Cybersecurity vs Computer Forensics: Same goal, different measures

20 Jun, 2022 5 min read
Nigel Thorpe
Nigel Thorpe
Technical Director
Information security (infosec) should be at the top of the agenda for any business that operates in a data-driven and digital environment – and to be honest, which business today doesn’t?

But when hiring for infosec positions, it’s important that business leaders understand the differences between cybersecurity versus a computer forensics role. They may seem similar at first glance, but while the two professions may rely on similar tools and training, they differ significantly in many ways including job scopes, responsibilities, and specializations. Confusing the two may hinder you from meeting your organization’s security goals.

Understanding cybersecurity vs computer forensics

In simple terms, cybersecurity and computer forensics handle the two different sides of the same information security coin.

Cybersecurity is almost entirely about prevention. Even ethical hacker in cybersecurity uses their offensive skills only as a means to uncover network vulnerabilities for the purposes of improving the prevention of data loss or cyberattacks.

Organizations tend to hire cybersecurity personnel for the purposes of designing, building, and monitoring systems that protect databases, applications and other stored information. Their remit is to keep cybercriminals out of the network while at the same time ensuring that staff are given access only to the information they are authorized to use. However, should cybersecurity measures fall short, that’s where computer forensics comes in.

Computer forensics is reactive, only coming into play once a breach has already happened. Computer forensics professionals identify and respond to cybersecurity breaches and network hacks, helping with data recovery, uncovering the root cause of the breach, and identifying the attacker. They’re also key to acquiring evidence of criminal activity – depending on their main goals, their methods and tools may differ.
Computer forensics
Approach to security
Preventive. Cybersecurity professionals are responsible for preventing cybercriminals from gaining access to an organization’s network and data.
Reactive. Computer forensics professionals are activated after an attack happens, to look for how the hacker gained access and gather evidence of foul play.
Skills and responsibilities
Personnel tend to focus on system-wide organizational strategies, conducting audits, and teaching cyber-hygiene.
Professionals are typically trained in procedural elements of evidence gathering or identifying the source of the breach.
Data protocols
Ensure that sensitive data is secured.
Ensure that lost data is retrieved.
Industry specializations
Many different specializations, including
- Systems architecture
- Information and data protection
- Legal compliance
- Operations and development security
- System vulnerability testing
Relatively fewer specializations, such as
- Network risk management
- Cybercrime and fraud
- General forensics analyst
It helps to think of cybersecurity professionals as the guards, and computer forensics professionals as the investigators. But despite their differences, they are complementary to each other and serve a similar goal: to ensure that an organization’s data, programs, and networks remain secure against criminal activity or theft – cybersecurity professionals will often use information uncovered by computer forensics teams to improve upon their systems, thereby preventing future breaches.

What happens if you don’t have the right infosec talent?

The infosec talent crunch is real. The ISC 2021 Cybersecurity Workforce Study uncovered a 1.42 million workforce gap in the Asia Pacific alone, which can have very real and worrying consequences on the cyber risk levels of organizations in the region.

So, what are companies doing to close this talent gap? According to the same study, 38% are relying on the use of cloud service providers, 36% are investing in cybersecurity training for existing staff, and 37% are automating manual tasks.

But these measures are woefully inadequate in the face of the current urgency to beef up information security in companies. Businesses need a more immediate and robust solution to their infosec challenges – which is thankfully available right now in the form of encryption technology.

SecureAge: Your answer to the infosec skills gap

If you’re facing a cybersecurity or computer forensics talent gap in your organization, focus on protecting your data first while you continue to strengthen protection for your systems. We’re talking about File-level Encryption (FLE). SecureAge Security Suite uses asymmetric, PKI-based encryption to protect 100% of your data, 100% of the time, across 100% of endpoints, whether it’s in storage, in transit, or in use.
That’s what makes our FLE solutions so unique from others in the market, other than our zero-breach record over 19 years – our SecureData technology is the only one that protects your data even while it’s in use, which is crucial for today’s remote working arrangements where employees are editing, collaborating, and analyzing data in real-time. And rather than the more common approach of Full Disk Encryption, SecureAge ensures per-user data protection which keeps data protected even if it gets stolen.
Most importantly, SecureAge Security Suite is an extremely intuitive application which doesn’t require any cybersecurity training to use and makes encryption a seamless and invisible part of your operational processes. This makes the lack of infosec talent less devastating for organizations because what matters most – the data – will always be protected.
As cyber risk continues to escalate and cybercriminals remain relentlessly ruthless, don’t let an infosec talent gap stop you from safeguarding your data today. Make encryption an inherent property of your Data and never leave your files vulnerable to exploitation again. Contact us for a demo of the SecureAge Security Suite and start strengthening your front line of cyber defence before it’s too late.

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