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 or investigator should know trusted ways to capture volatile data. Security staff and network administrators should have knowledge about network and computer administration task effects on computer forensics process and the ability to recover data lost in a security incident.