As we have reached the digital era, sophistication in cybercrimes and digitalization of information are rapidly increasing. Network forensics is one of the latest fields of forensic science. It refers to a form of investigations which includes capturing, recording, and analyzing network events or traffic to find out the source of security attacks and other problem incidents. Network forensics either operates all traffic on a network or specific and targeted observations.
Increasing adoption of IoT (Internet of Things), smartphone, connected devices, and virtualization of servers are all contributing to the growing need for network forensics. It uses two important systems to collect network data:
- ‘Catch-it-as-you-can’ system – This system requires a large amount of storage as it captures all packets passing through a traffic point, stores, and analyzes in batch mode.
- ‘Stop, look, and listen’ system – It is a more intelligent method where only certain information is saved for future analysis. It requires less storage but a faster processor to keep up with the incoming traffic.
Use Cases for Network Forensics
Operational Intelligence: Here, the availability and performance of a system are demonstrated in metrics and visibility. Many organization with an online presence require either high-level reporting or down capabilities to find root cause answers. Network forensics tools are used for both the requirements to repair or identify the meantime.
Security and Compliance: Increase demand for advanced security solutions is one of the reasons for adopting network forensics. It is used to identify the traffic patterns that look malicious, malware, attempted breaches, and identify DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) vectors. Forensic solutions are necessary for most of the organizations to keep their network secure. It compiles the real-time and historical reports and is able to associate network activity with devices or users.
Customer Insights: The use of network forensics is applicable to gaming, media, entertainment, and all hi-tech areas for business performance analysis. It includes real-time revenue monitoring, event operations and impact, and their correlations. Further, it enables a fast and stable connection to application, games, or services.
Hunting: Occurrence of unusual and suspect activity happens on any network from time to time which is an indicator of advanced threats. Hunting is a network forensic activity where skilled analysts use various analytical techniques to check all the network traffic data to hunt for any subtle malicious activity. This use case rapidly extracts proper forensics data with the help of targeted, precise, and incisive queries.
There are many more use cases of network forensics and has a potential to grow rapidly in coming years. Increasing awareness of cybersecurity and the need to secure data are influencing various organizations, companies, and even individual customers to adopt network forensics and their services. High prevalence of cybercrimes in the recent years are also leading to this adoption. Apart from traditional malware such as Trojans, worms, and viruses, there have been advanced attacking techniques like DoS attacks and DDoS attacks which are used by hackers to steal confidential and critical consumer data. The rise of such attacks is increasing the need for data security, thus leading to the use of network forensics.
All insights of the network forensics market are revealed in a recently released report, a detailed excerpt of which can be availed at here