The world is dynamic. This statement is particularly true for the technological sector, advancements in technology have made society more dependent on computers. Today, people are becoming more dependent on computers to run almost every aspect of their lives. This growing dependence is as a result of computers ability to make life easier. However, the downside to this progress is that criminals prey on the vulnerabilities of these systems to commit cyber crimes(Daimi 18).
Computer forensics was born out of the need to curb the menace created by cybercriminals. As such, computer forensics is the process of acquisition, authentication, analysis and documentation of any or all evidence acquired from the computer systems or through the internet. The importance of cyber forensics is underscored by the investigator’s ability to recover deleted or damaged files that qualify to be used as evidence and also the fact that forensic audits reveal if systems have been tampered with.
History of computer forensics
The root of computer forensics can be traced back to late 1970’s and 80’s. Since then the field of computer forensics has undergone massive strides in developing jurisprudence. The development of this jurisprudence and laws is inspired by the need to protect citizens from digital attacks of any kind. Also, the advances in modern technology caused an increase in criminal activity; criminals are constantly brainstorming of ways and means of bypassing security flaws.
Computer forensics is, therefore, a fusion between computer forensics and network forensics. This process involves extracting, analyzing and reporting digital information which has been illegally extracted from the computer or network. Computer systems are susceptible to attacks from all quarters because they contain valuable personal information or corporate information. Majority of cyber attacks are inspired by monetary gain.
The process of acquiring digital evidence is subject to federal guidelines of data seizure. As such, forensic examiners are held to a strict obligation to examine, seize, duplicate any designated data or documents that may contain evidence or may aid in the investigation. Federal law guidelines seek to protect privacy and the eventuality of evidence being tampered with. Additionally, the process of data recovery is performed using dedicated and certified tools for computer forensics. All evidence that is recovered is subject to being analyzed(Lin 28).
Challenges of Digital Forensics
Advancements in the computer industry have made it possible for cybercriminals to cause menace in a multitude of ways, including; identity theft, cyberbullying, data leakage, and malware attacks. The sad reality is that these criminals are always one step ahead of the forensic experts, leading to serious concerns and challenges. These challenges are categorized in three major parts; Technical challenges, Legal challenges and resource challenges (Finnigan 34).
Technical challenges refer to different media formats, encryption, antiforensics which curtail the investigative process.
Legal challenges include; jurisdictional issues, privacy issues all stemming out of the lack of standardized international legislation.
Resource challenges include; the large volumes of data that have to be analyzed and the fact that cyber investigation takes a lot of time and resources.
Cyberattacks can have some serious yet significant impact into the life of victims. There is a need for global leaders to give this menace the attention it deserves and in so doing identify and provide a definition that effectively offers the much-needed protection.
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