Public Understanding of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics within the UK
Little narrative exists within the literature which focuses on the understanding of cyber security and digital forensics to a much wider audience: the public. This paper’s aim is to capture and examine the perceptions of the public by adding insight into what is understood by the terms and disciplines of ‘digital forensics’ and ‘cyber security’. While cyber security and digital forensics can be recognised by their interdisciplinary nature, the two disciplines are distinct in their approach to criminality. At its simplest, cyber security is concerned with the prevention of an incident and implementation of robust systems, while digital forensics focuses on the response to crime and recovering digital evidence. Public perceptions of these areas are important, as security of systems and digital technologies have been heightened in recent years due to high profile cases where notable and large corporations have seen breaches of sensitive information. This study draws on responses from the public using an online survey taken by 102 participants that asked their views on cyber security and digital forensics. This paper demonstrates that there is an awareness among respondents of both disciplines where participants have associated cyber security predominately with the protection of data and systems and digital forensics as the examination and inspection of digital devices. Additionally, responses have also shown there is a need for further awareness in these fields.