While digital forensics is a branch of forensics, it still breaks down into different sub-categories and areas of expertise. When someone becomes a digital forensics specialist, he or she may decide to specialize in certain areas. Here are the different branches of forensics as they stand now. With technology changing and new devices hitting the market every few years, there’s a good chance that these categories will grow.
This deals with computer systems, electronic documents, and various storage mediums, such as hard drives. This area of forensics will cover the desktop and laptop, the aforementioned hard drives, embedded systems, and static memory. An example of static memory would be a USB thumb drive. They can deal with Internet history, files on the drive, deleted files, spreadsheets, and more. In criminal cases, forensics specialists have been able to show premeditation on the part of murderers who have information related to killing on their computer.
More and more people have mobile devices, such as smart phones. The investigations into these devices often encompass call logs, text messages, and emails. Information taken from phones has been able to implicate and exonerate suspects in various cases, since many of them have GPS built into them, or they have tracking via cell site logs that track devices in range.
This area of digital forensics is all about networks, from monitoring them to analyzing computer traffic. It’s possible to find intruders on networks, and many companies have specialists whose job is to make sure that these types of intrusions don’t happen.
Those who enter the field of digital forensics will always be able to find something that appeals to them when it comes to work. Whether they want to work in the field of law enforcement or they would rather be their own boss and become a consultant, it’s all possible.