What Careers are in Digital Forensics?

Careers in digital forensics are increasing in number each year, because digital crimes are becoming more common. There were an estimated 1.5 million cyber attacks in 2015 alone, according to CBS. This increase in digital crimes means that there’s a need for professionals in the digital forensic world who can fight against digital crimes, investigate digital attacks and dig through data to prosecute criminals.

Forensic Digital Analyst

A forensic digital analyst digs through the information left behind at the scene of a computer crime. The analyst gathers the data that was compromised on the victim’s computer and stores that data to be analyzed. An analyst can also gain access to password-protected computers to extract important information used to commit the crime including where the attack originated. Along with a working knowledge and skills to examine data, the analyst needs to handle sensitive data. This requires an expertise and sensitivity that can only partially be learned in school.

The analyst will need a bachelor’s degree in cyber security, digital forensics or related topic. A person with experience might be able to gain an associate’s degree and find a career in digital forensics.

Information Security Specialist

The specialist is a person who will provide security and protection for the computer system in a company. He or she is on guard against attacks with current software and vigilant security practices. The specialist stays on top of news and attends conferences to be informed about new cybersecurity software as well as new attacks that are gaining traction. This person will often perform their own attacks to be sure that the company is not vulnerable.

The specialist will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity or computer forensics for a career in digital forensics as an information security specialist.

Security Consultant

A consultant can work for an agency or be a private contractor hired by companies to assess their vulnerability to attack. This person will try to penetrate the company’s current protection and provide the company with a plan on how to keep themselves safe in the future. The security consultant might be called into a company after there’s been an attack or attempted attack on the company’s security.

This position requires the consultant to have current knowledge and ongoing certifications to deal with cutting-edge technology employed by hackers. To start, the consultant will need a bachelor’s degree in digital forensics before gaining some experience in the field.

Detective or Investigator

Most of the careers above are with business in the private sector. A cyber detective or investigator works in law enforcement to investigate cases where laws were broken. The investigator will gather data on the crime itself and the data left behind in the breach. From there, the investigator and other officers will track the attack back to the source.

The detective or investigator will need a degree in forensic science as well as some experience in the field of law enforcement. The detective will have to go through police training too.

Related Resource: 5 Great Websites For Forensics Professionals

With the increase in cybersecurity crimes, there’s a definite need for people interested in careers in digital forensics. They’ll need an advanced degree to enter the field of digital forensics to fight against cyber attacks.