As mobile technology becomes more and more prevalent across the globe, the need for digital forensics continues to grow. Law enforcement and private individuals need ways of conducting investigations that can identify the sources and causes of cybercrime. This allows perpetrators to be identified, and also potential security vulnerabilities to be addressed before they are exploited by would-be cybercriminals.
It’s possible that you might not believe how pervasive the digital world truly is. In the United States, 91% of consumers check their email each and every day, and 83% of all households have a computer. Of course, private individuals are only at a moderate risk for falling victim to cybercrime.
Executives in the United States face the most serious threats from cybercrime, as they are the holders of extremely valuable information, with their fingers able to access vast sums of money and resources at a moment’s notice. When you couple this with the fact that 92% of executives in the United States use smartphones to conduct their businesses operation, the threats are readily apparent.
Against this backdrop, the cost of cybercrime is rising steadily year over year. In 2014 cybercrime cost the United States’ economy over $12.7 million. This figure was up 9% over the previous year, when cybercrime cost the United States’ economy $11.6 million. Of course, cybercrime in the United States only accounts for a fraction of the cost of cybercrime globally. Estimates for the cost of cybercrime around the world are between $375 million and $525 million annually. With these costs only expected to rise, the importance of digital forensics only continues to grow.
As you might expect, law enforcement has been at the forefront of expanding the tools and techniques used in digital forensics. At both the federal and local level, law enforcement officials are making use of a variety of different technologies to thoroughly investigate cybercrimes, bringing the individuals who perpetrate such crimes to justice.
Of course, cybercrime can take a number of different forms, and private individuals as well as corporations have cause to utilize the tools and techniques that law enforcement have developed. These tools can help individuals and corporations combat crimes like the theft of intellectual property, industrial espionage and sabotage, fraud, and forgery.
The uses of digital forensics extend beyond merely combating cybercrime. These tools and techniques can also be used to handle a variety of different situations within the business environment. For example, digital forensics can come into play when handling an employment dispute, as an employee’s use of a business’ network can be investigated. Additionally, the field’s tools and techniques can be used to deal with situations like employees sending inappropriate emails to one another in the workplace, something that puts an entire business at risk of lost productivity at best and a serious lawsuit at worst.
Of course, the growing use of mobile devices has only complicated the field of digital forensics, as these devices are more sophisticated than the desktops and laptops of yesteryear. To keep up, law enforcement and private companies have developed a number of different tools and techniques to conduct investigations into cybercrimes that are committed on or attack mobile devices. Given the percentage of the United States’ executives who use mobile devices in the course of their work, the need for powerful tools and techniques is extreme. Thankfully, many have been developed, including Cellebrite, which is an insider’s secret weapon for investigating cybercrimes that pertain to mobile devices.