Computer forensics investigations require consistent education preparations in the field as well as certifications to testify the capacity of the employee to perform the necessary operation in order to locate, recover or classify the information needed in order to relevantly contribute content-wise to the developed investigation.
Job Certifications for computer forensics
Despite what you may have seen in movies, you need a certification; it doesn’t define who you are or how good you are, but you need it for the job – simple as that.
But the degree/certification is only necessary – and not sufficient. No matter where you work for, be it law enforcement agencies, state agencies or private companies you will need to be able to promptly extract information not only from computers, but also from smartphones, tables, and pretty much every single gadget out there. Therefore, the most general job requirements demand excellent knowledge of all computer subdomains, especially hard drives and database – but you need to know your way around software too. The type of certification chosen by the trainee is defining for the type of computer forensics job it will apply on, since the specifics are continuously developing in the field.
There is no classification of computer forensic types per se, but here is one that applies pretty well:
Ethical Hacker. Going through the techniques most of the hackers use in order to jeopardize technologically stored information helps improving the precision of the backwards route in examining the exact steps that have been followed.
Security Analyst. The domain of information security knowledge is very challenging taking into consideration the penetration testing rate and the backtracking requirements, reason for which such specificity has an increasing requesting rate in the field. Reverse Engineering is a related specialization in charge with backtracking the hacking phases that the database has been through.
Crime Investigation and Malware Analyst are another two connected fields of specialization. Gathering evidence, finding necessary information for the investigation, converting the recovered files and information into compatibility programs, responding to incident reports and suggesting technological improvement when needed are the key in solving examinations after the damage has been made.
Data discovery. The capacity to find the encrypted data constitutes the first important step in the investigative process, reason for which it is highly important to be efficient, therefore the hiring rate is higher for the specialists with a solid knowledge background and capacity to easily adapt to a situation or work in stress conditions.
Computer forensics jobs’ names vary from a company / institution to another. A digital forensics investigator for instance in a company will be called digital forensics analyst or examiner in other organization.
The main scale on which a regular forensics computer analyst can evolve goes through the following stages: Security Administrator, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Manager, Web Security Manager and Information Security VP or Director. Of course, these degrees are rather qualitative than descriptive, therefore they only outline the experience of a computer forensics specialist in the field and the competitiveness over time and not the direction of the job.
Descriptive job positions range from consultant to engineer, after the following scheme: Forensics Consultant (the position is an entry level based function), Forensics Administrator (another entry level position), Forensics Documentation and Media Exploitation, Digital Forensics Analyst / Examiner (the name depends on the institution that performs the hiring), Malware and Security Forensics Investigator, Forensics Accountant (usually opted for by middle positions) and Data Visualization and Backtracking Forensics Engineer (senior position).
The job positions and descriptions from the work contract never get to resume to the specifications in there, since the work of a computer forensic investigator in the field is in continuous progress, reason for which technical knowledge of both hardware and software basics is required on any hiring process.