Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Computer forensics around the world

One of the interesting things about running Forensic Focus is seeing which countries our visitors are coming from. Of course, as an English language site it's not particularly surprising to note that a significant number of visitors come from the US and the UK. However, I'm always delighted to see just how many visitors come from other countries - not just other English speaking or Western European countries, but countries from every corner of the globe. Interest in computer forensics is certainly a worldwide phenomenon.

From some of the emails I've received over the past few years and posts to the forums (not to mention news items posted to the homepage) it's clear that the state of computer forensics differs widely from one country to another. What do I mean by "state"? A number of things, touching upon but not limited to issues surrounding: legislation, awareness, training, best practice, job opportunities, etc. It's also clear that things are changing and progress is being made in many places.

An opportunity exists for those of us in countries with more fully developed computer forensics infrastructures to assist newcomers to the field and, from what I understand, a number of countries are actively seeking experienced practitioners from outside their borders to assist with this process. That's not to say that building awareness and implementing change is a straightforward process, and no one knows a country better than its own citizens, but lessons learned elsewhere can often save valuable time and effort. Ultimately, though, computer forensics exists within a larger framework built around the use of and access to technology, the political climate, even social norms and values. The shape of forensic computing in one country may differ from that seen in other areas of the globe.

I'd be interested to hear what others think of the global state of our profession. Which countries are world leaders in computer forensics and why? Which countries are furthest behind? Is the development and use of high tech investigative powers always a positive thing? Please leave a comment!

2 comments:

Azrael said...

It is very interesting that you should bring this up - one country that I am aware of that was taking the whole thing very seriously was Rwanda.

In the process of rebuilding what was a very, very big mess, the World Bank was funding the creation and staffing of a central Forensic Response capability within the country and were looking in Europe to contract people to go, establish and train local talent to perfom the role on an ongoing basis.

More and more countries are realising that even with a majority of the population below the poverty line, computer crime is something that is going to impact in a big way.

Unfortunately, however, as corruption is a way of life in a lot of places in higher government, there is understandably internal resistance to anything that exposes these practice widely.

Overtime it will come, probably as a response to the threats of information warfare from neighbouring states, or counter-espionage to start with at least - but hopefully it will filter down eventually to general law enforcement.

Mike said...

People need to get themselves in check with computer forensics. the most ideal situation is to use a hybrid model of services and software. Guidance Software can do this with ease and i reference some of out current projects at the Internal Revenue Service (spending 4million plus on investigative technologies to address similar issues), Liberty Mutual (1 million plus on ediscovery software and services), IBM (yes IBM is going to buy our produts for the same issue) and Citi. All of these companies/Government organizations are purchasing our products to address these needs this quarter. And if you can't afford to pay don't attempt to play! 'nuff said.