Cybersecurity In-Depth


The 10 Essentials of Infosec Forensics

Whether it's your first investigation or 500th, review the basics of IT forensics to streamline and simplify your discovery.
1. Know the Investigation's Intent
2. Have Established Processes
3.Three-Pronged Approach
4. Identify Indicators of Compromise
5. Isolate and Document
6. Mind Your Legal Ps and Qs
7. Keep Abreast of Emerging Tools
8. Expect the Unexpected
9. Manage Expectations
10. Was That Too Easy?

Most infosec forensics investigators walk a fine line. They must adhere to specific institutional processes, which, in many cases, are state and federal requirements. But they must also use a certain amount of pragmatism since no two investigations are exactly alike.

So while there may be a corporate best practice of collecting log files from all systems, that approach doesn't make sense if what you need is a single line of code from a log file to get you to the next level of the investigation, explains Richard Rushing, CISO of Motorola Mobility. 

"I need to know if this user account logged into that server. And that information may already be somewhere else that doesn't require me to go through all the log files," he says. "That's the sort of thing people overlook sometimes." Process and pragmatism can work in tandem to help peel back the layers, Rushing adds.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips and refreshers for forensics pros working on IT incidents, suspected or real.

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