Importance of Computer Forensics

Computer forensics is the process of using the latest knowledge of science and technology with computer sciences to collect, analyze and present proofs to the criminal or civil courts. Network administrator and security staff administer and manage networks and information systems should have complete knowledge of computer forensics. The meaning of the word “forensics” is “to bring to the court”. Forensics is the process which deals in finding evidence and recovering the data. The evidence includes many forms such as finger prints, DNA test or complete files on computer hard drives etc. The consistency and standardization of computer forensics across courts is not recognized strongly because it is new discipline.

It is necessary for network administrator and security staff of networked organizations to practice computer forensics and should have knowledge of laws because rate of cyber crimes is increasing greatly. It is very interesting for mangers and personnel who want to know how computer forensics can become a strategic element of their organization security. Personnel, security staff and network administrator should know all the issues related to computer forensics. Computer experts use advanced tools and techniques to recover deleted, damaged or corrupt data and evidence against attacks and intrusions. These evidences are collected to follow cases in criminal and civil courts against those culprits who committed computer crimes.

The survivability and integrity of network infrastructure of any organization depends on the application of computer forensics. In the current situations computer forensics should be taken as the basic element of computer and network security. It would be a great advantage for your company if you know all the technical and legal aspects of computer forensics. If your network is attacked and intruder is caught then good knowledge about computer forensics will help to provide evidence and prosecute the case in the court.

There are many risks if you practice computer forensics badly. If you don’t take it in account then vital evidence might be destroyed. New laws are being developed to protect customers’ data; but if certain kind of data is not properly protected then many liabilities can be assigned to the organization. New rules can bring organizations in criminal or civil courts if the organizations fail to protect customer data. Organization money can also be saved by applying computer forensics. Some mangers and personnel spent a large portion of their IT budget for network and computer security. It is reported by International Data Corporation (IDC) that software for vulnerability assessment and intrusion detection will approach $1.45 billion in 2006.

As organizations are increasing in number and the risk of hackers and contractors is also increase so they have developed their own security systems. Organizations have developed security devices for their network like intrusions detection systems (IDS), proxies, firewalls which report on the security status of network of an organization. So technically the major goal of computer forensics is to recognize, gather, protect and examine data in such a way that protects the integrity of the collected evidence to use it efficiently and effectively in a case. Investigation of computer forensics has some typical aspects. In first area computer experts who investigate computers should know the type of evidence they are looking for to make their search effective. Computer crimes are wide in range such as child pornography, theft of personal data and destruction of data or computer.

Second, computer experts or investigators should use suitable tools. The investigators should have good knowledge of software, latest techniques and methods to recover the deleted, encrypted or damaged files and prevent further damage in the process of recovery. In computer forensics two kinds of data are collected. Persistent data is stored on local disk drives or on other media and is protected when the computer is powered off or turned off. Volatile data is stored in random access memory and is lost when the computer is turned off or loses power. Volatile data is located in caches, random access memory (RAM) and registers. Computer expert o

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Computer Forensics Careers

The computer forensics industry is slated to be among the fastest growing industries over the coming decade. With so many households using computers today, the need for computer forensics is growing exponentially, for just about every reason you could think of. And many reasons you may not think of. Crimes include identity theft, fraud, child pornography, computer hacking and many more.

As stated, although you may have guessed the fields listed above, there are computer forensics fields that you may not have guessed either. Computer forensics is indeed not isolated to online crimes. Many instances involve the use of computer forensics to solve violent crimes such as homicides, rapes, kidnapping and even assault and stalking. Forensics examiners use computer, cell phones and other electronic device analysis containing evidence of crimes, suspects and their victims. So it comes as no doubt that with the increase in both computer-related and non-related crimes, the demand for computer forensics specialists in a number law enforcement capacities, as well as private consulting agencies, has skyrocketed, and is expected to continue.

What is Computer Forensics?

The definition of computer forensics is the gathering of digital evidence, pieces of information from computers and other personal electronic devices, including computers, laptops, cell phones, etc. This gathering of evidence many times involves searching for files, emails, calls or other correspondences, pictures or video, internet search history or many other types of data. This information may then be used as evidence for anything from locating suspects to providing evidence toward a criminal prosecution in a court of law.

What is Cyber Crime, Exactly?

Unfortunately, much of the work done today in the computer forensics labs of America’s law enforcement agencies is child pornography and exploitation. However, these agencies work harder each year, learning more about how to find the evidence needed to convict these criminals, as well as how to find additional suspects through new forensics methods.

Additional common crimes include identify theft and online fraud, especially with the rise of online commerce and companies such as eBay, Amazon and Overstock.com. Intellectual property theft is also a growing problem, however many foreign and developing countries struggle with this more than the US. unfortunately, as business becomes more international each year, American companies fall victim to intellectual property theft from countries such as China more and more. This then becomes an international matter, for federal agencies such as the CIA and the State Department.

What are some Career Options?

To put it quite simply, the most common areas to find computer forensics specialists are with local and state police, FBI, CIA and various consulting agencies. This brings about two main areas of practice: law enforcement and private forensic consulting agencies.

Law Enforcement

Although starting mostly with government and military cases, digital data began to be used for evidence more and more in the 1970s and 80s. Computer-related crimes have increased exponentially over the past decades, and law enforcement agencies have added forensics to just about every office in the nation. Most local and state police departments hire professionals ‘in house’ dedicated solely to computer forensic. The leader, however, is the FBI. The Computer Analysis and Response Team (C.A.R.T.) is tied to every law enforcement agency in the country, as they are the only one with jurisdiction between state lines. As computers and internet lines know no state boundaries, the FBI is in a leadership position to find and prosecute these criminals.

Private Consulting Agencies

Consulting agencies work mostly with corporations and business, however they work for individuals as well. Many of these investigations involve intellectual property theft, sexual harassment, corporate fraud and misuse of investor funds. These agencies can also be hired much like private investigators, to track anything from theft to embezzlement to adultery.

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