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ISO/IEC 27041

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ISO/IEC 27041:2015 — Information technology — Security techniques — Guidance on assuring suitability and adequacy of incident investigative method (first edition)



“ISO/IEC 27041:2015 provides guidance on mechanisms for ensuring that  methods and processes used in the investigation of information security  incidents are "fit for purpose".  ...”
[Source: ISO/IEC 27041:2015]


The fundamental purpose of the ISO27k digital forensics standards is to promote good practice methods and processes for forensic capture and investigation of digital evidence.

While individual investigators, organisations and jurisdictions may well retain certain methods, processes and controls, it is hoped that standardization will (eventually) lead to the adoption of similar if not identical approaches internationally, making it easier to compare, combine and contrast the results of such investigations even when performed by different people or organisations and potentially across different jurisdictions.


Scope and purpose

The primary focus of this standard is on assurance for the forensics processes and tools used in the investigation of digital evidence. Credibility, trustworthiness and integrity are fundamental requirements for all forensics methods: this standard promotes the assurance aspects of investigating digital evidence.

The standard offers guidance on assuring the suitability and adequacy of the forensic methods used to investigate digital evidence, describing methods through which all stages of the investigation process can be shown to be appropriate (proper and suitable in themselves, and correctly performed).


Status of the standard

The standard was first published in 2015 and confirmed unchanged in 2021.


Related standards

ISO/IEC 27037 concerns the initial capturing of digital evidence.

This standard offers guidance on the assurance aspects of digital forensics e.g. ensuring that the appropriate methods and tools are used properly.

ISO/IEC 27042 covers what happens after digital evidence has been collected i.e. its analysis and interpretation.

ISO/IEC 27043 covers the broader incident investigation activities, within which forensics usually occur.

ISO/IEC 27050 (in 4 parts) concerns electronic discovery ... which is pretty much what the other standards cover.

British Standard BS 10008:2008 “Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information. Specification.” may also be of interest.


Personal comments

I am puzzled why SC 27 publishes and maintains several distinct forensics standards covering different aspects of forensics, when they are in reality complementary parts of the same process. A multi-part standard would make more sense to me, with an overview explaining how the jigsaw pieces fit together.


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