The internet is currently a haven for avid like-minded users, and simultaneously, a dangerous route towards the world’s greatest crimes. There is an on-going demand to hire personnel skilled in computer forensics and cybersecurity for the detection and deterrence of alleged online scams and hacked websites. Ranging from phishing or spoofing scams and security breaches to online harassment, embezzlement and fraud, computer forensics can help recover and strengthen the odds in technology.
The primary goal of computer forensics is to identify and combat digital crimes that are both illegal and hazardous to one’s legitimate privacy. Usually, this field is monitored or supervised by the government where law enforcement officials appoint a team of computer forensics to highlight and take legal action against said illegal activity online.
Computer forensics can excite people who are actively interested to pursue a career in this field. With the increasing number of people joining computer forensics currently, there is definitely a significant charm in overcoming security breaches and retrieving ‘lost’ or ‘deleted’ data to hone down on the culprit(s).
Begin the Journey with a Degree
First things first – if you think you don’t have the ability for tackling a ton of hacking books or basic understanding of the science involved, then computer forensics might not be for you. Consider yourself on the first step of the ladder if you’re ready to go all in and yet, agree to learn and improve at all times. For starters, you need to understand the fundamentals – hacking books, networking concepts, digital languages, and basics regarding cryptocurrency and online security.
Usually, people belonging to non-technical backgrounds might struggle along the way for some time. However, let’s not get intimidated, especially if you have the passion to crack your books (and software). While many people wouldn’t consider themselves to be qualified, there are plenty of resources online that help to polish your high-tech scrutiny skills.
From diplomas or grad degrees offered by academic universities to private courses with certificates by cybersecurity grads, there is a lot of material online that can help you acquire a lot of technical knowledge and programming experience. We personally suggest considering a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics so that you can learn about networking terminologies and hacking concepts systematically.
Usually, most technical degrees offer major courses in computer science, information technology or criminal justice with minors in computer forensics and cybersecurity. If you’re not considering a bachelor’s degree, then try going for a professional certification course from a reputed organization that can help you become a professional within a year.
While the certification course might be a profound alternative to a degree, always remember that you can actually get a job with a high computer forensics payscale if you pursue a professional graduate degree from an academic university.
Get Hired by a Law Enforcement Firm
For many people, a basic guide or textbook helps them to conquer their position in the corporate world and henceforth, enables them to gain experience. However, for others, such as computer forensic analysts, significant experience in the relative field might help them acquire relevant training and strengthen their career more vividly, as per The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Similarly, many law enforcement firms offer training programs for graduates of digital forensics, allowing them to grasp concepts in a new light.
In addition to law abiding independent agencies, computer forensic analysts are also hired by state agencies or employed by the government for secretive security missions. While a majority of them might be within the state, some of them might warrant a trip to a certain foreign country for better management and operation.
To be a computer forensic analyst, always remember to raise your moral and ethical standards. You have to be a law abiding citizen especially if you plan on presenting your services for litigation to the government. Also, before you get hired, you might have to go through polygraph examinations and high authentication measures; not to mention, thorough and vigorous background checks to ensure you’re fit to serve the law enforcement authorities.
Other Career Opportunities in Cybersecurity
If you plan on disregarding a role as a law abiding computer forensic analyst in a governmental agency, then don’t worry as this career isn’t limited at all. Apart from acquiring a number of skills for combating digital crimes, a computer forensic analyst also has access to resources such as Wi-Fi forensics, mobile device acquisition, software writer blockers, and web browser forensics for investigating computer crimes. With this skill set, you can not only work as a computer analyst in a law agency, but also as a private detective or cybersecurity consultant as well.
For instance, as a private detective, you can work in collaboration with a forensic computer analyst and provide investigative services for both personal and legal affairs. You will be required to further ensure a detailed background check on the suspected persons for your client which at times, might involve investigating bank and other data records. You can also get hired to assist a forensic computer analyst in investigating digital crimes online.
Cybersecurity consultants, similar to business consultants, work as guidance counselors for agencies and informers of resources for combating digital crimes. For instance, a cybersecurity consultant guides you towards the resources you require for preserving and protecting your data from phishing attacks. A cybersecurity consultant can also explain you the potency of digital attacks, with the routes and tools that are highly susceptible for combating the adversary.
Computer forensics opens the door to several opportunities, as the potential to learn never goes uninhibited. With the technological field advancing day by day, the dark side of the internet is posing new hazards to data security and individual privacy. Computer forensics is an ideal career option for technical geeks who thrive on digital tools and hacking resources for protecting people so that justice can (eventually and finally) prevail.