Understanding cybersecurity and computer forensics

Security is a human right. It gives you peace of mind to focus and thrive.

Everyone feels safer at their home. This is because of a special feeling of being in control of the environment. You are so familiar with your home and neighborhood that you feel safe and confident. Depending on your income level, at home, you have implemented basic physical security in terms of access control.

In addition to the doors on each room in your house, you have implemented burglar proof in all windows and doors. And that is not enough, you have a tall perimeter wall, a security guard, an electric fence, and or a dog on standby to alert you in case all other controls fail. We call this defense in depth.  You keep adding a layer of security from your bedrooms outwards to the gate making it so difficult for an intruder to access your home.

Because of the real and present danger of thugs, every homeowner thinks about home physical security right from buying the plot of land to drawing the house plan, and of course building.

How about your online security and safety?

For anybody who has a digital device connected to the Internet, you are on the cyber highway and therefore exposed to so many threats from cybercriminals and online gangs. Unlike in your physical realm, where your local police and local council leaders and neighbors are always on the lookout for you, on the cyber superhighway you are all on your own.

The question then is, are you safe in terms of the information on your phone, or computer, or any gadget like your television set when you connect them to the International Network of computers, gadgets, and other things (Internet of Things)? We are in the era of the Internet of Things where TVs, fridges, beds, radios, watches, glasses, etc. are connected to the Internet. When you are online in the clouds, how safe is your information? How is it protected to meet the minimum-security objectives of confidentiality, integrity, and availability? You want your information to be safe from people who shouldn’t know it. You want it to be available any time you want it and also be in the format and form you stored it. The art and science of protecting digital resources and all electronically stored information is cybersecurity.

While on the cyber highway, the perimeter fence or security guards do not work. You need an understanding of the basics of cybersecurity hygiene to be safe. Sometimes, intruders may break and get inside your houses despite the tight security measures you have put in place. You may be able to know how they did it without expert help.

This is because, for physical investigations, you do not need a lot of expertise to tell how intruders broke into your house. However, when it comes to cybersecurity – compromising your digital or electronic information, is very complicated to handle. You need specialized skills or some trained expert to examine the evidence scientifically to tell who did what where when and how. This is where computer forensics comes in – trying to scientifically determine who could have accessed your resources, how they accessed them, why they did it, and how much you could have lost in terms of data leakage or financial loss. Due to the nature of digital evidence, this process is complex.

Just recently, a visitor came with a thumb drive to one of the high-end offices located in Nakasero. He sat at the reception desk, waiting for the staff to whom he had come to show some artwork. The front office executive called the staff to come and attend to his visitor. The staff came with a laptop. The visitor inserted the thumb drive into the laptop to show the design of the work they needed. The supervisor of the staff called him immediately after the visitor had inserted the thumb drive.  As the staff briefly left his laptop with the visitor, he [visitor] copied some confidential documents from the laptop of the company to his thumb drive. By the time the staff returned from the supervisor’s office, he could not notice anything that had gone wrong. He could not tell that the visitor had made a copy of the information on the laptop to his thumb drive. It was so fast that the staff did not know all files in the folder with the name of the competitor had been copied.

It was difficult to smell the coffee. The information was still on the computer, however intellectual property had been stolen. The next day, headlines were in the papers due to information leakage. Confidentiality had been breached. How do you then handle such a case? What kind of evidence do you need to prove that indeed the information leakage was through copying from the laptop? Computer forensics comes in to settle such cases with conclusive evidence of who did what when where and how.  To do so, you must call in the expert forensic examiner before the evidence is corrupted through spoilation or mix-up in which case it loses its evidential value to the case at hand.

For forensics and fraud investigations, complete this form https://www.summitcl.com/summittors/. To speak to us, contact us at www.summitcl.com. You deserve answers and peace of mind to all your suspicions. If in doubt, call us in.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.

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