What Are The Responsibilities Of A Forensics Expert?
A Forensics Expert is the digital detective of cyber crime world. You will be responsible for finding and analysing evidence from networks, computers and other storage devices.
As a digital detective, your main duties will put you head to head against the criminals by investigating the traces they leave within their complex attacks against systems. You’ll be against malware attackers, cyber terrorists and even white collar embezzlers.
Forensics experts are buried throughout the day working with electronic evidences. Your company will expect you to:
- Extract and examine data from electronic storage devices and computers
- Find system and networks that are compromised with attacks
- Prepare evidence for trial, write declarations and draft technical reports for your company
- Help law enforcement understand the credibility of any acquired data
- Help law enforcement officers understand the computer evidence procedures
- Keep up to date in your response and reverse engineering skills as well as your forensics basics
- Conduct security incident and data breach investigations
- Rebuild any damaged systems and dismantle them to retrieve data that was lost
- Collect and compile any evidence found for legal cases
- Give technically expert counsel to attorneys if electronic evidence has to be included inside a case
- Take part in court hearing and proceedings by provide expert testimony
- Keep up to date with emerging tools, methodologies and technologies
Most global firms have their in house forensics expert working for them. But most forensics experts are usually working within legal firms, large corporations, law enforcement or private consulting firms.
You’ll be glad to know that a forensics expert is in high demand within the government. For example, FBI’s computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) has nearly 500 forensics expert agents throughout the country.
Forensics Experts quickly climb through the ladders to become:
Junior Forensics Analyst
Senior Forensics Analyst
Senior Forensics Manager
A lot of forensics experts start their career through working in Law Enforcement. If you are interested, you may never need to work in a general IT field. By working for law enforcement, you can work your way to become a forensics expert by completing on job trainings.
Forensics Experts are also known as:
Computer Forensics Engineer
Computer Forensics Investigator
Computer Forensics Specialist
Computer Forensics Examiner
Information Security Crime Investigator
Computer Crime Specialist
A computer forensics expert can earn as much as $68,458 in average per year. Maximum earning can reach anywhere from $40,214 to $117,578 per year (2016 figures).
Forensics Expert job position is a technical role. This means as a newcomer, you are expected to at least possess a bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Computer science with a focus in Cyber security or digital forensics. You’ll be expected to know a lot about current cyber crime techniques on top of your basic and advance computer knowledge.
To increase your chances of landing a job, you should possess a masters degree in computer forensics. Add in certifications and special training to even further increase your chances.
Most employers are willing to hire you if you have a technical bachelor’s degree. But remember, they will have to see a lot of relative experience before hiring.
The relative work experience requirements are very different for this role. For example, in one company, they may require you to have at least 1-2 years of experience in forensics as an entry level analyst. And in other scenarios, company may want to see 2-3 years experience. Some even demand more than 5 years experience.
an entry level forensics expert may have trouble finding relevant experience in the job field. It is better to apply for internships or training programs to add as experiences.
Like they say, to catch a criminal, you have to step in the feet of one. You are expected to have insight and curiosity with exceptional oral and advance communication skills. These are important because you will spend a lot of time writing down technical reports and explaining them to laymen.
You should be so well versed that whatever you have to say must convince judge and jury. You will also be occasionally speaking to clients and lawyers who barely know anything about cyber security. So you need to have great oral and written communication skills that translates your findings to a common man.
Technical skills required are listed below:
- Windows, Linux and UNIX operating system understanding
- Computer hardware
- software systems
- archiving technologies
- Forensic software application understanding
- Evidence handling procedures
- cloud computing
- C,C++, Java and other computer programing languages
- Network skills like TCP/IP and other modern communications
- Operating system installation and set up
- principles of cryptography
There are tons of professional certifications that can help boost your job application. If you are confused on which to take, you should ask your peers/mentors/seniors. A lot of employers also specifically mention what accreditations they need to see.
You can take on:
CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
GCFE: GIAC Certified Forensics Examiner
GCIH: GIAC Certified Incident Handler
CPT: Certified Penetration Tester
CCE: Certified Computer Examiner
ENCE: EnCase Certified Examiner
GCFA: GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst
CCFE: Certified Computer Forensics Examiner
CREA: Certified Reverse Engineering Analysts
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