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Improving Awareness Of Computer Forensics Services [NEW]


With cyber criminals constantly innovating, improving, and refining their techniques to penetrate our defense, we encourage you to take advantage of these valuable resources to continually improve your cyber awareness and hygiene to stay ahead of potential threats.




Improving Awareness of Computer Forensics Services


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One key to improving inclusivity and diversity in the forensic and valuation services (FVS) specialization is to help raise awareness among professionals, of all backgrounds, who might not otherwise see a career in FVS as an option.


Today, Chad brings his wealth of experience to his role as a consultant, where he specializes in incident response, corporate espionage, and computer forensics. Here at SANS, Chad is a senior instructor and co-author for two six-day courses: FOR500: Windows Forensic Analysis, which focuses on the core skills required to become a certified forensic practitioner, and FOR508: Advanced Digital Forensics, Incident Response, and Threat Hunting, which teaches sophisticated computer intrusion analysis and advanced threat hunting techniques.Chad\'s experience brings immeasurable depth to his classes. He focuses not only on tools and techniques but also on understanding how those artifacts can be used to prove or disprove questions students are asked to investigate in their daily jobs. As Chad says, "Forensics is both an art and a science, and I find hearing about real-world applications provides new perspectives and can help unlock a student\'s ability to think unconventionally." Chad keeps his class goals simple: teach and lead discussions on the most important topics and make sure students have as much time as possible to work on the exercises. "I\'m a big believer in hands-on learning," he says, "and we work hard to ensure the exercises in our classes are as realistic as possible. When students put all the pieces of a forensic investigation together themselves, it leads to those \'aha\' moments that are so valuable."The methodologies Chad teaches in his courses are the same ones he has used successfully on countless examinations. "Our exercises are months in the making and provide realistic, real-world evidence samples on which to practice," says Chad. "I have had numerous students report going back to their teams, blowing them away with a new technique, and promptly becoming the trainer themselves."One of Chad\'s most memorable experiences in the classroom brought that immediacy of techniques to a whole new level."I was teaching some of my latest research on browser artifacts, recently added to the FOR500 class. Research showed that a specific browser database could be missing a day or more of information if not properly handled. There happened to be a law enforcement officer in class who was investigating a murder, and in his examination of the suspect\'s computer he had noted missing data during a critical 24-hour period. From our class discussion, the officer now had a tool and technique to recover the missing data in his case. Not surprisingly, he left class early!"In addition to being a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Chad holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science, as well as GCFA, GCIH, GREM, and ENCE certifications.In his free time, Chad loves to travel and takes full advantage of the unique destinations his career takes him. He spends much of his time at home mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering. Chad recently took a ski mountaineering trip to Antarctica, about as far away from a Wi-Fi signal as you can get!


As a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Chad served on the national computer intrusion team and helped expand counter-espionage techniques into the digital age. He has led international forensic teams, built forensic departments, and spent over eight years as an incident response consultant and technical director with Mandiant and CrowdStrike. Today, Chad brings his wealth of experience to his role as a consultant, where he specializes in incident response, corporate espionage, and computer forensics. Here at SANS, Chad is a senior instructor and co-author for two six-day courses: FOR500: Windows Forensic Analysis, which focuses on the core skills required to become a certified forensic practitioner, and FOR508: Advanced Digital Forensics, Incident Response, and Threat Hunting, which teaches sophisticated computer intrusion analysis and advanced threat hunting techniques.


Digital forensics provides the necessary information and evidence that the computer emergency response team (CERT) or computer security incident response team (CSIRT) needs to respond to a security incident.


Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law. The goal of computer forensics is to perform a structured investigation and maintain a documented chain of evidence to find out exactly what happened on a computing device and who was responsible for it.


Computer forensics -- which is sometimes referred to as computer forensic science -- essentially is data recovery with legal compliance guidelines to make the information admissible in legal proceedings. The terms digital forensics and cyber forensics are often used as synonyms for computer forensics.


Digital forensics starts with the collection of information in a way that maintains its integrity. Investigators then analyze the data or system to determine if it was changed, how it was changed and who made the changes. The use of computer forensics isn't always tied to a crime. The forensic process is also used as part of data recovery processes to gather data from a crashed server, failed drive, reformatted operating system (OS) or other situation where a system has unexpectedly stopped working.


In the civil and criminal justice system, computer forensics helps ensure the integrity of digital evidence presented in court cases. As computers and other data-collecting devices are used more frequently in every aspect of life, digital evidence -- and the forensic process used to collect, preserve and investigate it -- has become more important in solving crimes and other legal issues.


The average person never sees much of the information modern devices collect. For instance, the computers in cars continually collect information on when a driver brakes, shifts and changes speed without the driver being aware. However, this information can prove critical in solving a legal matter or a crime, and computer forensics often plays a role in identifying and preserving that information.


Businesses also use computer forensics to track information related to a system or network compromise, which can be used to identify and prosecute cyber attackers. Businesses can also use digital forensic experts and processes to help them with data recovery in the event of a system or network failure caused by a natural or other disaster.


Often, multiple tools are used in computer forensic investigations to validate the results they produce. Learn how a researcher at Kaspersky Lab in Asia created an open source forensics tool for remotely collecting malware evidence without compromising system integrity.


Computer forensics has become its own area of scientific expertise, with accompanying coursework and certification. The average annual salary for an entry-level computer forensic analyst is about $65,000, according to Salary.com. Some examples of cyber forensic career paths include the following:


Learn more about a cyber forensics career from this interview with Amanda Rousseau, senior malware researcher at Endgame (now at Facebook), who began her career performing computer forensic investigations at the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center.


Computer forensics is a field of technology that uses investigative techniques to identify and store evidence from a computer device. Often, computer forensics is used to uncover evidence that could be used in a court of law.


Computer forensics can be an essential facet of modern investigations. When a crime is committed and an investigation is started, one of the more common places to look for clues is the computer or cell phone of a suspect. This is where a computer forensics professional enters the picture.


When a suspect has been identified and their personal computer or cell phone taken into evidence, a computer forensics professional goes searching for data that is relevant to the investigation. When searching for information, they need to be careful to follow detailed procedures that allow their findings to be used as evidence. The information they uncover, whether it be documents, browsing information or even metadata, may then be used by prosecution to create a compelling case against the suspect.


Aside from working to collect evidence, computer forensics professionals can also work in data recovery. When it comes to data recovery, forensics professionals can take broken hard drives, crashed servers and other compromised devices and retrieve the data that was previously lost. This is valuable for anyone who has lost important data outside of uncovering criminal evidence, such as businesses who have experienced a system crash.


To those outside the profession, computer forensics and cyber security can seem rather similar. Both deal with criminals and computers, but despite this initial similarity, the function of each practice differs greatly.


To recap, computer forensics is focused largely on data recovery. The data recovered is often used as evidence in criminal trials, but sometimes is recovered for companies after a data loss incident. Additionally, the criminals that computer forensics professionals investigate are not always cybercriminals. Because almost everyone uses a computer, there is often valuable information on their personal device that can contribute to an investigation.


There are several great reasons to study computer forensics. First, there is the projected rate of growth within the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics1 estimates that the field will grow on a national level by 33% between 2020 and 2030. In addition to being a fast-growing field, the practice of computer forensics can be deeply rewarding. 041b061a72


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