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Practitioners of Computer Forensics

Today’s pervasive use of computers, coupled with the various types of computer involvement in crimes, has caused an explosion in practitioners of computer forensics. Arrests of almost any type today can involve collection of digital evidence.

Consider the contact database in most cell phones, which can contain potentially valuable data. Some examples of today’s wide variety of practitioners of computer forensics follow:

  • Federal, state and local law enforcement for criminal cases
  • Legal service providers for civil discovery
  • Corporate IT security personnel for criminal and civil cases
  • Corporate HR investigators for workplace investigations
  • Private investigators for various investigations
  • Outside computer security consultants in incident response

As shown by this list, the group is indeed varied, each with his own viewpoint and skill set. In training for computer forensics, it is helpful to look beyond our own experiences in regards to computers and their place in a crime or misuse.

For instance, many investigators with a law enforcement background tend to approach a computer as something that is incidental to the crime. Corporate IT security personnel tend to look at a computer as the target or instrument of a crime.

By gaining a better understanding of each of the disciplines shown in the previous list and looking beyond our industry-specific approaches, we can help ensure that more potentially valuable artifacts are identified and subsequently collected. Skill sets from all the professions shown in the list are useful and make computer forensics a metaprofession. In the corporate environment

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