It's almost impossible to find an online crime that can't benefit from computer forensics services. Any information that is passed along through computers, fax machines or cell phones, to name a few, can be accessed, analyzed and reported on by a computer forensics expert.
One service provided by computer forensics includes electronic discovery. This is where documents, email, intellectual property, trade secrets, copyright issues, databases, internet activity, instant messaging, computer security and network intrusion are all examined and determined what information might be valuable to a case or situation. This area is used when a client has knowledge of what information is on the computer, or other device, and needs help in guiding them in the right direction as to how to use the data.
Computer forensics services also include data discovery and analysis. This is when a computer forensics team uses techniques to retrieve data that was thought to be lost. Once this material is recovered it is then analyzed to determine who the author was, when it was created/deleted and it's relevance to your specific situation. This is an important phase that needs to be handled very carefully as to not lose sensitive information. Even turning a computer on or off can corrupt evidence.
An extremely important computer forensic service is the preservation of evidence. In this step a forensic image is made of all pertinent data. This image is actually what is being analyzed and the original source where the data was extracted is put in a safe and confidential environment. The security and authenticity of this information is analyzed very carefully and handled only by a digital forensics expert.
Once these steps are properly completed it is the job of the computer forensics analyst to piece together a report on the findings. All of the evidence needs to be carefully phrased and should only contain key issues that are relevant to that specific situation. The goal here is to put together everything that pertains to that case and will have the highest chance of success.
Usually, computer forensic services are utilized in a court of law. With this in mind, it's imperative that a cyber forensics analyst is able to give an expert testimony on their findings. The computer forensic examination needs to be exact with its evidence and whoever is representing the forensics company needs to be well spoken, persuasive and extremely accurate with their testimony.
All of these services are important aspects of the computer forensics realm. Each area needs to be carried out in a very specific and careful way so no evidence is ever tampered with or mishandled. Each step of the process is just as important as the first which is why it takes many years of experience to be considered an expert in this field. Each project should be considered as valuable as the next and it's not only important to maintain the services currently offered through computer forensics but to strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology and be able to combat anything that is new to the game.