The demand for forensic cybercrime technicians has increased dramatically over the past several decades. With literally a world’s worth of information at our fingertips 24/7, it is no surprise that there are criminals who exploit this information through hacking, spamming, and identity theft. While some criminals intend to publicize private information, there are also those who hide there illegal activity in the recesses of their personal devices. In addition to tracking and exposing criminal network activity, cybercrime investigators also examine and compare photos, videos, and audio recordings from computers, personal laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and surveillance and personal cameras.
How To Become A Forensic Cybercrime Technician
The overarching umbrella of this field is referred to as digital and media forensic sciences. To reflect this broad career path, there are several different certifications, associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees that can prepare you to become a forensic cybercrime and security technician. Educational institutions may offer degree programs in information or computer science with the option to specialize in a cybercrime forensics area. Depending on where you plan to study, you can also pursue a degree in computer forensics or cybersecurity.
Students pursuing this degree at either a two or four year institution will obtain the knowledge necessary to qualify for a number of different jobs in this field. For those interested in pursing a master’s degree can specialize in a specific area. A master’s degree is typically not required to work as a forensic cybercrime technician, but an advanced degree might increase your salary. You will have the technological and investigative skills to be able to effectively reveal, compare, and dissect any data and present it as evidence. Degree programs within this category can offer fundamental classes in information technology and criminal justice. Some of the courses typically offered include:
- Digital Forensics
- Computer Forensics
- Cybercrime Operations
- Audio Analysis
- Cyber Law and Ethics
- Research Techniques
- Court Testimony
There are also a variety of organizations that offer multiple certifications for those interesting in gaining or enhancing the skills required to become a forensic cybercrime and security technician. These certifications range from computer coding to criminal justice law, and everywhere in between. As with the degree programs, certification courses can be offered online as well as in a traditional setting. Below are some of the organizations that offer a plethora of certifications in the digital and multimedia forensic sciences.
- Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
- The International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ISFCE)
- Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB)
Jobs in Cybercrime and Security
Careers in forensic cyber security are evolving and multiplying in order to keep up with the constant expansion of technology. In this field you can work for a federal agency like the FBI, or any public or private organization. No matter where you are employed, you can expect to conduct at least one of the following:
- Network Analysis – This involves preventing, ending, and finding the origins of illegally obtained or fraudulent information online. While this is most closely associate with computers, this practice has now spread to any device that can connect to the internet such as mobile phones and tablets.
- Digital Media Examination – You may need to analyze digital photos and videos for authenticity and be able to enhance the images in order to produce valuable evidence. Ensuring authenticity means examining the content to prove that it is either the original or a direct copy of, and that it has not been edited in any way.
- Audio Analysis – While this is similar to the examining digital media, it can be far more complicated. With voice modulators easily available to criminals, conducting an audio analysis means deciphering and comparing acoustic patterns based on linguistic research. Enhancing the quality of the audio to assist in an investigation and to be presented as evidence is your top priority when analyzing audio.
As previously mentioned, mastering at least one of those three tasks will benefit you in your career no matter where you choose to specialize. Check out the list below to see some of the many career titles within the digital and media forensic sciences.
- Cybercrime Security Technician
- Vulnerability Assesor
- Disaster Recovery Analyst
- Source Code Auditor
- Intrusion Detection Specialist
- Computer Forensic Examiner
- Chief Information Security Officer
There have never been more opportunities in forensic cybercrime and security than there are today. Working in this field can be very rewarding, and luckily there are many different paths that you can take to either start or continue your education in the digital and multimedia forensic sciences. Check out our site to find out more about the different degree programs available to you through both online and brick-and-mortar educational institutions.
Cybercrime and Security Degree Programs
- Colorado Technical University — BSCJ – Cybercrime and Security
- Colorado Technical University — MS in Homeland Security – Cybersecurity Policy
- Liberty University — MS – Cyber Security
- Southern New Hampshire University — MS – Cyber Security
- Utica College — MS – Cybersecurity Intelligence
- Walden University — MS in Forensic Psychology – Cybercrimes