The demand for cyber forensics experts has recently risen as cybercrime has increased and so is the mode of crime. A cyber forensic specialist investigates each event using cutting-edge methods. Their thorough inquiry focuses on building a solid chain of evidence. They can settle legal disputes and convict cybercriminals thanks to the admissible proof they create.
Professionals in cyber forensics are detectives who respond to cybercrime and significant data breaches. Organizations need cyber forensics to find out what happened, how it happened, how serious it is, and who is accountable.
Law enforcement and criminal investigations both require the use of computer forensics. There are incidents where the computer system serves as the crime scene, such as hacking and denial of service (DOS) attacks. The computer system will have the evidence of the crime. The evidence may take the form of emails, documents, or browser history. These computerized proofs alone can be used as evidence in a court of law to disprove claims or defend those who are innocent.
The most important component of cyber forensics is data integrity. The entire study could be ruined if there is any data loss or contamination. Because of this, digital forensics experts adhere to a rigid protocol at all times:
- Identification: Track down any informational resources that might have pertinent details.
- Data protection: Keep the information safe to avoid loss, manipulation, or contamination.
- Analysis: Compile all the information and determine what took place.
- Timeline: Establish a comprehensive timeline of all known incidents, actors, and events.
- Presentation: Provide a formatted summary of the results.
The field of cyber forensics is crucial to the battle against cybercrime in general. Over 90% of all criminal cases now involve the use of digital evidence. Access to digital evidence is essential for ensuring that justice is reliable and accurate.
Why is There a Growing Demand for Cyber Forensics experts?
The persistent fear of cyberattacks is forcing businesses to struggle for their own existence. Data breaches are expensive, with costs of up to $180 for each compromised record (IBM, 2021). Additionally, a data breach might put a company at risk of sabotage, espionage, or blackmail.
It’s difficult to respond to security incidents. A data breach may take up to 287 days, or more than nine months, to find and fix (IBM, 2021). The company will lose crucial information that could be used to find the culprits during that time.
Many businesses are collaborating with forensic cybersecurity consultants or adding more in-house computer forensics professionals as a form of defense. These specialists are assisting in combating a slew of fresh threats, such as:
- Technology that is advancing quickly: Sudden changes in the architecture of information technology can introduce new dangers. For instance, the introduction of remote work during Covid resulted in a 220% rise in phishing attempts (Warburton, 2021).
- Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities: There are roughly 13 billion IoT devices online (Statista, 2021). These devices are targets for hackers since some of them lack security. Additionally, these devices may be used as a base for botnet attacks.
- Cryptocurrency: It is challenging to trace cryptocurrency. As a result, ransomware attackers have an extremely easy time while cyber forensics analysts have an extremely difficult time. Cryptocurrencies were used in $14 billion of criminal activity in 2021, an increase of 79% from 2020. (2022; Chavez-Dreyfuss)
- Easy access to sophisticated hacking tools: Aspiring hackers can now pay to access these tools. This accessibility results in more frequent
- Anti-forensics methods: Criminals constantly come up with new strategies for obscuring their tracks. The detection and investigation of a cyberattack may become more challenging due to evolving anti-forensics measures.
According to Deloitte 2020, the average organisation allocates 10% of its yearly IT expenditure to cybersecurity, the majority of which is spent on prevention. However, those businesses require cyber forensic specialists to quickly investigate when their defenses.
HISTORY OF DIGITAL FORENSICS
The history of digital forensics can be summarised as follows:
The phrase “digital forensics,” which was previously known as “computer forensics,” is very recent. It first arose in the late 1900s. Law enforcement personnel who liked playing with computers made up the initial group of computer forensic analysts. The Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) was first established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1984, and then a year later by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom.
Law enforcement, investigators, and specialists realized the importance of standard methods, processes, and protocols for digital forensics and other forensic sciences at the turn of the century. Before conversations and conferences were undertaken to develop computer forensic techniques and practises on what computer forensics is today, several informal recommendations were employed.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE CYBER FORENSIC EXPERT:
Here are a few challenges faced by cyber forensic experts: Rigid standards must be met in order for digital forensic science to withstand cross-examination in court due to its evidentiary character. Digital forensics faces the following difficulties:
- One of the difficulties that digital forensic investigators encounter is obtaining evidence from locked or damaged computing devices.
- Finding particular data entries among enormous amounts of local or online data.
- Monitoring the electronic chain of custody.
- Preserving data integrity while conducting an investigation.
- The collection of devices sometimes is
HOW DO I BECOME A CYBER FORENSIC EXPERT?
To become a cyber forensic expert seek certified forensic investigators who have a solid understanding of all concepts related to what is digital forensics along with essential digital forensic skills, which include the following:
- Understanding hard disks and file systems
- Defeating anti-forensic techniques
- Operating system forensics
- Cloud forensics in a cloud environment
- Investigating email crimes
- Mobile device forensics
- Some of the best places to learn Cyber forensics in India :
But if someone is from the IT domain or has enough knowledge about cybersecurity, they might not have to take up a course; however, they need to get a certification done to work as a computer forensics expert. Here are some of the certifications:
- Certified Forensic Computer Examiner(CFCE)
- Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) Certification
- Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator(CHFI)
CONCLUSION: To sum up it can be said that Computer forensic specialists are becoming much in demand. In terms of market expansion, a source claims that by 2024, the Global Digital Forensics Market will have grown to $7 billion.
One of the key advantages of this position is that it allows you to join government organizations in addition to working for private businesses. Because there are so many cyberattacks every year, government agencies from all over the world are investing a significant amount of money in cyber forensics and are actively seeking out the top industry experts to build incident response and recovery teams. The time is now if you’ve been considering switching to or entering this field.
Author: Ms. Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace Foundation