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Computer Forensics and Social Media

Today, computer forensics and social media are starting to intertwine in even greater levels than in the past. As more and more people are on social media and using all of their various devices to access and interact with these sites, and as computer forensics becomes a bigger part of the justice system, expect to see many more cases that involve them in some capacity in the coming years. Experts feel that a number of different trends will be shaping the way that mobile forensics work over the course of the next few months and years.

More Mobile Devices Available

First, more and more people are buying and using mobile devices than ever before. Mobile devices are a good replacement for, or addition to, personal computers. Investigators will increasingly start seeing more of these mobile devices. They will be working with various types of tablets, cameras, GPS devices, and a wide range of different phones.

Mobile devices are extremely powerful and easy to use, and the price point is coming down on many items. People are using them for many different purposes as well. They use the devices for school, work, entertainment, research, and much more in their professional and personal lives. Investigators must be able to stay on top of all of these different devices if they hope to remain ahead of criminals.

Field Work Will See an Increase

Another trend the experts feel will occur is that more and more forensics work will have to happen in the field rather than in a forensics lab. The labs, often only available to the state and federal authorities can’t handle the increased need since there are so many more devices available. Having the ability to examine items and data at the local level, and right in the field, will be essential in order to keep up with the demand. It will also increase the speed at which they can obtain data. The addition of local labs and an increase in the number of forensics experts will likely have to happen as well.

Delving Into Social Media

Of course, many people are using social media on their devices, and the amount of data in those social media sites is massive. Many feel that the data from social media sites and apps is some of the most important. This information, followed by information in the cloud, can help in a number of ways. It can help to lead to new witnesses, victims of a crime, suspects, and more. Experts are checking a variety of different networks when looking for this type of information, including Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

Data Analytics Increasing in Importance

With the amount of data increasing exponentially, experts need to make sure they understand how to parse the data and find that which is important to a case and to dismiss that which is not important. In addition, they have to be able to contextualize the data and make it simple to understand for those who are not in the field of forensics.

Malware Making Problems

Malware has always been a problem with traditional computers, and it is finding its way into mobile devices today. It is becoming an issue when it comes to fraud, theft of personal information, intellectual property theft, corporate espionage, and more. With the rise of malware, it means that those who are in the field will be running into cases involving some type of malware much more often.

The Opinions of the Experts

All of the information from the trends stems from a survey conducted by Cellebrite. In addition to a survey, they interviewed a number of noted experts in the field of computer forensics to get their opinion on the trends and movements in the field. They feel that the above issues and trends are the ones that will affect the world of computer forensics, and thus criminal justice, the most over the course of the following year.

With the increase in these mobile devices on the market there is no question that computer forensics experts will be working with them far more in the coming months. Because of the sheer variety of these different devices though, it presents a special challenge to those who work in the field. They need to have the software, equipment, and techniques required in order to work with this range of devices. While there may still be some who specialize in certain areas, many will broaden their approach to incorporate as many of the different devices as possible.

For more information on computer forensics and other investigative services offered, contact Prudential Associates, 877-279-6700.

Resource:

  • http://www.cellebrite.com/collateral/OUTLOOK_FOR_THE_MOBILE_FORENSICS_INDUSTRY_2014_WP.pdf