What Is Digital Forensics And What Is It Used For?

You have heard of the term forensics, it's the science that helps to determine what has happened during a crime by analyzing the scene where it occurred. In the modern age, crimes are also committed online or via computer systems and that is where digital or computer forensics comes into play. What is digital forensics and what is it used for? It is very similar to the forensics you already know, just in the cyber sense.

What is Digital Forensics?

Digital Forensics is the act of analyzing computers or computer systems for evidence of crimes committed or the possibility of a crime that might be committed in the future. This means computer forensics experts search computer hard drives, networks and the cloud for any traces of a crime or any leads to a potential crime in the cyber world.

Experts might look to a computer's history in the event of hacking crimes or denial of service attacks. They will look for deleted or stored emails, internet history, documents or any files left behind or even deleted on their computer. They can also look for digital evidence in the case of murder, kidnappings or drug trafficking.

What Do Experts Look For?

It isn't only emails or documents that experts will look for either. There are other details that might be relevant to the case they are working on that could be just as important. For example, experts might look at metadata that is associated with files or emails they are looking at. This could tell experts when the file first appeared on the computer, giving a more definitive timeline of events. They can also tell when the file was edited, when it was last saved and when it was printed.

Other Uses

Companies are using digital forensics too. They can use it as evidence in cases of intellectual property theft, industrial espionage, problems with employee disputes, fraud, bankruptcy investigations, forgeries and inappropriate use of company email and internet use during work hours.

In order for the data to be admissible in a court setting, the expert needs to follow certain guidelines. For example, they can't do anything to change the data obtained within their search, they must be competent enough to retrieve the data and be able to give evidence in how it was obtained and explain what the courts are looking at, and they need to have a record of every action they take in reference to the data search and retrieval. For more information, contact companies like Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC.