Trends in Digital Forensic Science

Instructor: Erik Rodriguez

Erik has experience working in Cybersecurity and has a Master's of Science in Information Systems.

In this lesson, we will see the growing trend for digital forensics and how it might impact forensic investigations. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges facing forensic investigators as technology is evolving with time.

A Constant Chase

Suppose you are a cybersecurity analyst tasked for solving cybercrime launched against a large company. Your career consists of a constant intellectual battle between you and the cybercriminals who are adamant in attempting to disrupt the company's network resources. As a result, you do your best to always stay one step ahead of those malicious attackers by employing the latest security technologies, proactively checking for loopholes and by following the best practices. However, as technologies continue to evolve and so is the lock & key between the cyber professionals and the hackers, it's a constant chase to keep the company data safe & secure. In this ever-changing landscape, let us see what is in the future of digital forensics!

A few decades ago cash was the only medium for transactions, and now we have moved to cardless paying. With such drastic change in infrastructure and digital interaction around us, it is utterly vital to stay ahead of the cybercriminals; for which our security experts must always stay abreast of all the latest technologies and intrusions. For instance, tools and practices deployed ten years ago will probably be outdated by now and will offer little or no protection against a cyber attack. Additionally, the methods for storing digital data has changed over the years. In the 90s and early 2000s, it was common to store data on tapes, whereas today they are more likely to use less volatile media, such as SSDs and flash drives.

Trends for Digital Forensics

According to a report titled ''Global Digital Forensics Market 2018 - 2025'', the digital forensics market will balloon to a whopping $7 billion by 2025. The number is an increase in the estimated $3 billion reported in 2017. As more and more companies and general consumers rely on connected devices, the prospect of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased. The same study estimates that around half of the Earth's population interact with some form of a digital device daily. As the population continues to grow and as technology becomes cheaper and more widely available, cybercrime will inevitably increase, creating renewed challenges for security practitioners. Fortunately, several emerging technologies are beginning to take shape that can help digital forensic investigators.

As more people use digital devices, cybercrime will inevitably increase.
people

Emerging Technologies

The ever-evolving nature of technology will inevitably create new tools that might be useful for forensic investigations. Many of these tools are only starting to take shape while others are being tested in the real world. According to the Infosec Institute, some of these emerging technologies include artificial intelligence, Li-Fi, and machine vision.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence refers to the study of enabling machines that can learn, think and act at the level of a human being. By the use of AI, investigators can look through large repositories of data in a short time, in comparison to a natural human - who may take a significant amount of time sifting through various forms of digital pieces of evidence such as video and audio recordings, social media, and e-communication.

AI can analyze this data at a much faster rate by comparing the digital evidence against predetermined criteria set by the human investigators. As a result, expediting the forensic investigations.

AI is the study of enabling machines with to learn, think and act human-level intelligence
robots

Li-Fi

Light Fidelity Li-Fi similar to Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) refers to the use of visible light for wireless communications. Li-Fi has the potential to create ultra-fast, bi-directional forms of communication that are more secure than current Wi-Fi connections. Li-Fi has excellent potential in the field of digital forensics as data can now travel farther distance without affecting data speeds like in Wi-Fi communications. Additionally, data transferred through Li-Fi is not broadcast to the surrounding areas but stays confined to its transmission route, keeping the data secure.

As a result, forensic teams can now work further apart without impacting the quality and speed of the data they exchange.

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