While the real world of forensics is much different from your favorite primetime drama, it’s becoming an increasingly important field for the digital sphere.
Cybercriminals leave a trace just like real-world offenders, so it’s important to use digital forensic tools that can identify, address, and resolve potentially fraudulent or harmful activities. Keep reading to learn more about digital forensics, and the tools your company needs to stay protected.
What is digital forensics?
Simply put, digital forensics is the practice of investigating digital footprints to prevent and resolve computer-based crimes. Everything we do online leaves a trail of breadcrumbs, and analyzing these clues can help us keep our data safe from cybercriminals and fraudsters.
Digital forensics protects your data through four main functions:
Before any system can process your data, it needs to be collected and securely archived. Typically, this involves gaining access to physical records (hard drives, flash drives, memory cards) in order to extract the digital data.
Before analyzing any data, the analyst needs to determine the proper way to extract the information. If the device is live, they would likely just need to connect a power source and copy file files securely. If it’s dead, extra steps might be required such as connecting the seized device to external equipment.
At this critical step in the process, the analyst will find the evidence to either support or refute the claim that’s being made against any alleged cybercriminal. Your forensics team will be looking for specific information about each relevant item, such as who created it and when it was last edited.
Once the analysis of the data is complete, the results need to be compiled in a way that everyone involved in the case can clearly understand. This report needs to state the analyst’s findings in plain language.
What does digital forensics do?
Before you dive into developing an online forensics strategy, it’s helpful to determine why you need one in the first place.
Most businesses employ a digital forensic tool for the purpose of:
- Identifying cyber threats
- Protecting against insider threats
- Reinforcing data loss prevention
- Reducing the risk of identity theft, fraud, and other digital crimes
- Aiding in the collection of evidence for employee investigations
Using a digital forensic tool is a smart, precautionary step for any business to take. And, it can also speed up the resolution process for existing incidents.
What is digital forensics in cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a major industry that’s expected to reach a valuation of $133.7 billion by 2022. This is due to the fact that cybercrime, fraud, and identity theft are incredibly lucrative illegal industries. Just one data breach can cost your business an average of $3.92 million.
Especially in light of recent events, businesses are becoming more heavily dependent on digital mediums to conduct business and communicate with employees.
Fortunately, the same technology that cybercriminals use to collect sensitive data can be used to track their own digital footprints. Digital forensics is the application of those methods to recover, analyze, and protect online data.
How long does digital forensics take?
Digital forensics provides a much quicker turnaround time compared to traditional methods, producing results in as little as 15 to 35 hours.
In most cases, digital forensics is performed by scanning a hard drive or another storage device. The data is mined from the device and filtered through the proper protocol. Digital forensic analysts are typically looking for:
- Hidden, encrypted, or deleted files that could be stored on the device
- Key custodians and data locations
- Impacted user and system-generated files
Data forensics is largely tech-driven, making it a speedy alternative to manual analysis.
This makes it an effective and efficient method of data security, and a worthy investment for any company that wants to safeguard their presence online.
What is a forensic suite?
For businesses that don’t want to hire internal or external forensics staff, a forensic suite is an ideal solution for independent data security.
Using digital forensics software to gather information from a company device can be more cost-effective than hiring a dedicated team. Plus, you can get results in less time compared to traditional methods.
Using a computer monitoring tool for digital forensics allows you to take control of these key functions:
- Insider threat detection
- Remote employee monitoring
- Employee investigations
- Data loss prevention
- Smart monitoring
No matter the size of your operation, your business needs digital forensic tools to increase cybersecurity without drastically increasing operational costs. Our industry-leading computer monitoring system can help you close your case in an average of 40 days.
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