Are you aware of the term forensic data recovery? If not, you surely have been living under a rock. Cyber forensics is a branch of forensic science that helps in finding the evidence present in the computer, digital storage media, cloud services, and social media. With the advancements in cybersecurity, forensic data recovery has gained a lot of attention from the business world. Do you know government organizations profoundly rely on the forensics data recovery services, as data forms the basis of civil litigation cases? In civil litigation, digital forensics helps government organizations to ensure that the evidence is adequately preserved, processed, and presented in the court.
Do you know evidence obtained from the computer storage devices plays a crucial role in the successful prosecution of a case and is as important as the physical evidence? So the recovery of digital data can act as the deciding factor in the court of law. This is the reason why government organizations and business firms spend millions of dollars on forensic data recovery. But, before you go down the path of forensic data recovery, you must have a proper understanding of the process and the need for digital data recovery.
What is forensic data recovery, and how is it carried out?
Forensic data recovery service is an area of digital forensics which involves the collection, correlation, analysis, and recreation digital evidence from a device. All this is done to recreate the evidence in the court of law. Forensic data recovery service also finds its application in corporate security for discovering misuse and subsequent damage. With the increase in the usage of notebooks, computers, tablets, and other digital devices in the domestic and commercial field, there has been a considerable increase in the cyber threats. With the innovative cases of data misuse, it has become quite a challenge for firms and government organizations to protect the data from getting into the wrong hands.
Computer forensics data recovery is the new trend in data recovery where data scientists make use of specialized tools and techniques for extracting sensitive information from the digital media without compromising the data integrity. Forensic data recovery helps individuals, legal firms, technical advisors, and corporate organizations to carry out a fair investigation process.
Forensic data recovery passes through a four-stage evidence recovery process, which includes the collection, processing, review, and production of data. These stages are briefly explained below:
Data Collection: By partnering with a reputable forensic data recovery specialist, firms can recover confidential data effectively without compromising data security. Data recovery specialists use efficient means of data collection, which helps in preserving data integrity while gathering critical evidence. With the help of well-equipped labs and trained data recovery personnel, firms no longer have to worry about recovering essential information from any media source.
Data processing: After data collection, the next step is to process the data. And, to do so, data recovery firms make use of innovative tools. This step involves organizing and processing information according to the review strategy and the desired review option in the easily readable format.
Data review: Want to optimize litigation expense? If so, with a cost-effective data retrieval strategy, you will be able to cut down the litigation cost. In this step, data is organized and structured as per the requirements of the client’s review strategy.
Data production: The last stage in the forensic data recovery process is to deliver the evidence retrieved. And for doing so, recovery firms make use of the state of the art tools and technologies to produce the information in the desired file type and format.
Types of digital forensics you must know about
Disk forensics: This type of forensic data recovery deals with extracting data from storage media. The extraction process involves the search for the active, modified, and deleted files.
Network forensics: It’s the sub-branch of digital forensics. It involves monitoring and analysis of network traffic to collect information and legal evidence that clients can later present in the court of law.
Wireless forensics: As the name suggests, in wireless forensics, the aim is to collect and analyze data from wireless network traffic. It’s a part of network forensics.
Database forensics: Here, we focus on studying and examination of databases and their related metadata.
Malware forensics: What happens when malware or a virus infects your system? The result is the loss of crucial data, which has disastrous consequences for firms. In such situations, malware forensics comes to the rescue of firms. The branch deals with the identification of malicious code to study its payload, viruses, worms, etc.
Memory Forensics: Here, we collect data from the system memory, like system registers, cache, and RAM. The data is collected in the raw form, and then we carve the data from a raw dump.
Mobile phone forensics: Here, the focus is on the examination and analysis of mobile devices. In this data recovery service, we try to retrieve phone and SIM contacts, call logs, incoming and outgoing SMS/MMS and video, etc.
Email forensics: In this branch of forensic data recovery, the focus is on recovering and analyzing emails, which includes deleted emails, calendars, and contacts.
Challenges for forensic data recovery
If you think forensic data recovery is easy, it’s time to think again. For recovering critical data that acts as the evidence in the court of law, data scientists have to face various hurdles. Some of the challenges faced by the data recovery specialists include:
- Increase in the usage of PC and internet access.
- Hackers have easy access to hacking tools, thus increasing the risk of cybersecurity threats.
- The availability of physical evidence makes the prosecution even more difficult.
- The availability of storage space in terabytes makes the investigation job difficult.
- Last but not least, any technological upgrades in forensic data recovery solutions also pose a challenge for recovery specialists.
Get your facts right about the different aspects of forensic investigation
Having knowledge about the forensic data recovery process is not enough. You must have a complete understanding of the various aspects of forensic investigation, which includes:
- Technical goal: The technical goal of the forensic data recovery process deals with the identification, preservation, and analysis of data. And all this is done in a way that protects the integrity of evidence collected, which you can use for solving legal cases.
- Understanding of the recovery procedure: Recovery specialists must have a complete understanding of the evidence they need to structure their search. Cybercrimes involving the use of digital data range from criminal activity to child pornography and theft of personal data to damage of intellectual property.
- Types of tools: Data scientists must use the appropriate tools for data recovery. During the data recovery process, recovery specialists come across a range of deleted, damaged, or encrypted data. Hence, they must be familiar with the array of recovery methods and software that are apt for a particular type of data.
- Data types: Recovery specialists must have a complete understanding of the different kinds of data types before going for forensic data recovery. There are primarily three data types that recovery specialists must be aware of, namely volatile data, persistent data, and personnel data.
Reasons why you need a forensic data recovery service
Are you of the opinion that deleting files will permanently remove data from a device? If so, you need to get your facts right. We often overlook the deleted data because only a few people are aware of the fact that we can recover deleted data from the electronic devices.
- For recovering deleted files: Forensic data recovery plays an essential role in recovering deleted files and using them as evidence in the court of law. The recovery of deleted data plays a crucial role in various legal cases like divorce, child support, harassment, protection, and breach of contracts.
- To analyze any memory-based device: During the legal investigation, a list of devices a court can request extends beyond regular laptops and cellphones. Files present in the USB drives, email accounts, cloud-based accounts, and external hard drives are also used. In forensic data recovery, recovery specialists recover files on any media device in a hassle-free manner.
- Preserving data integrity: For the digital data to act as evidence in the court of law, maintaining data integrity is a must. Data recovery specialists have to ensure that data is not altered or modified in any way. For this, data specialists should use a write blocker when extracting data and must keep a record of the techniques used for recovering data. There are specific data recovery protocols that data recovery experts must comply with.
- Finding out hidden data: Forensic data recovery specialists have a sound knowledge of where the hidden files and data are present. Since the data can be present in different parts of the system, keeping track of them often becomes complicated. This is where the forensic data recovery specialist can come to the rescue of firms.
Forensic data recovery forms the basis for carrying out the investigative procedure. Forensic data recovery is a new field and differs from the other recovery procedures in terms of the results. Hence, before carrying out the recovery process, the objectives must be clearly stated.