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How Digital Forensics Is Important To Cyber Security

Modern notebook computer with future technology media symbols-2Digital forensics and cybersecurity go hand in hand; cybersecurity wouldn’t be as impactful if it were not for the information that digital forensics provides. Cybersecurity takes information that digital forensics has found through various cases and creates ways to prevent digital forensic investigations; cybersecurity is essentially proactive.

Similarly, digital forensics exists because of failed or weak cybersecurity tactics. Understanding both and how they are important to each other is essential for keeping your information private and secure.


What is the Difference Between Digital Forensics and Cyber security?

Digital forensics and cyber security are both crucial things to know and understand if you are using any kind of technology. Whether you are dealing with computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc., both digital forensics and cyber security handle keeping emails, messages, and accounts private.

Digital forensics refers to the investigation of a device, usually in a court of law, when a person is under interrogation for breaching data/information. Digital forensics recover information using complex tools in order to bring a person to justice for exploiting or tampering with private information. Computer forensic services do the same thing; the only differences are that they work solely with computers and the routers/servers affiliated with a computer.

Cyber security deals with using software or tactics to protect a device or network from hackers or hijackers. This kind of technology uses information that digital forensic services have collected to prevent cyber attacks. Cyber security is dependent on digital forensics; here are some examples of the benefits that digital forensics has on cyber security:


benefits of digital forensics on cyber security


Prevent Hackers and Hijackers

Digital forensics has found valuable information that allows cyber security companies to develop technology that prevents hackers from accessing a network, website, or device. Hackers and hijackers are skilled at making their way into a person or business's device or network, but digital forensics have collected data that cyber security can use to prevent hackers from getting into a device or network.

From trends found in how hackers and hijackers steal, delete or exploit information, cyber security software can detect relevant data to protect and can constantly scan networks to make sure no outside parties are present.


Prevent Viruses

Antivirus software is perhaps one of the biggest benefits when it comes to how digital forensics has impacted cyber security. Digital forensics has found out how viruses get onto a device or network; usually, a hacker will implement a virus by sending a corrupt email or file. With this information, antivirus software can pay special attention to emails and files that are coming in.

Similarly, software that has been developed from digital forensic information can detect spyware and malware and can usually remove it before any information is exploited or deleted.


Recover Deleted Information

Recovering deleted information is crucial in a digital investigation, in a business data breach, or simply in a civilian’s life whose identity has been stolen digitally. Digital forensics recovers information using complex tools and methods in order to present it in a court of law. However, digital forensics has allowed cyber security to develop ways to do this if a person needs to recover data and there is not a court case.

DR, disaster recovery, is an area of cyber security that is designed to protect a network, usually affiliated with a business, from a cyber attack. DR creates a plan with step by step strategies to recover disrupted networks if a cyber attack does in fact occur. Therefore, an emergency plan is already intact and information will be stored in different networks/servers so it is easy to recover.


Identifying Areas of Weakness and Vulnerabilities

Areas of weakness are not always apparent which makes it easy for cyber attackers to access data or information without a problem. Digital forensic services compile information that can show cyber security where the typical areas of weakness are in a network or website. Cyber security software can then pay special attention or fix these areas of weakness or vulnerability.

A particularly common area of weakness or vulnerability is simply the password aspect of a network or account. Often, hackers gain access to devices by doing research on a person or company and guessing their password. It’s important to not make your password anything that has a significant personal meaning such as a name or birthday.

It’s especially important to keep passwords confidential; this is particularly true in a business scenario. A major weakness amongst business owners that digital forensic investigators have found is that too many employees have access to information that they don't need. This allows cyber attacks and data breaches to happen from within a business.


Improving Your Cyber security

It’s important to keep in mind how both digital forensics and cyber security work together to protect people’s online presence and private information. Digital forensics is improving cyber security every day and the possibilities of increased improvement are endless. With the information that digital forensics has discovered, using cyber security to your advantage has never been easier and the benefits could ultimately save your online presence or business.


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About the Author: Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.


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