5 Steps to Computer Forensic Investigation

Computer forensics is a crucial security area that involves a structured and rigorous investigation to uncover vital evidence from victimized devices. The primary objective of computer forensic investigation is to trace the sequence of destructive events or activities and finally reach the offender. A significant rise in cyberattacks has drastically increased the demand for skilled forensic investigators. The step-by-step process to conduct forensic investigation involves:

5 Steps to Computer Forensic Investigation - TechDu

1. Preliminary Analysis:

It is essential for forensic investigators to initiate a preliminary analysis to figure out the critical details of a cybercrime. The analysis must include a thorough assessment of the case to devise the best approach to investigating its intricacies. The forensic analyst takes notes about the system under surveillance taking into consideration factors such as the role of the system in the organizational structure and network, configured operating system, custom specifications, RAM, and the system location. An In-depth preliminary analysis helps in devising effective strategies for investigating the crime.

2. Evidence Acquisition:

Evidence acquisition refers to collecting the maximum amount of data (both volatile and non-volatile) from all the likely sources and verifying the data integrity. Collection of volatile data is subject to changes and requires special attention of the involved analysts. Volatile data includes login session details, network connections, RAM content caches, and running processes. Nonvolatile data verification calls for the hard disk investigation. Involving business owners at this stage proves helpful in determining the business impact of the planned investigation strategy.

3. Evidence Identification:

This step calls for assessing and identifying the potential evidence and presenting it in a digital format so that it can be easily understood. All the acquired raw data needs to be organized by using the Forensic Tool Kit (FTK), Mobile Phone Examiner, and dtSearch tools.

4. Evaluation:

This key step lets you decide if the gathered potential forensic investigation evidence can be used to draw legal conclusions. Every collected evidence is assessed on various grounds to analyze if it can be presented legally during a trial and if it can direct the case towards expected conclusions. To perform a successful evaluation, you must preserve the collected data and create an event timeline, perform media and artifact analysis, string search, and employ data recovery tools to authenticate the collected evidence to complete the investigation

5. Reporting and Documentation:

Reporting and documenting the analyzed results involve communicating the details of the performed actions, recommendations to improve the procedures, and the guidelines and tools used during the investigation. Final reports are shared with the parties associated with the governing body of law.


The Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) certification covers the wide array of diverse computer investigation tools, techniques, and processes that help you in identifying the legal evidence of cyberattacks.

NetCom Learning offers a CHFI training and certification course illustrating the latest forensic investigation tools, techniques, and fundamentals for effective database, mobile, cloud, and network forensic investigations. We enable you to acquire hands-on experience with key forensic investigation techniques and the standard forensic tools essential to legally pursue cyberattack perpetrators.

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