Photo Credit: Djalma Fonseca
“While standing in the courtroom, the qualifications and courses validate that you have requisite skills to carryout digital forensic analysis. One more important thing, they build your CREDIBILITY in the courtroom.”
Before you start justifying your digital forensic report in the courtroom to the judge, he has to accept you as an Expert Witness. What are the factors the court looks into before declaring you (the digital forensic analyst and the author of the digital forensic report) as an Expert Witness? Well let me state them for you:
- Notification of the Digital Forensics laboratory.
- Qualifications of the Analyst.
- Experience in terms of years and No of cases analysed.
- No of times, the analyst has previously deposed as an Expert Witness.
- Continuity in training (which includes Digital Forensic Courses).
Basic qualifications such as B Tech and M Tech are the technical pre requisites to enter into the field of Digital Forensics but not only ones (I will cover this in detail some other time). Courses are the best way to start your professional career in digital forensics. It opens doors for internships and jobs for a new entrants. Most of the hiring agencies look for certifications before giving you an opportunity to attend an interview. I refer to them as a ‘GATE PASS’.
While standing in the court room, the courses done by you validate that you have requisite skills to carryout analysis. One more important thing, courses builds your CREDIBILITY in the courtroom.
There are numerous courses available which give over all exposure to digital forensics investigations. Many courses are tool based courses which I am not discussing today.
Earnings. Digital forensics is a very niche and lucrative field for those who have adequate knowledge and experience. ‘SimpyHired’ puts the average salary for intermediate digital forensic professionals in the U.S. to $63,959. While a senior forensic expert is expected to earn earn six figures in metropolitan cities ($107,000 for forensic analysts and more than $127,000 for digital forensic roles).On the other hand ‘PayScale’, calculation puts the average forensic computer analyst salary to $70,000 a year, (range $45,000 -$115,000).
According to 2019 article published in Business News Daily top five digital forensic certifications for 2019 as per several popular online job boards as under which will also give you an idea of the number of digital forensic jobs with specific certification requirements:
| ||SimplyHired || Indeed || LinkedIn Jobs || LinkUp ||Total|
|GCFA (SANS GIAC)||422||489||857||294||2,062|
|GCFE (SANS GIAC)||203||226||433||143||1,005|
(Source:- https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10755-best-digital-forensics-certifications.html )
As per EDUSUM (Online Certification Website) Top 5 digital forensics certifications are:
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). Resource Centre for Cyber Forensics (RCCF) is an embedded centre within CDAC, Thiruvananthapuram pursuing research in Cyber Forensics area. RCCF has developed number of indigenous tools for collecting digital evidence pertinent to different areas like disk forensics, network forensics, device forensics, live forensics, enterprise forensics, Multimedia forensics and virtualized environment forensics. It also conducts digital forensics course named ‘Certificate Course in Cyber Forensics & Cyber Laws (CCCFCL)’.
Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). There are five GIAC certifications related to digital forensics and incident response. SANS is the organization behind the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program.
- GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)
- GIAC Advanced Smartphone Forensics (GASF)
- GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE)
- GIAC Network Forensic Analyst (GNFA)
- GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM)
Other Certifications. There are plenty other certifications doing rounds. It is the end user who has to decide which course he should take. I am mentioning few links and courses but that does not mean they are the only ones.
- Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFP) by (ISC)2 .
Some other time I will write about various global institutions providing Diploma, Graduate and Post Graduate programs on Digital Forensics. I also plan to write on Tool based certifications which will be done separately.