Digital forensics, or cyber forensics (sometimes called computer or internet forensics) fall into several different categories. You will find everything from database forensics and disk and data capture, to mobile device, file and email analysis and network forensics. It’s a complex and hard to define subset of network security, in part because it’s a relatively new practice. Until the early 1990’s, most cyber forensics was performed using live analysis, with fingers on the keyboard. As more devices were developed, packed with complex functions and programs, the more traditional methods of eye-balling potential threat became obsolete, with businesses relying instead on automated technology.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that cyber forensics is now performed entirely independently of skilled human analysts – but this simply isn’t the case. New tools, open source or paid, are developed daily to help network security professionals keep up with threat, but there is a dire need for more skilled forensics professionals. Let’s first explore the tools, technologies and platforms available to help secure your network connections and discover any lurking threat. Then we will break down the need for more skilled forensics professionals, and where you can find the information you need to take your first step toward a new career in internet forensics.
What is Cyber Forensics?
Cyber forensics is simply the gathering and analysis of information from a computer or device, which can be used as proof of a cyber-attack. Finding malware in the software of the device is the ultimate goal, easily discovered when professionals analyse device endpoints for entering and exiting malicious files or data. Computer forensics is critical in finding vulnerabilities, attackers and even denial of service attacks. Forensics professionals often follow a very structured process in their work.
- Make a digital copy of the data under investigation, to ensure no data is lost in the investigation process.
- Verify and authenticate the digital copy that was just created.
- Ensure no data has been changed in the copying process, and track where the data came from, and where it is now stored. Ensuring the copied data is forensically appropriate.
- Recovery of any deleted files due to attack, and tracking these changes back to their root, the cyber-attacker.
- Using keywords to quickly search for data that might lead to discovery of the attacker or any lurking malicious software within the system.
- Create a technical report of all findings and how to avoid this issue in the future, based on in-depth research.
Internet Forensics Tools
Usually, Sangfor Team suggest to install Sangfor NGAF which is a Next Generation Firewall NGFW, Cyber Command which is Network Detection and Response NDR tools for the enterprises, and Endpoint Secure that is Endpoint Detection and Response EDR tool. All these three tools are super powerful and give you a 360 degree holistic view on what happens at your network.
Digital forensics tools are either hardware or software designed to aid in the recovery of digital evidence of cyber-attack, and preservation of data or critical systems.
Cyber security professionals rely on technology to enable their investigations, and this need has created a massive market for forensics analysis tools. A list of the main types of digital forensics tools often includes:
- Disk Forensic Tools
- Network Forensic Tools
- Wireless Forensic Tools
- Database Forensic Tools
- Malware Forensic Tools
- Email Forensic Tools
- Memory Forensic Tools
- Mobile Phone Forensic Tools
Cyber Forensics Platforms
There are quite a few open-source forensics platforms available on the internet, and downloaded with just a few clicks. Open source forensics platforms are a great way to start your digital forensics journey, and a great stepping stone toward more powerful, professional forensic analysis tools and platforms with more features and functions. For first-timers, check out any one of these highly-rated, open-source platforms:
- Autopsy: Autopsy is a GUI-based open source digital forensic program to analyse hard drives and smart phones effectively, and is used by thousands of users worldwide to investigate cyber-attack.
- Encrypted Disk Detector: Encrypted Disk Detector can be helpful to check encrypted physical drives, and supports TrueCrypt, PGP, Bitlocker, Safeboot encrypted volumes.
- Wireshark: Wireshark is a network capture and analyser tool, handy to investigate network related incidents.
- Network Miner: A network forensic analyser for Windows, Linux & MAC OS X to detect OS, hostname, sessions and open ports, through packet sniffing or PCAP file. Network Miner provide extracted artifacts in an intuitive user interface.
For the truly powerful protection of a professionally strengthened and continuously updated internet forensics platform, contact Sangfor Technologies today for more information on Sangfor Cyber Command, which provides advanced network detection and response. Investment in professional threat hunting solutions is the best way to avoid being victim of a cyber-attack. Programs like Cyber Command are proven to have quite a few benefits to enterprise, including:
- Significantly improving overall security detection and response capabilities by monitoring internal network traffic.
- Correlating existing security events, applying AI and behaviour analysis, all aided by global threat intelligence.
- Uncovering breaches of existing security controls while impact analysis identifies hidden threats within the network.
- Integrating network and endpoint security solutions (NGAF and Endpoint Secure) so that it can respond to threats is automated and simplified.
Courses in Cyber Forensics
There are several skills necessary to become a successful cyber forensics investigator, including:
- Technical skills with technology
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of law and criminal investigation
- Good communication and writing skills
- Have the cyber-security basics down
- Analytical skills
Due to massive shortages, these jobs are paying huge salaries, and the opportunity for advancement (if you are good at your job) is almost endless. If these skills are in your professional quiver already, you are ready to move onto the next step of becoming a certified Cyber Forensics professional.
1. Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The APAC region has its own strengths in computer forensics, and its own APAC-based programs to meet their growing needs. Asia Pacific University (APU) is an award-winning university for Computing in Malaysia, winning numerous awards and offering one of the APAC regions best forensics degrees, with their BSc. (Hons) Computer Science with Specialism in Digital Forensics Degree course.
2. Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
Ryerson University’s Certificate in Cybersecurity, Data Protection and Digital Forensics, offers a certificate program trusted to teach students the technical skills they need to effectively run and manage cyber forensics through security systems, cyber protection and privacy. Ryerson University offers an array of cyber-security focused courses covering everything from Honey Pots and hash functions, to threat assessment and hacker profiling.
3. Pace University, New York, NY USA
Choose to attend in person, or 100% online when attending Pace University, with their Bachelor of Science in Professional Technology Studies from Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. As one of only a few distinguished National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in the USA, Pace’s Seidenberg School has built their curriculum to the standards set forth by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
For more information about cyber forensics, or how Sangfor Technologies can help secure your enterprise from cyber-attack, visit us online today, and let Sangfor make your IT simpler, more secure and valuable.
Sangfor’s Cyber Security products are equipped with in-built tools that helps cyber forensic experts to get at the root of problem. Contact Sangfor Incident Response Service to know more about your requirements.