Compared to other fields of forensics science, the field of digital forensics investigation is quite new. Nevertheless, the job position for those seeking to pursue a career as a Digital Forensics Investigator is highly promising.
The increasing use of computers and other new-age digital devices, as well as the increase in cyberattacks, suggests that the world needs more IT professionals, cybersecurity experts, and other specialists with in-depth knowledge about how to deal with the crimes that follow the advancements in the digital world.
Like any industry, the prospects for a job in digital forensics investigation mainly depends on the education and experience that you can bring to the table. EC-Council offers you this opportunity through its globally recognized Computer Hacking Forensics Investigation (CHFI) certification program and computer forensics training.
Who is a Digital Forensics Investigator?
A Digital Forensics Investigator is a person responsible for detecting, investigating, and re-counting the state of and the information contained in a digital artifact. The purpose of the digital forensic investigation is to detect criminal behavior, investigate, preserve, and document the evidence either to support or refute a case in the courts of law.
A Digital Forensics Investigator is also known as a computer forensics examiner, computer forensics investigator, computer forensics specialist, digital forensics analyst, forensic computer examiner, and/or computer forensics technician.
Who Uses Digital Forensics?
Although federal and state authorities are more commonly known to apply digital artifacts to prosecute criminals. Yet, IT professionals, legal teams, and security experts also use digital forensics methodology to identify, collect, analyze, preserve, document, and report digital evidence to mitigate cyberattacks, prevent insider threats, or even conclude a workplace investigation.
Digital Forensics Investigators use digital evidence to prepare reports that can be used in civil proceedings, computer crime, as well as legal and fact-finding environments to prosecute a perpetrator. These specialists work closely with law enforcement agencies to conduct activities that relate to gathering and examining digital evidence.
Is Digital Forensics a Good Career?
Digital forensics investigation is crucial to cybersecurity programs. Digital forensics is a good career path for individuals and organizations who seek to understand prevailing digital forensics issues and those who seek to gather relevant digital information. It is also a good career path for cybersecurity experts, network administrators, network security experts, IT security professionals, legal experts, security managers, and other computer-based security teams.
Digital Forensics Investigators blend their background in computer science or forensics science, with their forensic competencies to retrieve digital evidence from computers and other storage devices to defend against cyberattacks. Digital Forensics Investigators contribute to the security and safety of your consumers, preserve relevant forensics evidence, and they also save you an exorbitant amount that would have been spent on information technology intended for network and information security.
How Much do Digital Forensics Investigators Make?
According to Glassdoor (2020), the national average salary for Digital Forensics Investigators is 57,755 USD in the United States. PayScale.com (2020), suggested that a digital forensic analyst earns an average salary of 72,929 USD per annum in the United States with the top ten percent making 118,000USD, whereas the lower 10 percent makes 49,000 USD.
Nevertheless, it is always vital to bear in mind that several factors go into play when deciding the ideal salary for any job. These factors vary based on the geographic location, the amount of experience in the field and time working as a specialist, the job description, the size of the organization, the certification or degree you hold, and the type of work.
Why Become a Certified Digital Forensics Investigator?
Certification is not a legal requirement for digital forensics investigation. However, it is advised that you become certified. The following are some of the reasons why.
1. Advanced Understanding and Knowledge
Having a credential in digital forensics investigation will reinforce the application awareness of security officers, law enforcement personnel, legal professionals, network administrators, and any individual concerned with the integrity of the network infrastructure. You will also undergo comprehensive online training loaded with several white papers that helps you learn computer forensics. For instance, the CHFI program gives you a comprehensive knowledge about the law enforcement process and instructions that informs and guides you about the acceptable method of a legal investigation.
2. Better Experience and Refined Skillset
Moreover, the experience you need to conduct a digital forensics investigation will be realized through a certification program. As a certified digital examiner, you’ll gain hands-on experience through the analysis of key real-world digital forensics investigation cases that were handled through computer forensics processes. The pre-requisite for becoming a digital forensic examiner is to have certain skills and in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity and information technology. You gain these skills and knowledge through the computer forensics course and training.
3. A Necessity and not an Option
Becoming a certified computer examiner is no longer an option but a requirement. Employers want the best staff on their team and what better way to acquire this than to employ certified experts. Will you allow a lawyer without due certifications to handle your case? While the field of forensics science differs from the law, you still need a certificate to prove that you’re an authority in your field and to improve consumer trust.
4. Increased Salary
Obtaining a certificate in computer forensics is always worth the investment. Your credentials offer many startling opportunities with top-notch organizations and employers. Having a credential also helps you when it comes to negotiating for better pay.
To learn more about how to become certified, sign up now for our CHFI certification course.
How Do You Become a Digital Forensic Investigator?
Now that you know that you know who uses digital forensics and why digital forensics is a good career path, if you are wondering how to become a digital forensic investigator, you are at the right place. Below are the steps required to become a Digital Forensics Investigator.
Step One: Get a Degree
The first step to becoming a computer forensics investigator is to get a degree in computer science, information technology, and other fields related to forensics science. You need at least a bachelor’s degree to be employed in this field. EC-Council University offers courses in digital forensics to teach students about the technologies and processes used in digital investigations.
Step Two: Acquire Relevant Skills
Most employers look beyond your certificate. They want the best people on their team. So, you need to hone the necessary skills for this job. For example, you can gain some technical skills through internship programs and other school projects. Some certification programs even require you to have certain skills before you can become certified. You need both technical and soft skills in this industry.
Step Three: Attend Certification Programs and Training
There are various types of certification programs available today. You stand a better chance of landing a job as a computer forensics examiner when you have the credentials than those who lack the credentials. Since no forensics case is ever the same, employers need your credentials to guarantee that you have the knowledge and competence to handle the case.
Some states have licensing requirements for digital forensics investigations, which vary from state to state. You should explore the licensing requirements for the state you want to practice beforehand. You should also know the area you want to specialize in before attending a certification course, that way you don’t gather irrelevant certificates.
Step Four: Search and Apply for a Job Opening
Search for organizations that are hiring and find out what your job description entails. Large institutions such as the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), Homeland Security offices, as well as banks, utility providers, retailers, and tech companies, including Walmart, Apple, are constantly in need of their own Digital Forensics Investigators.
Step Five: Complete an Interview and Get Hired
If you have the requirements in steps one to three, you have a higher chance of being called for an interview. Once you complete the interview and meet all their requirements, you’ll get hired as a Digital Forensics Investigator.
Step Six: Improve Yourself
Get more training on the job after you’ve been hired. There aren’t so many options in digital forensics for advancing your career. However, you can decide to further your education by getting a Master degree. Over the years, you can gain enough experience to start your private practice if you want.
About EC-Council’s CHFI Certification Program
The EC-Council offers training for the CHFI certificate but also allows applicants to attempt the examination without having to take the required course. In as much as the candidate provides a minimum of two years of information security experience and pays a non-refundable $100 eligibility application fee.
Likewise, EC-Council offers other certifications in related fields, including security analysis, encryption, disaster recovery. Click here to join our EC-Council’s CHFI program today!
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