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Derek Cherven

Computer Forensics

About Derek Cherven

Derek Cherven is a former Marine and police officer who specializes in Computer Forensics in Boston, Massachusetts. Through his business, he works to protect users’ information from cyber attacks with his knowledge of firewalls, forensics and incident response. His mission is to protect his clients’ online and personal security by applying investigation and analysis to gather and preserve evidence from a computing device after a crime is committed. Derek Cherven’s background in law enforcement and 21 years of experience lead to a lifelong pursuit to keep others safe from harm both on- and offline.

Derek Cherven’s love for computers began early, when he joined the computer club in high school. Following his first job with an internet service provider, he started pursuing his degree at Dean College. However, Derek was soon accepted to the state police academy, and he decided instead to pursue a career in law enforcement, another childhood passion of Derek’s that he followed to the Marine Corps Reserves. After a year of gaining experience and discipline in the military, his former employer reached out to him about a position in management. Derek was later promoted to the Operations Manager, and he also spent time working on network administration.

When Derek came learned of an opening within the computer crimes unit of the Massachusetts State Police, he immediately applied. During his time there, he was able to remaster the police force training to include new standards for efficiency and competency, thanks to his military background and his history working with computers.

Shortly after his professional successes, tragedy befell Derek. While returning home one evening he discovered someone was in the process of robbing him and he was injured severely during the process of fighting the man out of his home. While the culprit was sent to jail Derek Cherven was unable to continue his job as a policeman with his injured knee and decided to retire from the force.

Not being the kind of man willing to accept he could no longer help people, Derek realized he already possessed the skills and expertise to help others in the much the same capacity as he did on the police force through his work in computer forensics; thus his business, cFAIR Technologies, was formed. Derek values his company’s fairness and efficiency and strives to uncover the truth on “bit” at a time.

Being somewhat of a mystified field, computer forensics firms will often overcharge clients and get away with it because of a lack of industry understanding. Derek Cherven is committed to running a transparent business, especially concerning prices. With decades of experience and confidence in his work, he can charge a fair price for his high-quality work.

The lack of industry understanding also worries Derek, because as technology grows and develops, people who don’t have a strong command of cyber security can fall victim. As cyber attacks grow more frequent and more intrusive as technology does the same, Derek Cherven wants to help remedy the issue by helping teach people and and make them aware of timely and relevant issues.

Derek wants to help innocent people protect themselves from those looking to hurt them, so in his spare time he’s finishing a his Bachelor’s in Pre-Law at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Looking to the future, he wants to earn his law degree so he can combine his two core talents — digital forensics and law enforcement — to continue helping others.

  • CEO at cFAIR Technologies, LC
  • Former United States Marine Engineer
  • Retired State Trooper – Digital Forensic Analyst

Check out Derek’s latest blog post!

Frequently Asked Questions about Computer Forensics

Frequently Asked Questions about Computer Forensics

As technology continues to innovate and the digital space evolves, criminal activity becomes harder to trace, track and target. This is why computer forensics experts are an important part of a company or individual’s defense against crime and vulnerability. Knowing how the basics of computer forensics work and what steps should be taken when preparing for possible investigations into digital crimes helps prepare anyone who works with or uses technology regularly.

Why is computer forensics important and how does it work?

By analyzing latent, archival and active data on a computer or network of computer systems, a computer forensic investigation can determine if criminal activity has occurred and when. Other identifying information can also be determined that links evidence to suspects or involved individuals. Then, the specialist can collect and retain the data as evidence, even if files are hidden, invisible, deleted or password-protected and generate a report based on their findings.

How do computer forensics efforts prevent liability, loss and litigation?

Legal situations that arise from the mishandling or misrepresentation of Electronically Stored Information (also known as ESI) depend on computer forensic specialists for retrieving or establishing relevant evidence. Protecting and providing this information can become an integral part of the legal process. Whether that information is used to prepare for a case or prove innocence, it is an essential tool in any case that involves digital vulnerabilities.

What procedural mistake is the most common for a computer forensics investigation?

Many internal corporate professionals are unaware of how to handle the sensitive circumstances early on in a computer forensics investigation. Often, the most important step the IT staff should take when criminal activity is suspected or possible is absolutely nothing. If the computer in question is on, it should be left on; if the computer is off, it should remain off. This gives a computer forensics expert the best chance at recovering important data for evidence.

What kind of professional should be handling a computer forensics investigation?

In order to turn information into evidence, there should be a clear collection and chain-of-custody process, which means specifically trained individuals need to be handling the data from start to finish. A certified computer forensics specialist should be trained and familiar with all of these details and have the documentation to prove their credentials.