my papaerhen people hear the word
“forensics,” it often generates
a mental image of the
movie series with Jack Klugman as a medical
examiner named Quincy. The fact is
that there are as many as 25 separate
forensic disciplines. They run from forensic
accounting to forensic medicine and
forensic pathology. The word
means “a science that deals with the
relation and application of a particular
field.” Computer forensics is the science
that is concerned with the relation and
application of computers and legal issues.
The proliferation of the computer in society
today has pushed the computer forensics
discipline to the forefront of business.
Computer forensics has recently made
its presence felt in the business community.
Litigation such as the recent antitrust
cases including Microsoft and others has
made companies realize that the risk associated
with computer networks is substantially
greater than they first realized.
Information is captured in vivid details,
and many of these details are things that
some would prefer never to be known.
This, however, is also a two-edged sword,
given that these details can be useful when
captured for demonstrating what happened
during certain events. The computer
forensic professional is a cross
between technician, programmer, and
investigator — a curiosity-oriented person
who likes determining why and how past
events have occurred.
The value that computer forensics
delivers is applicable in a number of situations
in business. First and foremost, computer
forensics tools and methodology are
instrumental during a computer incident,
whether it be the identification of an
intruder on an organization’s network or
gaining insight into events such as theft of
intellectual property or criminal matters.
The legal community is not far behind
businesses in realizing the value of computer
forensics. Computer forensics is
used to uncover the proverbial “smoking
gun” and to...