The rate of cyberattacks has been on the rise for the last two years. In 2018, about two million cyberattacks happened and it cost over $45 billion in losses worldwide, according to a source. India ranks 3rd among nations that are most prone to cyberattacks. In 2018, 76 per cent of Indian businesses were hit by cyberattacks.
This boom in the rate of cyberattacks has made companies realise the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals. However, while there are companies that are hiring white hat hackers, there is one more job role that is gaining traction — computer forensics analyst.
In this article, we are going to take a look at how the computer forensics domain is growing big and how one can start a career in this domain.
What Is Computer or Cyber Forensics
Computer forensics a.k.a cyber forensics is a crucial branch of the cybersecurity ecosystem. While network analysts, white hat hackers, all are important in the domain, cyber forensics experts have also a major role to play.
Cyber forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device or a victim device such as an electronic document, computer, laptop, and storage mediums such as USB drives, hard disks etc.
Cyber forensics expert performs a thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened on a computing device and who was responsible for it. And for that, they also perform extraction of existing or deleted information from a storage or computing device.
If you are wondering if there is a set of protocols that an expert needs to follow, then yes, there are a standard set of procedures. One of the examples of the procedures is to always have a soft copy of the device that is going to be inspected and keeping the device locked in a safe and secure facility. Once they are done investigating and gathering all the evidence, they create an in-depth report that could be used for legal proceedings of the entire case.
Skills To Become A Computer Forensics Analyst
Just like every other profession from the cybersecurity domain, computer forensics analyst also has a set of prerequisites. To pursue a course on cyber forensics, one needs to have a bachelor's degree in computer forensics. Further, one also needs to have a post-graduation in Cyber Forensics or need to get a certification in Information or Cybersecurity in order to land a cyber forensics analyst job.
The Learning Phase
As companies are looking to hire more and more cyber forensics analyst, the concept of cyber forensics courses in India has started to gain that much-anticipated traction. While many schools and training centers ask for a bachelor’s degree, there are other schools as well that provide certificate and associate's degree programs in this field.
Furthermore, these courses are considered to be a good choice for people who don't have a cybersecurity background or want to learn things from scratch. From the introduction of the domain to realtime training and audits, these courses cover everything.
Some of the best places to learn Cyber forensics:
- Center for development of advanced computing (CDAC)
- Indian school of ethical hacking (ISOEH)
- IFS Forensic Science Education
But if someone is from the IT domain or have enough knowledge about cybersecurity, they might not have to take up a course; however, they need to get a certification done to work as a computer forensics expert. Here are some of the certifications:
- Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE)
- Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) Certification
- Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
Furthermore, during the course, you also have to make sure that you put in your efforts and consume enough knowledge about some of the most important aspects of cyber forensics. Here are they:
- Fundamentals: Basics are one of the most important things in this domain. You have to have a stronghold of all the basics.
- Data Recovery: It is one of the most important aspects of cyber forensics. Most of the time professionals are provided with devices that are either formatted or erased and if the cyber forensic professional doesn’t have the know-how to recover data, then there it is going to be really difficult to survive in the domain.
- Understand Cyber Laws: Every country has its own set of protocols and laws. And when you are working in the cybersecurity domain, you have to have complete knowledge and understanding of the cyber laws. For India, you can take a look at the cyber laws here.
The Career Options
After completing your cyber forensic course and getting your certification, the thought of joining a company and start working as a cyber forensic analyst might be really intriguing; however, there are few things you have to keep in mind as you are new to the domain.
Whatever you learn in a training centre is not the entire thing, the real learning starts when you enter the industry. Therefore, try to learn more by interacting with fellow cyber forensic analysts.
There are other roles besides the usual cyber forensic analyst - computer forensics analyst, computer forensics investigator, computer forensics specialist, computer forensics technician, digital forensics specialist, forensic computer examiner that one can explore.
The need for computer forensic experts is growing rapidly. Talking about market growth, according to a source, the Global Digital Forensics Market is estimated to reach $7 billion by 2024.
Also, one of the major benefits of this job role is the fact that it not only allows you to work with private firms but also let you join government bodies. With so much cyber-attacks happening every single year, Government agencies from all across the world are spending a huge amount of money on cyber forensics; they on a spree to recruiting the best talents from the industry to prepare a cyber incident response and recovery teams. If you have been thinking of making a switch or joining this domain, then it is definitely the right time to do so.
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Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.