“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” (A quote by Sherlock Holmes from the “Sign of Four” Novel).

True that! The pursuit of finding innovative ways to take on criminal minds exist from time immemorial. Detectives, who are considered exceptional minds in connecting the dots of a crime scene, have the expertise to recognize the probable and improbable patterns. They have brilliant observation skills and are capable of relating facts to reveal the truth.

The digital world does derive a lot from the physical world in understanding the reasons for a cyber attack and connecting various facts to uncover the truth. Here too, the criminal does leave something back in the scene. Even the best leave traces behind. Their objective is to modify files, introduce a malicious service, change audit logs, etc.

In a digital crime scene, the role of forensics is more critical than ever. Digital forensics empowers cybersecurity tactics to improve data security and privacy. Incident responders can leverage digital forensic services to identify, preserve, analyze and investigate digital evidence and ensure justice in data exploitation or tampering cases. They use the evidence to enhance their experience in identifying and mitigating similar crimes.

Digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) is used by SOCs and cyber law enforcement agencies to take on the evolving threat landscape. They use DFIR to collate forensic data from multiple systems, and devices, improve investigative abilities, derive insights from incident reports, and enhance the visibility of SecOps actions. DFIR enhances the efficiency of security operations by improving real-time combat abilities while mitigating cyber attacks.

The benefits are many. From mitigating attacks to understanding malware or ransomware attacks, recovering lost data for cyber law procedures, identifying vulnerabilities, the role of DFIR in day-to-day security operations is indispensable.

Forensics is an integral part of a proactive, offensive security approach. The approach focuses on identifying, assessing, and protecting user identities, data, computer systems, and networks from real-time cyberattacks with context-rich threat information and simulated adversarial practices.

There are three components in this approach: threat hunting, threat intelligence, and forensics. If threat hunting is to identify data breaches, threat intelligence for data enrichment, forensics is for post-breach analysis such as information gathering, investigation, and analysis for compliance alignment.

The forensics services stack has five offerings

1. Cyber forensics lab setup

To identify new generation breaches and their attacks patterns while analyzing different layers of the breach. The lab will consist of next-gen hardware, software, forensic, and data transmission fixtures to investigate digital evidence in storage devices. Controls are also installed for evidence analysis and to preserve and prevent evidence tampering.

2. Breach/incident response & management

Proactively manage breaches and recognize the root cause. Design security policies, identify technologies, detect incidents, uncover the occurred attacks, find the risks involved, contain & remediate the threat.

3. Cyber forensics analysis & reporting

Search & analyze incident evidence for storage devices, identify data tampering instances, analyze image files, recover deleted materials from disks or OS cache files, & reconstruct events.

4. Fraud management

Understand risk unique to your business, detect security gaps & weaknesses in security controls, mitigate fraud risks, assess security approaches to manage fraud risk.

5. Remediation advisory

Reliable workflows to execute action plans for root cause eradication, fix security control vulnerabilities, document the entire process from attack occurrence to restore business operations.

Knowing signs of a breach within the environment is essential before identifying the threat. Data collation is the key to getting comprehensive visibility to attacks. If the data is insufficient, forensic sensors are used to enhance visibility and improve the mean time to respond. Network behaviors are baselined to identify anomalous activity and detect incidents. The data relating to this incident is isolated and identified, and sent for threat investigations. The evidence from the data is captured, and a suitable response is formulated and executed. Later, the success of the response is measured by the average time taken to bounce back to regular business operations – from failure to full recovery.

Digital forensics benefits include:

  • Better incident and vulnerability management leading to legal and regulatory compliance.
  • Reduce the cost of incident investigations.
  • Improve risk management by lowering digital fraud occurrences.
  • Enhance data security.
  • Increase security analyst productivity.

To know more about how forensics can enhance your enterprise security posture, reach out to our experts at contact@aujas.com.