5 Stages of Digital Forensics Investigation

5 Stages of Digital Forensics Investigation

Digital forensics is the study of recovering, looking into, and analyzing electronic data. It is frequently used to find evidence in legal proceedings, criminal investigations, or internal investigations. In many situations, electronic data can offer crucial evidence and hints that help with the investigation of cybercrime, data breaches, crypto crimes, security lapses, hacking incidents, and other crimes. Finding the root of complicated data problems requires the use of digital forensics tools.

When conducting investigations, digital forensic investigators employ a range of hardware and software that can:

●    Determine the origin and reason for a cyberattack.

●    Determine if a hack was conducted, and predict how long the perpetrator had access to the computer system.

●    Make a timeline of unlawful activities, like illegal access or alterations.

Various types of misbehavior, such as security breaches or leak, internet exploitation, network or system leaks, espionage, and financial fraud, can be found and proven with the aid of a digital forensic investigation.

To secure the integrity of the data and its acceptability in a court of law, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive and process-driven digital forensics analysis in both civil and criminal matters. The following are the main phases of an investigation into digital forensics

●    Identifying the tools and resources used in the investigation

●    preservation of the required information

●    Analysis\sDocumentation\sPresentation

This type of data collection is legal in courts and is admissible as proof in lawsuits. Investigators in digital forensics are educated to gather and manage evidence in a manner that is legal in court using various tools for digital forensics, and their knowledge can be extremely useful in litigation involving digital data.

What are the Stages Involved in a Digital Forensics Investigation?


Finding the devices and resources that have the data that will be examined as part of the inquiry is the first stage in an investigation into digital forensics. Data used in an inquiry may be stored on computers or laptops belonging to an organization or on users’ personal devices like smartphones and tablets.

To ensure that there is no chance of tampering, these gadgets are then taken into custody and isolated. The detective or organization must make sure that only the lead investigator has access to the data, whether it is stored on a server, network, or in the cloud.

Preservation and Extraction

The digital forensics investigator employs forensic methods to extract any data that may be relevant to the inquiry and keeps it securely after the devices engaged in the investigation have been confiscated and stored in a secure location.

A “forensic image”—a digital replica of the pertinent data—could be made during this step. The original data and equipment are kept in a secure location while this copy is utilized for analysis and evaluation. In the event that perhaps the investigation is hacked, this prevents any modification with the original data.


Digital forensic investigators employ a number of ways to extract pertinent data and evaluate it in search of clues or evidence that leads to wrongdoing once the affected devices have been located and isolated and the data has been replicated and securely archived. This frequently entails locating and analyzing files that have been deleted, corrupted, or encrypted.


Following analysis, the investigation’s findings are accurately recorded in a form that makes it simple to understand the complete investigation’s process and results. A chronology of the actions involved in crime, such as theft, data leaking, or network breaches, can be created with the use of adequate documentation.


When an inquiry is finished, the results are handed to the committee or court that will decide whether to file a lawsuit or handle an internal complaint. Digital forensics experts can testify in court as expert witnesses, summarizing, presenting, and revealing their findings.

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