Due to technology advancements, more than half of the world’s population relies on computers and other devices for their day-to-day activities, from international communication to managing finances. However, technology has become a double-edged sword as it initiates a new platform for cybercriminals. Furthermore, it is very hard to incriminate digital cybercriminals without having sufficient evidence.
This is why most organizations, from governments to small businesses, need to have a digital forensics analyst in their security team. The role of a computer forensics analyst is very crucial as they help ensure the safety of the public. However, data investigation is not an easy field. Furthermore, it requires a high amount of skill and application of advanced techniques.
In this blog, you will learn everything about computer forensics, covering what it is to the best practices you can apply in your investigation.
What Is Computer Forensics?
Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that deals with the investigation and recovery of materials found in digital devices related to a cybercrime or malicious threats. The term digital forensics was first used interchangeably with computer forensics. However, digital forensics covers the investigation of any device that can store digital data.
Digital forensics is defined as the process of identifying, analyzing, preserving, and documenting digital evidence. Furthermore, a digital forensics investigation is usually done to present evidence in a court of law when needed.
Objectives of Computer Forensics
Some of the objectives of computer forensics are :
- It can be used to find the motive behind a crime and to identify the main culprit.
- It helps to recover, preserve, and analyze computer and related materials in a way that aids investigation agencies to present them as evidence in court.
- To design procedures at a suspected crime scene and make sure that the digital evidence obtained is not corrupted.
- To quickly identify evidence and estimate the malicious activity’s potential impact on the victim.
- To acquire and duplicate data.
- To preserve evidence by following the chain of custody.
- To produce a computer forensics report that offers a complete description of the investigation process.
Computer Forensics Procedure
Here are the steps involved in a digital forensic investigation:
This is the first step in the process, where things like what evidence is present, where it is stored, and how it is stored will be identified by digital forensics analysts.
In this stage, the data will be isolated, secured, and preserved. This process includes preventing other people from using the digital device to ensure that the digital evidence is not tampered with.
This is the stage where the digital forensic analyst reconstructs a fragment of data and draws conclusions according to the evidence found.
This is the process where all the forensic analysts will make a record of the visible data. This helps to recreate the crime scene and then review it.
This is the last stage where the summary and explanation of the conclusions will be done. Furthermore, the summary should be written in layman’s terms to ensure everybody can understand the result.
Types of Digital Forensics
Some of the types of digital forensics are:
- Disk forensics
- Network forensics
- Database forensics
- Wireless forensics
- Email forensics
- Malware forensics
- Mobile phone forensics
- Memory forensics
What Evidence Can Be Gathered Digitally?
Evidence that can be gathered include computer documents, text, emails, transactions, internet histories, and images. The best place to get most of this evidence is from mobile devices. This is because mobile devices make use of an online-based backup system called the cloud and it provides forensic investigators with access to messages and pictures from a particular phone.
Begin Your Computer Forensics Career with CodeRed
The major goals of computer forensics are to make sure that there is limited or no handling of the original evidence and to follow all the steps to make sure the evidence presented before the court stands the test of the law. Furthermore, there are various computer forensic tools for extracting a plethora of data from a device and an investigator needs to know how these tools work and how the extracted data can be presented.
EC-Council CodeRed’s “Computer Forensics Best Practices” course is perfect for you if you want to know more about the digital forensics industry to get a job or to improve your skill set. By the end of this course, you would have mastered all the stages of computer forensics analysis. You will also learn about the various aspects of digital forensics and the items of digital infrastructure that will provide the evidence you need to solve an investigation.
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator Certification
EC-Council’s certification and training program, Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI), covers cloud computing as a part of the training. The program is vendor-neutral and is designed by practicing computer forensic investigators from the industry. With 14 comprehensive modules and 39 labs, CHFI covers all the required job-ready skills to be an accomplished Computer Forensics Investigator.