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What Is Digital Forensics in Cybersecurity and Why Is It Important?

Cybersecurity is a vast sector that incorporates several subfields. While protecting invaluable data and digital assets, it’s essential to have numerous professionals working on cybersecurity at all times. Digital forensics is the field where workers deal with what happens after any form of cybercrime. However, if you’re interested in the world of data, it’s important to break down how digital forensics differs from general cybersecurity.

What Is Digital Forensics?

While cybersecurity is the overarching topic, typical cybersecurity professionals cover the first half of the battle. They focus on preventing cyber threats of all kinds and backgrounds. If a breach does occur, then these employees also address the threat and neutralize it as quickly as possible. This is where digital forensic professionals enter the picture.

Digital forensic professionals must investigate each criminal instance, whether or not the attack is successful. The issue could be something as common as a phishing email or something as risky as a ransomware attack. A digital forensic specialist will trace the issue, collect evidence through various mediums and put together a legal case if necessary.

These digital trails can come from searches, chats, purchase history and digital timestamps. Once the team tracks down a lead, this evidence can help press charges or gather an alibi. Then, the business can hold the proper parties accountable and improve their security practices to ensure that issue doesn’t occur again.

Thus, digital forensics is an invaluable part of cybersecurity.

Why Is Digital Forensics Important?

Without a digital forensics team in place, any facility that works with sensitive data would be at risk. Data centers, banks, airports and bigger retailers are just a few examples. Without investigations after the fact, they wouldn’t be able to grow and evolve through the difficult cyber landscape.

Now, with people and businesses relying on the internet for information about COVID-19 updates and vaccine data, the digital realm is more dangerous. In fact, one report showed a 105% increase in ransomware samples, spurred by the pandemic. More internet usage opens up opportunities for cybercriminals. If any organization runs into these dangerous attacks, it’ll need a way to find the culprit and prevent them from enacting that same attack.

Moreover, digital forensics applies to all criminal cases. Professionals can track online evidence and put together a case for anything from burglary to insurance fraud. For instance, in 2018, authorities were able to arrest a man for arson and insurance fraud through digital forensics.

Now, with online criminal activity increasing, digital forensics professionals can cover all the bases.

What Are the Best Strategies?

If you’re looking to improve your digital forensics strategy, or overall cybersecurity approach, the internet is the best place to begin. It has countless resources for learning the ins and outs of the field. Classes, certifications and training programs will provide you the skills and knowledge for the job.

Professionals must then be ready to conduct investigations, recover data, rebuild any damage and identify which systems were areas of infiltration. With those strategies and actions in place, it’s then easier to understand how to move forward. For instance, if the firewall fails and lets in harmful traffic, then digital forensic professionals know for the future to improve that system.

With luck, data forensic employees won’t have to act often. When they do, it’s important to have these protocols ready to build a case.

It’s also critical to stay current with the ever-changing digital landscape. Through pandemic-related cybercrime and in-person criminal activity, it’s more evident than ever that crime changes with the times. Digital forensic professionals must remain adaptable to stay on top of cybersecurity.

A Vital Profession

Digital forensics has become one of the most critical professions for investigating criminal activity. As more and more people rely on tech for resources and communication, these professionals can act to convict those responsible. Then, they build a safer digital landscape for companies and individuals in the future.


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