Top 5 Computer Forensic Tools

As we step further into the digital age there has been a stronger call for digital forensic tools. With personal technology running rampant it is important to have user friendly forensic analysis devices that can be used as ‘tool kits’ for those officers and forensic technicians who have not gone through years of training to collect data at a scene. In light of all of these professional tools there is an abundance of tools for the every day user that can aid in protecting your information and vital data.

 

Disk imaging software – Primarily used in computer crimes. – The contents of a hard drive, along with the structure of the files, can all be traced. The way the files are organized as well as the relationship between these files is all laid out in easy to understand lines with disk imaging software. Digital imaging software can range in price from $600.00 (Forensic Digital Data Recovery Kit Pro available from ProofPronto.com) all the way up and over $5,000.000 (UNITRON enVision HD Digital Imaging System produced by the New York Microscope Company.)

Hashing Tools – Primarily used in computer crimes and identity theft. – These tools compare data present in the original hard drive to the copied data available. These analyze both original and copy while assigning numbers that must match to have a valid, non-violated copy. These can be purchased for individual things such as SIM cards for your phone for as little as $79.00 (Paraben’s SIM Card Seizure from ProofPronto).

File Recovery Programs – Primarily used by anyone, professional or otherwise. – With the help of these programs lost data can be recovered. Professionals use these programs on computers clients bring in and forensic teams use them when someone has tried to destroy the files that they need to analyze. For an every day person these Recovery programs can be purchased for as little as $12.99 for a picture recovery program off of eBay. Kits can be purchased for iPhones, zip files and more.

Software and Hardware writing tools – Primarily used by forensic analysts. – These programs can take pieces of fractured hard drive information, documents and similar things and will reconstruct then bit by bit without changing the current information present on the hard drive or in the document. These are strictly to reconstruct fractured material to it’s original state so that the analyst can further analyze on the finished, complete hard drive.

Encase Software – Primarily used by forensic analyzers and law enforcement officials. – In 1998 this commercial forensic tool was created by Guidance Software and to this day has become one of the most widely used commercial tools available. This single tool can do disk imaging, verification and analysis of data and can also scan unallocated spaces in a hard drive to check for information that may have once been deleted but is lingering or retrievable on the system itself.

 

Cyber security training courses

Cyber security is a very important course that offers necessary skills on cyber security for any organization that is committed to addressing the risks posed by cyber-attack. This job market is highly competitive and for any candidate to become qualified in cyber security, they need to be certified by an industry-recognized exam body. There is a shortage of skills in cyber security globally. For this reason, qualified and experienced information security professionals are in great demand.

 

It is not easy to learn and practice cyber security. This is because, few people have fully useable web applications that can be applied in scanning for vulnerabilities. In addition to this, security professionals usually need to often test tools against any known vulnerable platform to ensure maximum performance. All these activities should happen in a legal and safe environment.

 

The objectives of a cyber security training course include:

 

Analysis of wireless attacks.

Comprehension of the scenario in computer forensics.

Comprehension of the procedure used in computer forensics.

Comprehension of network forensics.

Comprehension of SQL injection

Comprehension and analysis of web attacks.

Comprehension of network forensics.

Comprehension of sniffers.

These are just but a few of objectives of this course. There is so much more to learn. This course targets IT Professionals, Computer Forensic investigators and Information System Security professionals.

There are many threats involving cyber security. For instance, the advanced persistent threats (APTs) have led to changes in enterprise security.

These threats, together with the cyber-criminals involved have managed to remain hidden from the traditional cyber security, exhibiting great resiliency, patience and intelligence. Multiple security disciplines are therefore needed in order to control these threats. As much as there is no single solution to this problem, cyber security gives a better control and visibility of both known and unknown threats.

Some of the courses on cyber security include:

Essential cyber security management qualifications

 

This programme focuses on building management skills necessary for an effective cyber security, data privacy compliance, IT governance and business continuity. These courses have examinations that are developed by EXIN, APMG and IBITGQ, all designed to enhance careers with peer recognition and industry-standard certifications.

 

cyber security risk management

This is the basis of any effective strategy on cyber security risk management. It will help you gain experience and knowledge on the audit and implementation of a proper information security management system that will deliver all the objectives of cyber security and also help develop your career in information security.

 

There are many more courses concerned with cyber security. It is therefore important to identify where you best fit.

 

How does a Solid State Drive Work

Technology is always finding a way of impressing and the Solid State Drive is one of those impressive technological innovations. In order to understand how it works, it is important to know what it is.

The solid state drive is more commonly referred to as SSD and at times, it can be called solid state disk. But it actually does not contain any disks or drives. It is a storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data. This technology relies on electronic interfaces that are similar to traditional input/output hard disk drives.

In simpler words, it is an advanced storage device that uses improved electrical cell technology to store data faster and easier.

A solid state drive these days is more sought after than a hard drive because of its ability to work faster than the hard drive. The hard drive has a disk inside which slows it down while the SSD uses solid state flash memory.

How the SSD stores data

Unlike the hard disk that has a spinning magnetic plate to store data, the SSD has a set of electrical cells which receive and send the data just about instantly the cells are in form of a grid which is divided into pages. It is on the pages on which the information is stored. The pages, in turn, are grouped together into blocks.

When a solid state drive is new, it is made up of so many empty blocks and this makes it lighting fast when you need to access the storage device. It is just like having a new notebook and you need to scribble down something, any page will do and it will be very fast. So SSD is very fast especially when it is new

Now because the SSD can only write onto empty pages, the solid state driver cannot overwrite data directly, it will need to go through a process of finding an empty page on a block and then write on that page. This means that as it gets older, it may slow down considerably. But still it is much faster than a hard disk when it comes to storage.

How the solid state drive deletes

This is where is gets complicated, solid state drives cannot overwrite directly, which makes the deletion process complicated. It will have to find an empty block or a block with sufficient empty pages and then commit that block to memory and then delete the entire block. This is one of the reasons why they get slower with time, when there are fewer black pages and blocks, then it becomes hard for it to complete such actions quickly.

Life of a Solid state drive

Because solid state drives depend on electrical cells to sustain the flash drive memory, every time it is used, the electrical charges in the cell need to be reset periodically which increases electrical resistance with every reset, thus increasing the necessary voltage to write to the cell and eventually the high voltage will render the cell unusable. It, therefore, has a limited number of writes before it dies.

Despite the limitation, solid state drives offer much better speeds for storage than the HDD.

Fixing a Damaged Memory Stick

damaged memory stickNowadays, almost everyone has a digital camera to capture most wonderful and precious moments of life. There are chances of losing pictures either by breaking of memory card or through deleting the wrong files. In this regard, the most common question asked is “Can I get back my photos and videos from a broken memory stick “? ” Are those pictures permanently deleted from my card”? When the memory stick is broken, there is much lesser chance of recovery. As the memory stick is very delicate in nature, even the smallest thing can lead to data loss on the memory stick.

Based on how your memory stick is damaged, it can be determined whether it is possible to recover the data or not. It’s really distressful to lose precious photos and videos. You will be wondering where to turn on for data recovery from a damaged memory stick.

Some of the most common ways of recovering the lost files are – data download recovery software, photo developing place and you can take the damaged memory stick to professional data recovery service.

At the initial stage of data recovery, you can try at home it by downloading a free data recovery program for a damaged memory stick. You won’t lose anything by applying this technique, instead of paying huge amount of money to the specialist. The data recovery software is non-destructive and it helps you recover lost images, video files and songs from your memory stick. Bear in mind that, this technique is not applicable to severely damaged memory stick. In such cases, you need to go for the professional suggestion.

How to repair damaged memory stick

In this process, the very first thing that you are supposed to do is, test the memory stick by making use of a card reader and see whether your system recognizes the card. If not, surely your stick is damaged.

  • Once you are aware that the memory stick is damaged, the next thing that you are supposed to do is type “chkdsk” command and specify the particular drive followed by “/t”. This check for errors on the memory stick.
  • Wait until you are done with “chkdsk “program completion to check for the memory stick corruption. Once you are done with it, click on the yes option, then chkdsk will display all the recovered data files on your system.
  • Now double click on “My computer” and search for the drive letter that the windows have assigned to the recovered data file. All the repaired are visible and you can transfer to your memory card. While transferring recovered data back to memory stick, make it a point to format the card completely and then reload with new data. Insert card to devise and get access to your required files.

There are myriad ways to recover lost data from the damaged memory stick. To prevent loss of files, it’s better to have a backup copy of the necessary files. For most people, pictures are irreplaceable loaded with huge memories behind every image.

Tape Data Recovery Procedures

tape data recoveryThe use of tape data recovery and storage goes back to many decades. Tape storage facility is a solid and robust way of storing the data as well as code, and along with low-cost ownership rather than any hard disk options. In the current scenario, though the cost has increased to a greater extent, but still it is considered as one of the best options in terms of long storage.

All you need to know about tape data recovery services

The Tape data recovery process from a tape media is just more than replacing the parts.

  • The tape data recoveries are usually performed in a dust-free as well as a clean environment.
  • The tape must be carefully disconnected, examined and then it must be processed.
  • The tapes are imaged in order to get a quick copy of the data from a failing tape. Then, it must be ensured that quick data recovery is possible and the data which is recovered is transferred to a new drive.
  • Proprietary tools can be used to recover the damaged/lost data successfully from the tape.

How Tape storage differs from other disks

The disks are known as pre-formatted disks with a known quantity of sectors over it. On the other hand, tape storage is just written as on-the-fly.

The way of accessing to tape storage reflects its physical character. The tape storage device is quite long and narrow. In order to get some data which is present at the far end has to go through a long length of the tape. In the case of disk recording, to recover any sort of recorded sector, the drive must be positioned in such a way that head reads from the right track and wait for data to spin.

Tape storage concepts

While reading a tape data, you may come across a situation like”End of Recorded Media“, it is also known as “Blank check”. In older tape drives, when data recording is complete, the drive would erase the tape length from thereafter. Subsequent reading would definitely make an attempt to run into the length of the blank tape and to know whether they have reached the end point or not.

Risk in recovering the data from water affects tape

When you make an attempt to read the data from the internal corrosion tape or when there is a residue in the tape, then it can damage both tape as well as drive. Then, the tape requires repair, there you may end up in seeing the lost data from the tape and you end up in seeing those data again or embarking on the expensive data recovery services.

Tape storage device still has a vital role to play in the data security and also in the long term archival of vital data. Tape data recovery services have its own issues which can make it a complicated process. The success rate in tape data recovery process is over 95%. Make sure to keep all the relevant points mentioned above in your mind and use them when you have to recover data.

 

Accepted Data Recovery Procedures For The 21st Century

Data RecoveryWhen you have a computer malfunction that damages critical information in your operating system, you may need to perform a system restoration for your computer to function properly. Unfortunately, a system restoration can lose much of your information permanently. Individuals with a lot of personal data on their computer do not want to risk that type of loss. In order to keep your files intact, you can attempt several data recovery procedures with your computer.

Prevention

The best choice towards preserving your data is planning ahead. Make sure your computer has virus software to protect your information from being stolen by an unknown third party. Your computer may have the option to create a recovery point for your computer, saving the current files and status in its memory as the last time your computer received updates. Some computers require a USB drive or a CD to save the information externally. This procedure keeps your information safe in the event of a crash, since the data would not be saved directly onto the computer. Once you protect your computer against future threats, you can rest easy knowing your information is safe.

Using a Recovery Program

If you take the necessary precautions and your computer still crashes, you may need to try using a recovery program. This software can be downloaded for free or purchased in a store, depending on your particular needs. Recuva is one of the software downloads that offers a free package online, recovering data from almost any device. Usually, the program can retrieve information and data from newly formatted drives, accidentally deleted files, and other resources. Multiple packages are available from each program for continued assistance.

Speak to an Expert

In the event your computer’s damage is physical, you may not be able to retrieve your information without the help of an expert at a local electronics store such as http://www.forensicanalyzers.com or at a private store that specializes in data recovery. These services start at about $500, rising up to $2500 to retrieve your information. Many of these companies charge a fee to evaluate the computer beforehand to determine if the information can be retrieved. If recovery is possible, the employees can give you an estimate that describes the price of the recovery and how long recovery should take before you can pick up your data.

Determine the Reason for Failure

If your computer crashes, it can only be a hardware or a software issue. Determining while issue is the cause of your computer crashing is the most important item on a checklist of data recovery procedures. There are options available for both situations to save your information. Make sure to safeguard your information at all times with virus protection and regular scans.

How Do I Fix Damaged DVDs?

As you know, nowadays there are so many applications available in the market that can execute the DVD data recovery. Sometimes the data can be either lost from the damaged DVD, so it is essential for you to recover the data. In case, if you want to recover the data in the DVD, a best recovery program will execute the task by offering good results.

Important factors you must consider before choosing DVD data recovery

It is essential to use the recovery program, whenever necessary because it helps to retrieve the data from the disks, and it unzips the files that you have compressed previously.  The program will get you the backup data from the DVD disks that you had written in the various stages.

In case if you erase the files in your DVD you can able to execute some type of data recovery. If you have not closed the disks properly even in that case also you can recover your important data. Recovery software helps in identifying the corrupt or missing data on the ISO disks, even if you are using the damaged file system.

You know the recovery application, save the audio tracks digitally by using a different range of waveforms. It will also check the usability of the DVD. When it is executed in the software you will get the extracted ISO image file. You know the recovery application will arrange all the folders and files into the DVD library.

How to Attempt to repair the damaged DVD’s

In case if the discs have intense scratches you can be able to repair the scratches to make the disk play properly. The best way to clean the scratches is by using some polish or whitening toothpaste, however, Brasso also works

  • The very first step, you must perform is to clean the disc surface with the help of soft lint cloth. You can use the alcohol or detergents if there are any grease spots. Ensure that the disc should not have any dust particle or fingerprints on its surface. You should not scrub too hard because it can harm the disc.
  • Now you can apply the polish or toothpaste on the scratched surface, now you can gently rub with the help of cloth moving from center to outwards.

If you have done this repairing process properly, you can observe either the scratch is going to decrease or the scratch might get disappear.

Attempt to recover data from the damaged DVD

First, you must try some software application to recover the data from the disc. You can able to try more than one application, in case if you are not succeeding with the previous one, as you know there is a difference between each and every software’s to another. If one of the software does better than the other one either in the speed, which it is recovered or in the amount of data that is recovered. You know most of the time CD recovery toolbox has come up on the top. If you insert the damaged DVD, these software can help to show the list of folders and files that are found on the disc. You can select the file which you want to recover.

The Benefits Of RAID Arrays

raidRAID is defined as an acronym for an array of inexpensive disks. It outlines the way of organizing the data so that it can be easily and efficiently accessed. It allows for higher availability as well as a better storage capability.

In this regard, there are a number of ways through which the data can be easily organized and a number of required disks depending upon your needs. RAID arrays avoid the risk of losing the data in case of fail of a single drive and thus improve the data access time.

Why use RAID?

RAID is typically used in the large file servers and in the transaction of the application servers wherein the data accessibility is very critical. In the current scenario, RAID is also used in desktop systems for the purpose of playback, CAD and multimedia editing where there is necessary of higher transfer rate.

With RAID technology, the data can be easily mirrored on one or more disk within the same array. Even if one disk fails, the data will be preserved. RAID offers the alternative of writing on more than one disk at same instance of time in order to enhance the performance.

In this process, sequential data is divided into various segments and then it is sent to various disks within the array. RAID arrays make use of multiple disks to appear in a single device so that there will be more space for storage capacity rather on a single disk.

Beneficial features of RAID arrays

A RAID array really does offer a wide range of significant benefits which are quite beneficial to the users. Some of them are listed below-

  • Higher data security

Through using data redundancy technique, the RAID array provides a sort of protection for the data which is stored in the array. The data on the array can easily withstand any sort of failure on the hard disk without any data loss and there is no need to restore the data from backup.

  • Enhanced availability

The term availability refers to data accessing. A good RAID array system improves data accessing and also allows for data recovery from the hardware faults without any disruption.

  • Improved performance

The RAID systems improve the performance, thus by allowing the data controller in order to exploit the capacity of the hard disk in order to enhance its performance by reducing the mechanical issues. Various RAID arrays implementation techniques enhance the performance in various ways to various degrees.

  • Increased storage capacity

By combining all the smaller drives into a much larger array, you can enhance its storage capacity. This is quite beneficial for the application which requires more amount of disk space and thus makes the disk management process much simpler with huge storage capability.

  • Fault tolerance

The RAID implementation which follows a redundancy technique provides a reliable and efficient storage capacity, which can be just achieved on a single disk. The storage subsystems are less prone to hardware failure.

So, make sure you remember all the above mentioned points when you are dealing with RAID arrays.

Best Choices For Small Business Computers

small business computersWith the technological advancement, every business relies on computers in their day-to-day life. Computers for small business are very much essential for a successful business venture. Buying a computer for small business can be really a daunting task, with the availability of a huge number of system brands.

Tips for buying small business computers

There is nothing like a magic formula to get a perfect system for your small business, but there are certain essential things which need to be considered in making your business venture a huge success.

  • Don’t purchase cheap systems

For business people, time is money and vice-versa. Instead of buying a cheap small business computers and wasting your precious time and money over it, it’s better to purchase a good quality computer which runs longer duration.

  • Get best possible processor

As we all know that the processor is called as the heart of the computer. If it becomes slow, gradually even the system gets slower. This is the most difficult piece in the device to upgrade. To overcome this issue, you can add more RAM to your system or can get extend your hard drive capacity.

  • Choose an OS and stick with it

Make it a point to use the same operating system throughout the company, until and unless you are having particular needs for one specific operating system over the other. In the long business run, a single OS in business will help to get the task done within a short span of time.

  • Buy ISV certified device

Most of the software providers perform their own test on the hardware in order to certify them. This is known as Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification. This test is usually performed by the company in order to ensure that the device works well.

  • Use number of RAM chips

The motherboard of the computer will be having slots for RAM in the multiples of two. You need to fill all the slots. With more and easy access to RAM, the things will go much faster.

  • Avoid purchasing older model

When you buy an older version device, you can save money in the short run, but you may need to spend more for up gradation of small business computers at the later stage. So, it’s better to purchase the system with recent CPU, motherboard and other such things.

By spending little more attention at the initial stage, you can save your money in the long run. Prior to upgrading your system, it’s essential to measure the downtime and issues caused on the system. You can see delays as well as less downtime with new systems, thus, by getting newer systems, can boost the performance of the employees.

Make it a point that small business computers should not be used by the other people for games and for social networking sites especially by children. By doing so, there are chances putting the company data into risk. To be on the safer side of business, its better restrict your access to certain sites on business computers.

Accidental Data Deletion Usually Isn’t Fatal

accidental data deletionAccidentally deleted all the data from your PC or laptop without backing it up? This is really a disheartening moment as the deleted data can be your favorite music collection, photos, videos, important official documents and other such stuff. You must be really thankful for the data recovery technology and other such tools which made the data recovery process much easier.

There is no need to get panic for accidental data deletion from your system. Remember that when your files are deleted it won’t be permanently deleted from the system; data are stored somewhere in the drive and occupies space on your drive. All that you are supposed to know is how to search for it.

Steps to data recovering processes

  • Don’t save any documents or files while you are in the process of data recovering, as far as possible you need to refrain yourselves from saving any files or documents because there are chances of data overwriting.
  • Don’t compress any folders

Many email programs allow for the auto-archiving process to save the downloaded file on hard disk. It’s quite easy to recover a non-compacted file than any archived file. So, avoid compacting e-mail files unless you are running on shortage of space. In addition to that disable the programs which are automatically set to archive the e-mails.

  • Don’t restart your system

If you find any issue with PC, one of the best ways to refresh your system is through restarting. A clean state of a system is required while recovering data. During this process, if you restart the system, there are chances of overwriting of data that you want to recover.

  • Don’t start new programs

Opening and closing of your system cause overwriting of data which had been cached in the system memory to the hard drive and save your important data. Avoid installing new programs to your system while you are recovering the data.

Start recovering lost data at earliest

Once you realize that accidental data deletion has lost important documents, photo or any multimedia file, from that instance of time you should stop saving new information to the system. This is because overwriting the old files can lead to deletion of old data.

It’s better to take up the data recovery running process as soon as possible because there will better chances of data recovery. Even it has been a while of missing the data, don’t think it is lost; even something is overwritten on the old data; it can be still salvaged with the help of the intelligent data recovery program.

Once you are done with the data recovery program, ensure to save it in a different file other than where it was actually stored earlier because there are chances of overwriting accidentally on the files while it is being recovered. So, it’s better to save it on another drive and later you can replace the recovered file on the original drive. There are numbers of online data recovery service providers who can assist you technically, hire their services to make your task easy and reliable.