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Computer Forensics: An Essential Ingredient for Cyber Security

Richard Bassett, Linda Bass, Paul O’Brien

Abstract


Computer forensics uses computer investigation and analysis techniques to collect evidence regarding what happened on a computer that is admissible in a court of law. Computer forensics requires a wellbalanced combination of technical skills, legal acumen, and ethical conduct. Computer forensics specialists use powerful software tools to uncover data to be sorted through, and then must figure out the important facts and how to properly present them in a court of law. Cyber crime rates are accelerating and computer forensics is the crucial discipline that has the power to impede the progress of these cyber criminals. Computer forensics is defined by SearchSecurity.com as “the application of computer investigation and analysis techniques to gather evidence suitable for presentation in a court of law” (2005). The goal of computer forensics is to carry out a structured investigation while documenting a chain of evidence to discover exactly what happened on a computer and who was responsible for it. The main priority of computer forensics is accuracy. Forensic practitioners must follow strict guidelines and maintain the highest standards of work ethic to achieve accuracy because emphasis must be on evidential integrity and security (The DIBS Group, 2004).

There is a widespread use of personal computers in businesses and homes. Companies are exchanging more information online than ever before, and high-tech crimes are increasing at a rapid rate (Solomon, 2005, p.3). This creates more of a need for crime investigators to have access to computer based information. There is an increased awareness in the legal community of the need for computer forensic services to obtain successful prosecutions which could otherwise fail because of unsatisfactory equipment, procedures, or presentation in court (The DIBS Group, 2004).


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