What is Digital Forensics? Learn its Process, Uses, and Types

what-is-digital-forensics

We all know what a forensics team is for but do you know how digital media is contributing to the process of forensics team? Yes, it is true. Digital media is not only restricted to entertainment and fun but it is also playing an active role in contributing to every other field. Let’s learn what is digital forensics.

What is Digital Forensics?

Digital forensics is the process of identifying, preserving, retrieving, and using the date of the computer as evidence in the court. It is a process through which evidence is retrieved from computer from digital media such as mobile phones, computers, network, etc. A specialized team is used for this task.

Digital forensics help in analyzing, inspecting, identifying, and preserving digital evidence from various digital devices and media. Let’s take a look at how they do it.

Process of Digital Forensics

Everything is maintained in a system and is done systematically. Digital forensics consists of some basic steps that are followed according to experts. Here are those steps:

  • Identification
  • Preservation
  • Analysis
  • Documentation
  • Presentation

·         Identification

In the first, it is identified that in which media and which device is the evidence stored. It includes many things such as knowing where it is stored, in what format is it stored, and if it can be retrieved. This step is very important as it entails the basic components of the search. The main device under observation is brought in. It can be mobile, computer, laptop, etc.

·         Preservation

Once the date which could be useful is identified, now comes the role of preserving. That data is isolated and secured so that no other person can get access to it. Otherwise, the date can be tampered resulting in the loss of evidence.

·         Analysis

Now the data which was separated is analyzed. It is broken down into fragments, every part of it is studied and the evidence is found. When you are trying to prove anything or trying to retrieve strong evidence, it might take a lot of time and effort from experts.

·         Documentation

It is the time to write everything down from what you have found and analyzed. A record is created which entails the type of data used, how it is connected to the crime scene, and whether it is required to be reviewed again or not. It involves proper documentation involving sketching, photographing, and crime-scene mapping.

·         Presentation

Once you have gathered all the information connected to the crime, it is time to present it in simpler terms so that a layman can understand. This presentation decides the strength of the digital evidence found and how it is related to the crime. The value the evidence holds tells a lot about whether it will be used or not. Specific details are mentioned and general terminologies are used to make it easy to understand.

Where Can the Digital Forensics Be Used?

In recent years, digital forensics is being used in the following fields:

  • Industrial espionage
  • Fraud investigation
  • Matters related forgeries
  • Employment disputes
  • Issues with regulatory compliance
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Bankruptcy investigations
  • Inappropriate use of the internet at the workplace

Advantages of Using Digital Forensics

Digital forensics comes with various benefits as it lets you deal with many things in the most logical manner. Here are some of the advantages that you can get when using the expertise of digital forensics:

  • It ensures the integrity of the digital system.
  • It efficiently takes down any cybercriminals anywhere in the world through the use of expert tactics.
  • Any important information can be captured through the use of digital forensics if the computer system is compromised in any way.
  • It helps in protecting the company’s time and assets.
  • It allows us to process, extract, and interpret the evidence based on facts and logic. Further on, the pieces of evidence can be used against the cybercriminals.
  • Produces efficient evidence to punish the culprits in court.

Disadvantages of Using Digital Forensics

Where there are digital media, there is a chance of proving that it might be modified pieces of evidence. Here some of the cons of digital forensics:

  • It can be accepted into the court, however, it is to be proven that there is no tampering involved.
  • It is costly when you want to have electronic records and want to store them.
  • Legal practitioners who are given this evidence must have basic computer knowledge and in some cases, extensive digital awareness.
  • If the investigator doesn’t have the proper technical knowledge, it might not produce the desired results.
  • Evidence can be disapproved by the court if the tools for extracting that evidence is not according to the standards.

Digital forensics bear so much value when it comes to solving complicated cases. It just needs good experts and some knowledge on the side of the court to make it work.