What is network forensics?
Network forensics refers to investigations that obtain and analyze information about a network or network events. It is a specialized category within the more general area of digital forensics that applies to all types of IT data research. Typically, network forensics refers to the specific network analysis that follows security attacks or other types of computer crime.
Network forensics methods vary widely. Some surveys monitor all traffic on a network, while others use more focused and targeted observations. An easy way to understand some types of network forensics is to compare them to law enforcement checkpoints, where network forensic investigators can analyze all the traffic that goes through a given point on a network.
Other types of network forensics may include the broader collection and storage of network information. Some experts separate network forensics into two categories using one of the following methods: a catch-it-as-you-can method, or a stop-look-listen method, which treats a large amount of data with a superficial routine check.
Those involved in network forensics can attempt to set up digital timelines for network events and collect other types of network usage data, including IP addresses and encrypted / unencrypted messages. In some cases, privacy laws and other legal restrictions apply to these investigations.