Digital Forensics is a discipline that consists of extracting, preserving and analyzing evidence when a security breach occurs in computer systems, networks, mobile devices, emails or hard drives, among others. This evidence can serve as evidence in a judicial process. But the question is why is digital forensics important? It is, therefore, a science on the rise, increasingly necessary in a society highly dependent on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
What is Digital Forensics?
Computer forensic analysis, digital forensic analysis or Digital Forensics, is generally developed by an ICT expert or forensic expert. This is an expert who is responsible for determining the cause or origin of a cyberattack or security breach recorded on a computer device. The objective of computer forensic analysis is to obtain evidence that explains said event, regardless of whether or not it is going to be used as evidence in a judicial process.
Digital Forensics could be considered, as well as a branch of cybersecurity, along with ethical hacking, reverse engineering or cyber intelligence. The computer forensic expert must therefore have extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, since they will work analyzing devices or operating systems in search of evidence.
What is Digital Forensics for?
Digital Forensics has many uses. Even more so taking into account the increase in cyber threats for companies and users as a result of the greater use of technology that is currently taking place at all levels.
We can highlight several relevant utilities:
- Provide evidence in judicial proceedings: In cases of hard drive manipulation, data theft or malware attacks, forensic analysis can serve as essential evidence in a judicial process.
- Offer evidence in negotiations: We can see an example in the case of a labor negotiation, in which a worker can demonstrate that he is carrying out his job correctly from the data that can be extracted from his computer. The opposite can also happen, and it is the forensic analysis that determines that the employee is committing practices contrary to his company.
- Cyber insurance: Insurance against computer attacks is increasingly common. In this sense, when a security breach occurs, it is necessary for an expert to collect evidence to see whether the insurance should be applied or not. It is similar to what happens in the automobile insurance appraisal.
Digital Forensics and Risk Analysis
As we have seen, the high dependence on technology implies for companies to have digital or cyber risk management plans. Therefore, in risk analysis it is very important that knowledge of forensic analysis is applied. Thanks to this, it will be possible to determine the probability and impact that certain security breaches may have on the organization. Therefore, it is recommended that the risk manager have knowledge about this discipline, even if he is not an expert, since it will help him when making decisions in risk management.
Example of Computer Forensic Analysis
Although Digital Forensics is a broad discipline, a clear example of its usefulness is the analysis of a suspicious email. It may be an email, apparently signed by a government institution, requesting payment of a certain fee or tax. If you suspect that it may be a scam, a computer forensic expert will be able to determine what type of protocol the email uses, analyze the address from which it was sent, and perform other checks that will help determine if it is a fake email or real.
Digital Forensics plays a pivotal role in our increasingly technology-driven world. This discipline, which involves the extraction, preservation, and analysis of digital evidence in the wake of security breaches, is not only crucial for solving cybercrimes but also for safeguarding individuals, organizations, and even the legal system itself.
As we have delved into the importance of Digital Forensics, it becomes evident that its significance extends far beyond the confines of criminal investigations.