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DFIR as a Service: Effective incident response when you need it

If cybercriminals breached your systems today, would you be ready to act? Zandre Janse van Vuuren explains why DFIR as a Service is such a compelling solution for businesses that don’t have their own Digital Forensics and Incident Response teams.

By Zandre Janse van Vuuren | Service Delivery Manager: Cyber DFIR, BUI

Cybercrime has become more sophisticated, more frequent, and more damaging than ever, with companies falling victim to data breaches, ransomware scams, and other types of cyberattacks that often result in substantial financial losses and reputational damage. In the aftermath, they’re turning to Digital Forensics and Incident Response specialists to find answers – and to help them strengthen their security posture and avoid a repeat incident.

What is Digital Forensics and Incident Response?

Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) is a niche field within cybersecurity that concentrates on identifying, preserving, analysing, and recovering digital information to investigate and respond to security incidents and cybercrimes.

DFIR specialists play a critical role in mitigating cyber threats and maintaining the integrity of connected digital systems. Their key focus areas typically include Incident Response, Digital Forensics, Analysis, Recovery, and Reporting.

Incident Response

DFIR specialists are responsible for quickly identifying and responding to security incidents like network intrusions, data breaches, malware infections, and cyberattacks. Their primary goal is to minimise the damage caused by the incident and prevent further unauthorised access by the perpetrator.

Digital Forensics

DFIR teams use sophisticated tools and investigative techniques to gather and analyse digital evidence from various sources, including servers, computers, portable drives, smart devices, mobile phones, and network logs. They must follow strict collection procedures and maintain a chain of custody to preserve the integrity of digital evidence so that it is admissible in any legal proceedings related to the incident.


DFIR teams thoroughly examine all digital evidence to uncover the scope of the incident and identify the perpetrator’s methods and motives. They also evaluate the extent of the damage caused to the victim’s connected environment by analysing logs, file systems, memory data, and network traffic, among other things.


DFIR specialists have advanced technology and security skills and can work to recover data, systems, or services lost or compromised due to the incident. This process may involve restoring backups, removing malware, and implementing new, more comprehensive security measures to reduce the victim’s attack surface in the future.


DFIR specialists are responsible for documenting their findings and preparing detailed technical and forensic reports suitable for legal purposes, regulatory compliance, or internal investigations. They can also appear in court as expert witnesses.

DFIR as a Service

Last year, the average cost of a data breach was $4.45-million. Researchers estimate that cyberattacks will cost the global economy $10.5-trillion by the end of 2024. And by 2025, lack of skill or human failure will be responsible for more than half of significant security incidents.

It’s clear that cybercriminals are taking advantage of a perfect storm: our hyperconnected digital world, the global shortage of security professionals, readily available hacking tools, and the relative ease of operating anonymously on the web. In this volatile climate, you have to go beyond protecting and defending your IT environment and plan for when disaster strikes.

If you do not have an in-house team of DFIR experts to identify and contain threats, mitigate the impact of security incidents, and conduct in-depth investigations, then you should consider opting for a DFIR-as-a-Service solution. This will enable you to leverage the expertise of a trusted security partner and enjoy the five main benefits of DFIR-as-a-Service.

1. Access to experienced security pros

DFIR-as-a-Service partners usually have a team (or teams) of security professionals specialising in incident response and digital forensic investigation. These experts have cutting-edge skills and a wealth of experience gained from working on DFIR cases involving business and enterprise organisations in diverse industries. As a customer, you can tap into a much broader knowledge base than your company’s own and take advantage of the insights and lessons learned by these pros.

2. Rapid response when it matters most

Every second counts when you’re dealing with a security incident. DFIR-as-a-Service partners are prepared to respond quickly when called upon. They have established procedures and playbooks to deal with the incident, and defined service-level agreements governing their engagements with you. As a result, you can expect swift incident analysis and containment, proper incident management, and dedicated support from DFIR experts – all crucial elements for minimising the impact of the incident.

3. Specialised tools and technologies

DFIR-as-a-Service partners invest in cutting-edge tools to give their teams advanced incident response and digital forensic analysis capabilities. They also harness their relationships with technology peers, think tanks, and research institutions to gain deeper insights into the evolving threat landscape. As a customer, you can benefit from specialised technologies and sophisticated industry research without ever having to source these independently.

4. Reduced legal and regulatory risks

DFIR-as-a-Service partners are external parties who provide objective assistance and an outsider’s perspective on your security posture and any incidents. As DFIR experts, they are equipped to ensure that all digital forensic investigations are conducted thoroughly and impartially in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. You can rest assured every incident will be handled responsibly, professionally, and with complete transparency.

5. Cost efficiency

Creating and managing an in-house DFIR team is a costly and time-consuming process. It involves finding and training DFIR professionals and procuring state-of-the-art hardware and software – all of which can strain your budget. On the other hand, when you hire a DFIR-as-a-Service partner, you instantly broaden your organisation’s DFIR capabilities without having to bear the overhead costs associated with maintaining a full-time internal team.

As cybercrime continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, the importance of Digital Forensics and Incident Response cannot be overstated. If you’re serious about holistic protection for your organisation, then a robust DFIR strategy is not just advisable – it’s imperative.

A DFIR-as-a-Service solution customised for your company is a proactive investment in security that will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a team of specialists on standby to help you safeguard your assets, protect your reputation, and preserve business continuity in challenging times.

BUI Cyber DFIR Service Delivery Manager Zandre Janse van Vuuren is a certified computer, digital and mobile forensics specialist and incident handler with a background in security operations.

Call in our security and digital forensics experts when it matters most. From lone attackers to ransomware groups, cyberspace is filled with adversaries. Solid preparation is essential. Our Cyber DFIR team can provide all the support you need in times of crisis. Learn more about our Digital Forensics and Incident Response retainer service, available now.