Digital Forensics is on the verge of revolutionary changes which might change the way we look at this industry. One of the crucial changes is Automation. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, investigators are now able to flag contents in an investigation instantly. Investigators nowadays are using different algorithms and automation tools to evaluate the massive amount of data which otherwise take much longer time to process.
But the real question that arises is whether the task of Digital Forensics Investigator can be automated concerning the importance of the job?
Artificial Intelligence algorithms helps to identify and flag certain elements and data inside images, videos by observing common traits in location, time and then gives investigator an estimated data about time and location of the next crime.
These technologies have been much helpful in maintaining the workload in Forensics labs. The cases are increasing rapidly from the last decade. Digital crimes have been increasing with a faster rate today and the shortage of the workforce in labs in a matter of concern. Thus these automated tools heps in prioritizing each case as mainitaing the overwhelming caseload and prioritizing each case if next to impossible.
Despite of the case an investigator is working on, there are tasks that have to be performed again and again. Automation isn’t necessary for most tasks but clicking again and again on “Next” button in a script can be menial task for an investigator who is working on cases of counterterrorism etc. Multiple automated tools can be implemented on each case to suit the needs of the investigator. This allows the time being utilised on much more important task such as tracking the suspect’s device, gaining access to the suspect’s system and analysing the automated reports.
Once the automation task are finished, its the responsibility of the expert to analysis the data. These tools might be helpful in organising data and evaluating elements by algorithms but the output data is still an estimate and an expert eyes are still required.
The requirement of an expert will never go away and its arguably even more important now more than ever because at the end, data is just data until Forensic analysis is implemented.
The key thing is that its not the Forensic examination or testing that should be automated but menial task such as the tedious button clicks. Moreover this would help in clearing the backlog cases efficiently and thereby improving speed and accuracy of the case.