Organizations also use computer forensics to track down information about the compromise of a system or network that can be used to identify and track cyber attackers. Companies can also turn to digital forensics experts and procedures to help recover data in the event of a system or network failure caused by a natural or other disaster. As a result, digital forensics is critical to both solving crimes and convicting criminals. The field of digital forensics has expanded to include incident response network forensics and includes areas of expertise such as the investigation of network security breaches, hacking attempts, and data theft. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights imposes similar privacy restrictions as the ECPA, limiting the processing and exchange of personal data both within the EU and with third countries. Law enforcement agencies to conduct digital forensic investigations is governed by statute through the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
Finally, our services team can help you test your playbooks with exercises such as penetration testing, red and blue team exercises, and adversary emulation scenarios. Behavior analysis has been used very successfully to support traditional criminal investigations. This chapter explores how behavior analysis can be adapted for use in cybercrime investigations. The weaknesses of the traditional digital forensics model are discussed, and then the behavioral analysis model is presented with its potential applications and limitations.
Three case studies will be presented to illustrate how behavioral analysis helps in the investigation of cybercrime. Digital forensics experts are also being hired by the private sector as part of cybersecurity and information assurance teams to determine the root causes of data breaches, data leaks, cyberattacks, and other cyberthreats. Digital forensics can also be part of incident response to recover or identify sensitive data or personally identifiable information lost or stolen in a cybercrime. In the 1990s, digital investigations were conducted through live analysis, and using the device in question to investigate digital media was commonplace. Over time, live analysis became ineffective due to the increasing use of devices filled with vast amounts of information. Eventually, digital forensic tools were developed to examine the data on a device without damaging it.
To combat cybercrime and collect digital evidence relevant to all crimes, law enforcement agencies are integrating digital evidence collection and analysis, also known as computer forensics, into their infrastructure. Law enforcement agencies face the need to train officers to collect digital evidence and keep up with rapidly evolving technologies such as computer operating systems. Whenever law enforcement officers are involved, compliance with legal requirements is critical to the successful completion of an investigation. Following proper procedures for handling evidence will be a primary concern for digital forensics experts.
The CHFI certification strengthens the application skills of law enforcement, security officers, network administrators, lawyers, and anyone concerned with the integrity of network infrastructure. EC-Council’s CHFI is a comprehensive, vendor-neutral program that equips professionals with the digital forensics skills they need. Consult with Fortune 500 companies or government and law enforcement agencies in the areas of forensics, cyber risk, regulatory compliance and criminal investigations, as well as cyber intelligence and systems defense related to cyber attacks. Our DFIR experts help organizations improve their digital forensics and incident response operations by standardizing and streamlining the process. We also analyze an organization’s existing plans and capabilities, then work with your team to develop “playbooks” of standard operating procedures to guide your activities during incident response.
Digital forensics can also include providing evidence to support litigation or documentation for submission to auditors. Tools and procedures have been developed and documented, and training and accreditation have been required, giving digital forensics teams the confidence that their investigations can withstand the rigors of cross-examination in court. In an enterprise setting, digital forensics could be used as part of the incident response protocol to determine exactly what happened and what or who was responsible, either for law enforcement or simply for internal knowledge. In many cases, digital forensics investigators have a background in computer science that can help them develop the skills necessary to understand how virtual networks work and how they work together. Perhaps most importantly, they know what vulnerabilities exist in these systems and how they can be attacked.
However, in the 1970s and 1980s, the forensic team consisted primarily of federal agency representatives with computer skills. The first problem area for law enforcement was data storage, since most records were created digitally. It is undeniable that seizing, storing, and analyzing the records was a time-consuming task for the agencies. In this situation, the FBI launched the Magnet Media program in 1984, the first official digital forensics program. Organizations that lose valuable digital information can also enlist the help of digital forensic experts to recover lost data from a deleted hard drive.
Unlike other areas of digital forensics, network data is often volatile and rarely recorded, so the discipline is often reactive. When used in court, digital evidence is subject to the same legal guidelines as other evidence; courts generally do not require stricter guidelines. In the United States, the Federal Rules of Evidence are used to assess the admissibility of digital evidence, the United Kingdom has similar guidelines in the PACE and Civil Evidence Acts, and many other countries have their own laws. It is acknowledged that it is not always possible to determine this for digital media prior to an examination. Digital forensics positions carry titles such as investigator, technician, or analyst, depending on specialization and seniority, and most positions are in the public sector, such as law enforcement, state or national agencies, or crime labs.