The State of Digital Forensics

Digital forensics is a rapidly growing and continually evolving branch of forensic science that focuses on acquiring, analyzing and reporting on evidence from digital systems.
Although the field has existed since at least the late 1970s, it was only in the early 2000s that international standards and training programs emerged. Digital forensics has its roots in criminal law and has been embraced by law enforcement agencies as a vital investigative toolset for traditional criminal activity as well as white-collar and cybercrime.

In recent years, digital forensics has gained significant traction in corporate environments and, again, its applications are not limited to cybercrime. Within a corporate setting, the techniques and tools of digital forensics are applied to a wide range of case types, from incident response (IR) pertaining to high profile cyberthreats (e.g. phishing and ransomware), to resolving personnel disputes and harassment complaints, to investigating asset misuse, data exfiltration and intellectual property theft—and much more.

As companies grow, so do their digital footprints, leading to soaring data volumes spread across wider geographies. While this growth unlocks new efficiencies and opportunities, it also introduces new complexities or digital forensics. This complexity is exacerbated by new evidence types and digital artifacts from an ever-growing collection of devices (e.g. Macs, mobile devices, the Internet of Things), applications and— increasingly—cloud services.

As the technology footprint of corporations expands, so too does the complexity of digital forensics, with new evidence types and digital artifacts from an ever-growing collection of devices, applications and— increasingly—cloud services.

Performing digital forensics effectively requires a varied skillset that draws upon an understanding of information technology (IT), cybercrime, investigative techniques and human psychology—and remaining effective in the face of rapid technological changes demands constant evolution on the part of digital forensics practitioners. Source

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