Challenges of Computer Forensics

March 16, 2012 — 1,666 views  
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Today's law enforcement professionals have a wide variety of advanced resources at their disposal, ranging from comprehensive informational databases to the complex, intricate technologies of computer forensics. However, as high-end as these forensic tools may be, the ever-accelerating nature of technology as a whole dictates that there can sometimes be a point of overlap - where criminals are technologically one step ahead of police and law enforcement agents.

If this happens in the midst of a high-profile, "red-ball" investigation, it can seriously jeopardize investigators' chances of examining vital evidence in a timely fashion - and potentially allow a dangerous suspect to slip through the cracks. Keeping that in mind, it's necessary for enforcement professionals to ensure that their technology is entirely up-to-date and that officers and detectives are properly trained in its use.

Law enforcement agencies can work to meet that goal by collaborating with training organizations or colleges specializing in advanced computer forensics instruction. A 2007 article from Police Chief Magazine highlights an example of this, where the Indiana State Police partnered with the Purdue University Department of Computer and Information Technology to instruct troopers in the proper investigation of cyber-crime and the most effective uses of technology across the board.

All enforcement professionals will benefit from having computer forensics knowledge appropriate to their responsibilities. While agencies should have specific personnel with expert technological knowledge, all officers and detectives should be knowledgeable enough to employ a blend of traditional and technological techniques during investigations.