Everything you need to know about data forensics


Regardless of whether there was a hacking attempt or data breach, you need to hire a data forensics team to investigate the problem. Remember that it can take weeks or months to identify how the attack happened. There can be a need to do an in-depth analysis to determine the origin of the threat.


This is the reason why you need to find an expert to uncover hidden vulnerabilities in a system. This is where the role of data forensics comes in handy. Any evidence of cyber-attack needs can be gathered and examined. This article discusses everything you need to know about data forensics.


Understanding data forensics

The investigation or study of digital data, how it’s created, and used is called data forensics. Data forensics involves a lot of things because it includes identifying data, preserving data, recovering data, analyzing data, and presenting the attributes of digital information.


When it comes to data recovery, computer forensics or data forensics can be done on computer servers, mobile devices, and many other storage devices. Data forensics can sometimes be used in situations that involve tracking phone texts, calls, or even emails going through a network. Professionals in digital forensics can use decryption, advanced system searches, reverse engineering, and much other analysis to get the data they are looking for.


Data forensics usually uses two types of data. The first type of data they collect in data forensics is known as persistent data. This persistent data can be permanently stored on a device like on a drive to make it easy to find. On the other hand, the other type of data which is called volatile data can be impermanent elusive. Volatile data is considered to be impermanent elusive data to make it hard to gather and analyze.


For a corporation or business, you need to have in-depth data forensics. For example, many people think that implementing defense with firewalls, antiviruses, and routers is enough and reliable to prevent any cyber-attack. The truth is that technology keeps on advancing, so any security expert should know that putting these security measures as their defense cannot prevent attackers from accessing your system.


This is why data forensics contend that measures like firewalls are just minor ones in case of an attack. These types of software can only give you information to a certain level. This is because these systems don’t have the deeper layer of data needed to give clues on exactly what happened.


To get the specific details, your company needs to implement security mechanisms to work alongside the mentioned software. Putting this kind of security model is called defense in depth.


So the systems that have a defense-in-depth mechanism have a good chance of collecting, analyzing, and presenting data in court. In case of an attack, this type of evidence is admissible in any court of law. As a result, the culprits who attacked your system can face justice.


Data forensics team

If you intend to launch an investigation, you need to form a data forensics team. This forensic team needs to follow a specific structure when carrying out the documentation process. You need to  have the content of these documents for future use. Therefore, they should be well-preserved, verified, and properly documented.


A forensic team should have in-depth knowledge and experience of every investigation. This must be right from the onset of the investigation and should cover the scope and the various techniques that were used in the investigation process.


The techniques used must be proper and legal like the legal collection of copies of evidence. In other words, the nature of the investigation needs to focus on the right documentation and solid evidence to avoid an unexpected outcome that technology can bring.


Besides law enforcement and security companies, every business and corporation must be able to handle their basic problems and investigations internally. However, if this is not possible to create a competent investigative team in your organization, perhaps it’s a good idea to hire a digital forensics company to help with the investigations. A digital forensics company can form its investigative team to carry out the investigation.


The importance of digital forensics

The world is increasingly becoming a global village with the use of the internet, computer systems, and digital life. Life can seem hard without using these technologies because they play a crucial role in everything you do. Information and other important data may be stored or sent by electric devices like the internet, thumb drives, laptops, and many others.


There is a huge variation and the development of storage devices and transfer options have led to the rise of forensic techniques, investigators, procedures, and forensic tools.


Nowadays, there is a significant increase in crime rates related to computer use. Large corporates, governments, and even small businesses have become targets for hackers who intend to steal valuable information they can get easily. These attacks can lead to huge financial losses in most cases. Therefore, data forensics alongside digital investigations have now joined as the right way to identify, gather, assess, and report these computer crimes.


After a cyber-attack, it’s important to collect all the relevant evidence so that you can respond appropriately. So you need to find a forensic investigator who is usually focused on a specific piece of evidence that is called latent data.


Latent data is also called ambient data which is a type of data you can easily access. It’s also the data that is easily visible immediately when you arrive at the cyber-attack scene. Simply put, latent data needs some effort from a data forensic investigator for it to be accessed and presented as significant evidence.


An expert can engage themselves in the right and in-depth investigations to uncover this type of data. It’s worth noting that latent data has various uses and it can also be important just like other forms of data. However, this data is implemented to make it hard to access it. As you can see, you need to hire a digital forensics investigator to help you in the investigation so that you can get concrete evidence.

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