Developing a career in computer forensic investigations is as hard as challenging for anyone who has expertise in one of the following areas: law enforcement, data retrieval, security software and computer science. Each of these is associated with numerous other related fields of activity, most of them branches of the main activities. Therefore, every of these opportunities should be analyzed individually.
It is usually associated with other related fields, such as consulting, financial and academic studies and research. The significance of specific knowledge of the legal environment is vital when starting a computer forensic investigation, because of different more or less obvious reasons. The top of mind is the characteristics of the investigations themselves, these involving proficient know-how in order to analyze the chances of the final report to win in court, based on juridical arguments, previous similar experiences and the anticipation of a possible flow of the process that is to take place. The less obvious advantages are usually used during the investigation itself, in settling the limits the investigator must take into consideration along with some proper legal ways to infringe the common sense usage of the rules. The classical law rules don’t always apply during such an investigation, especially because the expert will never pass the borderline, assuring the widest range of opening of the examination and research procedures.
Together with analysis and system integration, the field is not only a highly sought area, but the salary is also top of this specialization’s line. Easily deduced, the requirements of this job are stringent and severe. Nonetheless, during the last four years the number of applicants has known an exponential growth. The profile most of the employees share is based on a few compulsory characteristics, vital in operation with data fields, research and analysis. Structural thinking, natural orientation towards details, interest in solving problems of all kind, passion for working with numbers, and coherent, yet adaptive decision process are just some of the features needed for a specialist to keep up with the investigative process.
Technology and computer science evolve so fast that the investigation procedures need to be changed and adapted according to the new generation technological equipment and software or applications. For such a rapidly changing field of activity, the analysts must always be up to date with the new equipment they have at their disposal. The processing or examining of data contents is related to a large range of data tools and applications used to recommend, implement, process and analyze the data base. The assessment tools and operating systems used in this process are as complex as they are very efficient. Of course, the threats and drawbacks of this job are that it implies a lot of responsibilities, hence the entire investigations risks to fail because of losing important data during the complex procedures most of the processes require, especially the data recovery ones.
The knowledge needed for these jobs includes different types of knowledge combining more activity fields. Among these, the ones that have a top employing rate are: theories, principles and practices in various technical/ computer science or computer engineering, knowledge of encryption systems, operation with trade craft, security software systems and counterintelligence, inter networking technologies, intelligence analysis and production, law enforcement and foreign languages.