital evidence or data from a mobile device under forensically sound conditions.

Digital forensics can help to protect from and solve cases involving the theft of intellectual property, which pertains to any act that allows access to patient, trade secrets, customer data and any confidential information. It also helps to protect from financial fraud which pertains to anything that uses fraudulent solicitation of victims information to conduct fraudulent transactions. 

Despite of its huge benefits, digital forensics has faced difficult challenges in recent years because of the increase of PC’s and internet access, which has made the exchange of information quick and inexpensive. There is also a large availability of hacking tools and with a lack of physical evidence, digital forensics can be a real challenge when it comes to the prosecution of criminal activity. 

The future of digital forensics, however, is far from bleak. There is an increasing wide array of tools used to preserve and analyse digital evidence. The single approach to utilise single evidence – such as hard-drives – will change as there is an increasing size of hundreds of Gigabytes and Terabytes to be used. There will also be much better collaborative functions to allow forensic investigators to perform investigations a lot more efficiently than they do presently. This will mean that investigators can manage their investigations with less focus on the IT side of things, and more on driving their investigation forward. 

To learn more about Digital Forensics, and how it can be implemented into your business’s strategy, please register below to attend Enterprise Security & Risk Management 2015 and network with leading industry professionals: www.whitehallmedia.co.uk/esrm/registration.

Author: Dan Myers