When we hear forensics we have envision detectives dusting off prints in a crime scene. When we hear computer forensics we imagine guys in a lab coat examining a computer in a lab. This may be true but the uses of computer forensics are wide and varied.
They are not just used in law enforcement and criminal matter. Computers have become an important part of our lives. Most of the time they contain important information than can turn into a piece of evidence.
Technology is continually developing which means that information is the next valuable commodity. Most business stores their confidential information in computer systems which make them the target for hackers. Hacking is a possible threat. Security technologies continue develop so do criminals who are bent on cracking them.
The purpose of computer forensics
The main purpose of computer forensics is examining a computer system to find if it has been used for a criminal act. All of its contents are thoroughly analyzed to find out if it contains substantial or supportive evidence. The entire investigation is not as easy as it is portrayed in television shows.
Computer forensic analysts have to follow a set of procedures to be able to comply with the standards of evidence. If they not follow legal procedures the evidence will considered inadmissible in court.
Computers are used in a variety of purposes. Most often this hardware contains pertinent information. Computer forensic experts can trace emails, instant messages and computer related communication. They can examine portable storage devices that may contain evidence. They can find out when, who and what happened by acquiring and analyzing data.
It can be used if a company network’s security is breached. Almost all businesses nowadays store important and confidential information in their computer system. Computer forensic analysts will able to detect if someone has disclosed corporate information. In these cases they can be either accidental or intentional.
Million of dollars have been lost due to sabotage and employee theft. They can also find out if there has been a case of industrial espionage. Competition has always been stiff in any industry and with the technology today some use it to get ahead.
In general cases, criminals often store or leave traces of information in their computers.
It is applicable in deception cases such as counterfeiting. It has also been important in playing a part of finding evidence for phishing which is very common. Analysts are able to track down child pornography by tracing buy and sell activities online. It has played a part in many cases from corporate fraud to threats in national security.
We may not know but exchanging information through the internet can also be used against us. The internet is a public place which makes it vulnerable to scams that prey on unsuspecting victims. Information now has become a valuable commodity. Criminals nowadays are able to hack into computer systems.
It can also be applied in cases wherein relevant information is needed. Analysts can obtain information from an opposing party. In most criminal cases they can examine computer system even without the consent of the owner.
Information is becoming more readily available nowadays. As computers become more important to us it will continually become targets by criminals and offenders. Computer forensics enables us to keep with the rising cyber crimes.