In this era, where the virtual world has grown exactly like our world, there is a need for law and order governing this virtual world. And hence like forensics in our world, there is also digital forensics to be used for the digital world.
When it comes to ‘what is digital forensics?’ it can be defined as a process that involves the investigation of digital crimes and attacks.
In the early stage, digital forensics pioneers were people who were police officers and at the same time knew to operate computers. And the need for a digital forensics tool grew large when the soldiers captured the devices of enemies and wanted to extract data from it.
There are various ways which are used in digital forensics process. The most popular ways of digital forensics investigation are
This is nothing but collecting the devices which may be the source of digital data useful for the investigation. Care must be taken to ensure that no data will be lost or damaged in the process of collection.
Obviously, the second step is examining the collected devices for data in them. This may be extraction from live devices or connecting the hard disk of dead devices to other systems to extract its data.
After the data is extracted, now it must be analysed to see if the data extracted is belonging to the case. If it belongs, then will it approve or disapprove the case. The extracted data plays an important role in determining the crime if any.
The analysis of the extracted data must be presented in such a way so that it will be easily understood by the layman. This requires a skill which is very much needed.
The digital forensic professional will have a wide variety of tools which performs several functions ranging from speeding the process of data search, overriding the security barriers, extracting the hidden files, decrypting the encrypted files, restoring the deleted files, etc.
The prominent digital forensics tool used is Wireshark, hash keeper, encase, CAINE, the sleuth kit, FTK image, etc.
As the world moves more and more towards digitalization, even the crimes are being carried out in digital forms. And as time passed, the digital data criminals have become more advanced to conceal their identity and be anonymous. This implies that digital forensic professionals must be skilled enough to outsmart the criminal and breakthrough his algorithm.
There is no specific skill described, but a person must be extremely comfortable and skilled in using digital equipment. He must possess sound analytical and reasoning skills. And degrees in computer application may help greatly.
Generally, people from a science background who are very much familiar with the use of basic tools used in digital forensics are considered to be suited for digital forensics. But as the scope of Digital forensics widened, many institutional and schools have started to provide exclusively the digital forensics course. Below are the lists of those institutes. Two of them provide the conventional on-campus setting and the rest three provide online training.
As the world has moved towards digitalisation and everything forms corporate transactions to inter-government transactions are conducted digitally with ease, this has given rise to companies affording to hire people to work as their digital forensic professional.
And as many of the crimes in the modern day are conducted digitally, many people are recruited by the government for the purpose of digital forensics. So the majority of the job for them lies in the public sector. Coming to the digital forensics salary, the job can fetch on an average $70,000, ranging from $45,000 to somewhere around $115,000.
Though the career may look fascinating, it has its own hazards. You may be forced to see the content which you don’t want to. And as you are dealing with law and order, sometimes it can even be life-threatening to you.
As long as there are criminals, digital forensics is needed. And even after that, they are needed to ensure that there are no troubles faced in the future. Digital forensic has evolved as a separate discipline over time. This is something that contributes to nation-building.
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