Digitization has taken the world by storm, but the flip side to this is the startling number of data breaches, security issues, and thefts that are cropping up. Cybercrimes are surging due to the easy accessibility of sensitive information. Computer forensics has emerged as an answer to tackle these pressing issues.
If mysteries and problem-solving keeps you going, you possess good analytical skills, live and breathe technology, and yet feel stuck in your career, then we completely empathize and understand your predicament. Your search for a fulfilling and challenging career has brought you to the right place. Computer forensics is highly in demand as the field is progressing exponentially. Read along and delve into this field of discovery and adventure with us!
What Is Computer Forensics and Why Is It the Best Career Choice For You?
Computer forensics pertains to the evidence obtained from computers and digital storage media and is the application of computer investigation and analysis techniques to determine potential legal evidence. It aims to identify, preserve, recover, analyze, and present facts and opinions about digital information.
Evidence can be sourced from a wide range of computer crimes or misuse, theft of sensitive data, theft of or destruction of intellectual property, and fraud. Obtaining a computer forensics certification puts you at the forefront with ample job opportunities across various industries. Contrary to popular opinion, computer or digital forensics is not just associated with criminal cases. The services of a digital forensics professional are utilized in divorces, medical malpractices, and even in civil disputes where it is necessary to assess computer systems. In short, you can get a job in any industry that uses computers and devices, which almost every field does nowadays!
Tapping into the wealth of information, forensic investigators use exhaustive data to uncover the truth even in the most complicated cases. In the past few decades, digital forensics has cracked many cybercrime cases efficiently. One such high-profile case solved with digital forensics is famous pop singer Michael Jackson’s untimely death.
Jackson’s autopsy traced the cause of his death to prescription drugs. Digital forensics played a vital role in this case as forensic investigators discovered an important piece of evidence on the singer’s personal physician’s (Dr. Conrad Murray) computer. Dr. Murray had authorized a lethal amount of drugs and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He lost his medical license and served two years in prison .
Types of Digital Forensics
The different types of digital forensics are:
- Disk forensics: The data is extracted from the stored files with the help of active, modified, or deleted files.
- Network forensics: A sub-branch of digital forensics, it monitors and analyzes the computer network traffic to gather legal evidence.
- Wireless forensics: It offers the necessary tools to collect and analyze data from the wireless network.
- Database forensics: It examines databases and the related metadata.
- Malware forensics: This branch of digital forensics deals with the identification of malicious codes.
- Email forensics: Deleted emails, contacts, and calendars are recovered and analyzed in this branch of digital forensics.
- Memory forensics: The data is collated from the system memory (cache, RAM) in their raw form.
- Mobile phone forensics: This branch deals with data retrieval from mobile devices. SIM contacts, call logs, incoming and outgoing SMS/MMS, etc., can be retrieved by mobile forensics.
What Are the Key Advantages of Securing a Computer Forensics Certification?
- Great career option: This cannot be emphasized enough as the role is every bit rewarding. Right from various government bodies to private organizations, there is a surge in demand for trained and qualified professionals.
- Pay scale: The pay scale varies across industries, regions, and the skills and experience that you possess. However, if we must outline a ballpark figure, then the average salary for a Computer Forensic Analyst is $74,110 in the U.S. As per payscale.com, even an entry-level analyst in the U.S. with less than one year of work experience draws a package of $63,144 .
- Highly responsible role: As a famous Hollywood superhero once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is the essence of the role of a digital or a computer forensic investigator. Your role is highly valuable due to this characteristic as you will be dealing with very sensitive data and information. The data and facts gathered by the investigator are often presented as crucial evidence in a court of law.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Career in Computer Forensics Certification?
The CHFI (ANSI) program requires the candidate to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and be able to provide proof of the same.
What Are the Skills Required to Become a Computer Forensics Analyst?
The role of a computer forensics analyst involves many crucial skills like a keen eye for detail. A few more vital skills are:
- Exceptional analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- A willingness to keep up to date with the newest forensic computing techniques, tools, and software.
- Patience and a systematic and well-organized style of working.
- A keen eye for detail and an investigative frame of mind.
- A composed demeanor and verbal interaction skills for reporting findings and communicating technical information to technical and non-technical people.
- The capability to determine patterns or trends from a large amount of data.
- An aptitude for working under pressure.
- Integrity, impartiality, and able to maintain confidentiality.
Identify the Right Certification Program
There are several high-quality computer forensics certification programs offered by various companies with numerous curriculums. Do your homework well and gather all the relevant information about these programs and select the certification that will give your career a much-needed boost. A popular option is the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) program by EC-Council.
The certification highlights forensics tools, analytical methods, and treatments involved in acquiring, keeping, and presenting digital forensic evidence and information in a court of law. The CHFI course covers a large range of topics and tools (check the exam blueprint). The topics include an overview of computer forensics certification; in-depth coverage of the computer forensics examination process; working with digital proof, anti-forensics, database, and cloud forensics; and examining network traffic, mobile and e-mail forensics, principles, and policies. The courseware is readily available in addition to instructor-led classroom training.
EC-Council is a well-known training and certification organization that concentrates on the arenas of anti-hacking, digital forensics, and penetration testing. In fact, according to Business News Daily, EC-Council is among the best companies when it comes to computer forensics certifications.
Digital or computer forensics has made a breakthrough in the cybersecurity domain by cracking some of the most implausible cases successfully. If this is your calling, then hop on board and enrich your career by gaining unmatched expertise with our accredited CHFI program.