Posted by & filed under Biometrics, cyber terroism, Cyberforensics, industry analysis, Privacy, Security.

Description: Cyberforensics, the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep within company networks, is fast emerging as a global industry.


Date: Nov 23, 2010
Three major players are in the vanguard.PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently hired several former law enforcement agents and prosecutors to supplement its cyberforensic services, which already have 3,000 employees and 55 labs in 37 countries.

Verizon Business — supplier of communications, networking and security technologies to large organizations — has pumped more than $50 million into cyberforensics-related services in the past two years. That includes setting up a state-of-the-art hygienic lab to examine computer circuit boards.

And Stroz Friedberg, a private CSI-like company founded by an ex-FBI agent and an ex-U.S. Attorney, recently received a $115 million investment from private equity firm New Mountain Capital to open new offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Demand for cyberforensics is being driven by “the proliferation and complexity of security issues companies are facing,” says Alok Singh, New Mountain’s managing director. “Issues of data security and integrity are critical for all companies around the world.”

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Questions for discussion:

  • How does cyber forensics work?
  • Is cyber forensics an industry that should be regulated by government?
  • How big an industry is cyber forensics?

26 Responses to “Security needs drive cyberforensics industry”

  1. Yuang

    As the cyber forensics has been defined in the article as ‘the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep withon company networks,’ I can say that this system work by digging all the way into network inner most material in searching, and protecting and extracting sensitive files such as email which can be used for lawsuits against the company. So the cyber forensics is very much concerned with issues of the information security and need to protect the data as well as investigating of the security breach in which cyber forensics help by providing breach indicators which will lead the investigator into who or what to investigate. Since it is a industry concerned with major sensitive global security it should be regulated by the government. Also I could say that cyber forensics is big industry because it is a multimillions dollars company and it is located almost globally, it is in U.S, Europe and Asia.

  2. Debbie C.

    The collecting of digital evidence is a relatively new science much like in the early days of fingerprint and DNA analysis. While these types of evidence are fairly commonplace today and have acceptance thanks to CIS and Law and Order type shows, in the early days people were suspicious of this new science because they didn’t understand it. They were ultimately legitimized by the government and accepted by the general public. Now it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t understand the basics of these concepts. Many people believe that the internet makes them anonymous and they fail to realize that every time they access the internet, they leave behind digital “fingerprints and DNA” unique to them and their computer. As usual the law is still playing catch up with the technology. Many people are still unable to understand the concept of privacy and the internet. Their dependence on smart phones, e-mail and social networking sites makes them vulnerable. Hitting delete is not the same as wiping your fingerprints off of something or using chemicals to alter DNA evidence.

  3. Marcel Ter Denge

    I don’t think that cyber forensics is something that needs to be regulated by the government, because individual organizations are losing a lot of money to these security issues, they will want to expose what is happening. When a culprit is found and has committed a crime, officials should be brought in to properly punish this individual. I think cyber forensics is a very big industry that is continually growing at this time. Shown by the 2008 to 2009 increase of internet crime losses is something that is of high concern to large organizations with these problems. This means that cyber forensics will continue to grow until there has become a hold of this crime, which I don’t think will be anytime soon because people are becoming more technical with technology and the internet, and their ability to use it to their advantage.

  4. Jen

    Currently, Information Technology is growing at a rapid rate. Innovation has created new ways of intergrating business by implemeting new software, and with intergration there is the addition of employees gaining more access to other areas of information of a business that was once out of reach. To some, this is a benefit, given the right controlled access and ensuring that there is proper segregation of duties and responsiblities. To others, it is a gateway to access with criminal intent to manipulate data, or to steal confidential information from a business. I believe that with all of this taken into consideration, yes there is an increase demand for cyber forensics. It may be a huge investment for a company, but I believe it will help protect the company from hackers and crackers. Even with hackers, curiousosity can hinder a business because if a hacker gets their hands on the wrong information, it may be just the right information that a hacker would need to make confidential information, not so confidnetial anymore.

  5. Dustin Lehmann

    Our group has been researching information security over the last month or so and have been able to see that security issues are increasing in todays organizations. With this, demand for cyberforensics will be increasing every year for awhile to come. We found that most breaches of systems occurs by internal sources within organizations. Cyberforesnics will play a major role in uncovering these crimes and helping these business’s to find out the culprits in these criminal acts. I believe that they should be regulated by the government as they will have access to many confidental material when they are performing there investigations. So they should have to have a confidentiality agreement with there clients.

  6. brandon.macdonald

    While cyber forensics can be an important tool in a criminal investigation it is important for the government to carefully protect our civil liberties. It should be illegal for anyone but law enforcement (bearing a proper search warrant) to engage in such activities. The knowledge age means intellectual property is becoming increasingly important to today’s businesses and if that property can be legally scavenged off of a discarded hard drive or other means it will have disastrous and far reaching consequences. It is unreasonable to require everyone to be a computer expert to simply protect their own right to privacy.

  7. Kristin Q

    Cyberforensics was defined in the article as “the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep within company networks”. It would appear that this is growing into a global industry at a rapid pace, company’s are being set up to specifically try and harvest information from computer networks. I can see this emerging into a huge industry even more so than it already is as people may target others individually or even target companies and industries as a whole to commit what they veiw as less serious crimes than actual phsical crimes such as murder. Murders are investigated using forensics and I think that it should be a tool used to expose computer criminals committing fraud, identity theft, and falsifying information. I think that this should be a governement regulated industry so that there can be standards developed and put in place for guidance so that cyberforensic companies have regulations in their means and reasons for extracting private information in companies. They will be required to act ethicaly and legally within there industry and this is why I think the government should be involved.

  8. Jo-Anne

    Well… I am happy to hear from this article that companies like PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Verizon Business, and Stroz Friedberg are conducting cyberforensics to search computer circuit boards and databases for security breaches and to help fight cybercrime world wide. I am happy to hear that governments are dedicating large amounts of money to cyberforensics as well. As a person with a statistics course teaching and a research background, I found the use of statistics in this article to paint a picture for the reader of seriousness and cost of cybercrime interesting. My ears always perk up when I see an article rely on statistics to help strengthen its arguments. Statistics are not always accurate, and readers of this article need to keep this in mind. This article notes where the statistics it quotes come from, however, and these sources are reputable. I thus trust that the statistics shared in this article are probably fairly accurate (and could check these myself if need be), and I applaud the writer(s) of this article for drawing from reputatble statistics sources to help readers of this article realize how big and how widespread of a problem cybercrime is. Hooray for cyberforensics!

  9. Dave D

    I believe that cyberforensics will continue to increase. The numbers show that computer crimes losses are increasing and companies need to up there security to prevent this. Its good to see that companies are putting a lot of money into this as I believe it is a very good investment. Its always a good idea to have insurance and be prepared if anything does happen. I’m glad to hear the government is putting money into this as well. This clearly is a big issue that will take a lot of money to try and prevent these kinds of crimes. But obviously this issue will never be 100% prevented as crackers will always find different ways to hack into the systems. Some companies may not be able to invest that much money into cyberforensics so crackers still have targets.

  10. Stephanie. H.

    Cyberforensics works by finding and securing digital evidence that is buried deep within a company’s network. This can emerge into a much larger industry and if it does then it should be regulated by the government but until it really proves its need then I don’t think so. Right now if we’re talking in terms of the US then the industry has the potential to be huge. I mean were already technology driven work so the use of have cyberforensic will be increasingly needed. As technology increasingly advances the more hackers and crackers will emerge. Cyberforsensics will be more and more needed to catch the growing population of hackers. It would be wise for company’s to invest in this soon to be large industry.

  11. samyung2010

    Is cyber forensics an industry that should be regulated by government?

    I think that cyber forensics should be regulated by government, because of the following:
    1) Government would need cyber forensics to help protect personal information
    2) This could also help making internet a safer to use
    3) Technology is growing at a significant rate and I believe that it will continue to grow, if government don’t start regulating I believe that security issue will get worse; maybe to a point where it can’t be stopped.
    As the articles have shown that there are increases in security issues and they believe that the government would have to spend even more money just to secure their systems. This would help the government to work better as well as for people like us safer to use.

  12. Richard Beaupre

    Not only do I firmly believe that cyber forensics will increase; it is necessary for any company that is thinking of surviving in the future. Protection of crucial data is essential in a company’s quest to maintain data integrity and security. It is also essential overall, in ensuring that a company does not risk losing its income and investment. As for Cyber forensics being government regulated; I think that this would be a good idea as it would create a national standard for data security and integrity. This standard can then be upheld by law. As the article states, the numbers in terms of dollars spent on cyber security breaches, are there to stir up extreme concern in the area of systems security. Without the government putting dollars into the cyber forensic region of protection, larger companies will be left to manipulate and control the manners in which data and crucial information are stored and controlled.

  13. Georgina Pina

    Apparently we now have a new example of outsourcing in the hiring of companies for the purpose of having a kind of cyberspace security guard that will look up our information on the network and save it, in order to protect it from other powerful parties that want to take that relevant and private data from the company’s network. If it follows legal aspects, cyberforensics should be regulated at some level by the government, in agreement with the companies, both the ones that offer this service and the ones that are now acquiring it. This blog mentions the example of PriceWaterHouseCoopers companies and how they got law enforcement agents and prosecutors, and are now having big success with this new service. This industry may not be so famous, but probably it’s already widely used by companies in some countries. I think this new professional service will continue to grow rapidly and really soon it will become as basic as paying for an ISP.

  14. Alfonso

    cyber forensics is a method of finding and securing digital data with computers and cell phones. Most cyber forensic investigators are very knowledgeable of network technolgies and encryption. responsibility includes investigation of these types of media as well as analysis of any information that he is given that has been entered as evidence into a court of law. Due to cyberforensics being a growing field it would be recommened that it is government regulated that way it creates a national standard for data security and integrity throughout the world and helps ensure that all cyber forensic investigators are all trained the same. Cyber forensics as well all know os a growing industry and is only getting bigger. Since everything is now done over the computer large organizations all over the world require these types of staff, and it is already a big industry growing even bigger

  15. Jobbie C.

    Cyberforensics works to find and secure the highly private digital information of a company. Securing customer and organization highly confidential information is important for companies in every industry. For example, PriceWaterhouse Coopers keep valuable financial and accounting information of different companies, which are highly confidential to their customers. Government should step in and regulate the cyber forensics industry to lessen the internet crimes. The cyber forensics industry will grow in a fast pace, since the increasing concern of identity thefts and hackers. More and more companies spent a lot of investment on the cyber forensics department in order to secure their valuable information. The consequence of loosing organization and customer’s information is huge. It may lead to the close down of a company if the customers lose confidence on securing their confidential information to the company.

  16. Troy K (U of L)

    Cyber forensics is “the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep withon company networks” forensic analysists “hunt for subtle data attributes inside company networks that have been changed or altered.” Cyber forensics is a way to help protect and preserve organizations critical data and get to the bottom of security breaches.
    Cyber Forensics has the potential to be a large industry. In 2009 there were 560 million dollars in losses as a result of computer crimes in the united states alone. People want to protect themselves from these loses and Cyber Forensics helps them understand and target why these things happened and minimize the damage. The losses have more than doubled in just one year so their is a rising demand for this industry as well.

  17. James Clark

    This article is a bit unclear on whether the incidents are initiated internally or externally. I suppose that organizations should have someform of cyberforensics set up synonomously with their disaster recovery plans.Did you see the articles about cracking down on hackers in China? They busted one of the largest hacker training websites in China. I can see why there is such a huge need for cyberforensics. There are always going to be people that are curious about getting through security systems and people that are trying to cause harm. Whether that harm is because of some incident revolving around work or not. So I am sure that the demand for this type of industry will be growing steadily, and will stick around for decades. Security is pretty important, if criminals get ahold of sensitive information they tend to use not necessarily against a company or individual but usually for personal gain.

  18. Josh F

    I believe that cyberforensics is very important to a companies right now, and will become much more important in the future. Making customer, employee and organizational data secure over the internet is must now adays to cut down on internet crime. Government should be regulating cyberforensics because these investigators have alot of confidential information availiable to them, so it is important that all these investigators are tained in the same manner and code of conduct. I think it is smart, especially for large companies to invest in such a growing industry. These large companies need to secure all their valuable and confidential information to maintain a good working relationship with their customers and provide a sense of security. If companies fail to provide this type of security it could result in a lose of customers…or even a closure of the business.

  19. sean Miller

    I never thought about it but there is obviously a very good neche market for this cyberforensics. It seam very specialized and very crusial to the safty and function of a large corperation. I always would have thought that this was the IT departments job but i now understand that there should be someone at all times looking deeper into the databases not only to find the problem but catch the one who is causeing the problem. Im still a little unclear about how these companies operate but after seeing the numbers it is evident that cyberforenzics is a valued service and i can see how it will be a growing industry

  20. Lisa

    Cyberforensics will most definitely be around for a long period of time. In our world, cyber life is now just beginning…it’s only going to get bigger and more tempting for hackers to get into the systems of big corporations. So keeping cyberforensics around will be a big postive in the near future. Having it close to fingertips of those large corps, will make it easier for them to sleep at night knowing that their employees, customers and all the importnant data will be kept safe and sound, it will provide them a sense of security and keep their customers happy knowing that the information given is going to be safe. So yes, i think it will be around for a long while to come, and i also think it a very wise choice for large (and smaller) companies to invest in cyberforensics.

  21. Sarah Fal

    I think that cyberforensics will be around for a while at least. The internet and business on the internet is steadily growing. We’ve already learnt the lack of new laws and protection rights that are not in place because the internet has grown so quickly. Doing business on the internet is becoming even more popular and it’s only going to continue. It’s important that confidential information between businesses is secured. The only way of doing so is having high tech savvy people such as the cyberforensics. There are already many internet security companies around that we just don’t know about, but it’s important that not just the CIA has these advantages. It’s important that businesses as well as personal users have privacy protection, and rights.

  22. Michelle Zeng

    I think cyberforensic should be regulated by government in some degree. Very likely, many companies will use outside resource to work on system break-ins because of the need for people with special skills. Unavoidably, those outside investigators from a cyberforensic agency might need to access the most sensitive part of the system and going through classified information. What is the procedure to protect that information is crucial, and i think government needs regulate that area to protect the customer’s information. On the other hand, the compromised company normally wants to be low profile for any intrusion happened. If the forensic company find that a large number of customer information is leaked to hackers, but the compromised company doesn’t want to reveal the information, what should the forensic company do? All kind of issues especially ethical issues will need government regulation.

  23. kathy

    Cyber forensics is like forensics science. We talked a little bit about forensics science in one class with the whole issue of collecting DNA. It sometimes goes way too far but every now and then that information comes to be very important. What exactly is Cyber forensics? According to the article it is “the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep within company networks”. In other words it is the extraction of important information like “digital records such as email” from computer storage. This is important to get to the bottom of security breaches. No I don’t think that cyber forensics should not be regulated by the government, because it is personal information of the company. However I think that government should be able to when a problem arises.

  24. Jvo

    I don’t think that cyber forensics should be regulated by the government because of the rapid technology change. By the time the government pursue these issues they are already behind on the technology. I believe that private organizations would have a faster response time to the crisis than the government. A private company can also adhere to a more customized and specialized situation more so than the government that has to appeal to a vast population. The only thing that the government should look into is the laws that govern information so that once these private cyber forensic organizations find a perpetrator they can seek legal action. I can only imagine as technology increases the need for cyber forensics will only increase due to the fact that technology is only getting more complex.

  25. Kaleigh

    The article states “cyber forensics is the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep within company networks.” Technology is growing at a substantial rate and I think the issue of security is only going to get worse as time progresses. Computing Technology Industry Association conducted a survey, which revealed that out of the large organizations surveyed in 10 nations 63%, experienced a security incident in the past 12 months. The “demand of cyber forensics is being driven by the proliferation and complexity of security issues companies are facing.” I think that cyber forensics is an industry that should be regulated by government. It is critical that corporate information is well protected and safeguarded; in order for this to happen I believe that government will need to regulate cyber forensics.

  26. Katie Sparling

    With the amount of information available on the internet it is no wonder that cyberforesics is a largely growing industry. And, with the amount of interest it seems to be sparking, the government should definately be taking some sort of action to monitor it. Ethics is a huge part of information technology, digging up old files and information could test people’s values of what is right and wrong, with no government regulation, who knows what could happen! By monitoring cyberforensics, you are minimizing the risk of finding yourself in a tricky situation. Further, if ilegal information is found, it must be reported to the governement, if they government is already monitoring this, it is making sure all issues are being addressed.

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