January 12, 2016 Career Building

Information Security Career Path: Digital Forensic Investigator

Information Security Career Path: Digital Forensic Investigator

Digital forensic investigators play a key role in the discovery and prosecution of cyber crimes. This information security career path can help professionals find a place in law enforcement as well as in the legal and business sectors. In addition to a deep understanding of current forensic techniques and procedures, investigators apply legal and ethical principals to ensure the accuracy and reliability of forensic evidence.

What Does a Digital Forensic Investigator Do?
Also known as a forensic analyst or cyber investigator, the digital forensic investigator is charged with the recovery and analysis of electronic data to assist in criminal prosecutions or civil litigation. Typically associated with law enforcement and legal teams, these professionals are needed to uncover evidence relating to cyber crimes, like hacking, identity theft, financial fraud, and more.

Tasks performed by a digital forensics investigator often include:

  • Data recovery from computer hard drives and data storage devices
  • Digital evidence analysis
  • Interview people in relation to digital evidence
  • Prepare evidence-based reports to assist in investigation or prosecution
  • Testify in legal proceedings

Start Your Career with the Right Foundation
As with all information security career paths, the key to success is foundational cybersecurity knowledge coupled with specialized skills and expertise. A Bachelor’s in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program will provide well-rounded education in enterprise-wide information security methods to ensure the protection and confidentiality of data assets. You’ll gain experience with programming, software architecture, database systems, and more.

To augment your bachelor’s degree, consider earning an entry-level certification such as the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, or CompTIA Security+. These certifications meet the needs of employers and set the stage for a successful information security career.

Specialize with a Master’s Degree Program
To thrive as a digital forensics specialist, you’ll likely need to take your capabilities to the next level by gaining deeper knowledge and more specialized skill sets. A Master’s in Digital Forensics program can provide the education and hands-on experience required to succeed in this growing field. You’ll gain the skills to analyze data structures, formats, and systems to identify, recover, and examine data as you complete investigations and communicate findings to law enforcement or other interested parties.

Specialized certifications can verify your skills and knowledge of digital forensics. The Certified Cyber Forensice Professional (CCFP) and Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) certifications are highly valued in the field.

Explore Capella University’s online Bachelor's in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity and Master's in Digital Forensics programs.