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What is the Difference Between Incident Response and Computer Forensics

Incident response (IR) and computer or cyber forensics both deal with the same issue; they are responses to a compromise, breach, or attack. IR is focused on the containment of a threat or attack. Forensics involves a thorough examination of the data in order to gain a complete understanding of the breach in order to remediate the attack and prevent a recurrence.

Incident Response

Incident response is the action(s) taken immediately following a security compromise, attack, or breach. In addition to shutting down the attack, the responders must also preserve all pertinent evidence for later review and examination. This requires a team of experienced professionals who understand how to respond to the incident while carefully preserving evidence. Attempting to restore or recover information from a compromised computer or network could cause irreparable damage to files or the system. A knee-jerk response can potentially do more harm than good.

Most IT professionals are not equipped to respond to a breach properly. A team of professionals can handle the most sophisticated breach events with precision and speed, getting the answers you need and placing your organization in the best position to mitigate loss and keep your business operational.

Cyber Forensics

Following an attack, there are two important questions to answer: How did it happen? How can it be prevented from happening again? Cyber forensics is the process by which experts collect, examine, and analyze all of the data from compromised computer systems and storage devices. This is done in a manner consistent with best-practices so that the evidence could be admissible in a court of law if necessary.

Evidence collection includes identifying and securing infected devices and all data, including latent data, from the systems. Latent or ambient data is data that is not easily accessible and generally takes an expert to uncover. This data is often hidden or even deleted.

Once the evidence is collected and evaluated, it undergoes a detailed analysis to determine important questions, including root cause, scope of breach, and what data may have been impacted. Each step of this process is carefully documented.

The Importance of Having a Team of Professionals

The first 72 hours following the discovery of a data breach are critical. The decisions made carry legal, regulatory, investigatory, and public relations repercussions. During this short time period, every decision is critical and even the most prepared organizations can quickly become overwhelmed.

The importance of having a trusted partner to help guide your organization cannot be understated. BlueVoyant takes a highly efficient investigative approach built on decades of FBI Cyber and private sector experience. The team is field-seasoned and battle-tested, having handled some of the most sophisticated cyber breaches.

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