Computer Forensics Specialist Computer Forensics, also called digital forensics, network forensics, or cyber forensics, is a rapidly growing field that involves gathering and analyzing evidence from computers and networks. Because computers and the internet are the fastest growing technology used for criminal activity, the need for computer forensic specialists will increase in years to come. A computer forensics specialist examines computer media, programs, data, and log files on computers, servers, and networks.
According to Shelly and Cashman (Computer Careers), many areas employ computer forensics specialists including law enforcements, criminal prosecutors, military intelligence, insurance agencies, and information security departments in the private sector. A computer forensics specialist must have knowledge of the law, technical experience with many types of hardware and software products, superior communication skills, a willingness to learn, and update skills, and a knack for problem solving.
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When problem solving occurs, it is the responsibility of the computer forensics specialist to carefully take several steps to identify and retrieve possible evidence that many exist on a suspect’s computer. These steps include protecting the suspect’s computer, discovering all the files, recovering deleted files, revealing hidden files, accessing protected or encrypted files, analyzing all the data, and providing expert consultation and/or testimony as required (Reinman 52-58).
A computer forensics specialist must have knowledge of all aspects of the computer, from the operating system to computer architecture and hardware design. In the past, many computer forensics specialists were self-taught computer users. Today, extensive training usually from several different sources, is required. A degree in Computer Science should be supplemented with graduate courses and university-level professional development certificates. Entry level salaries range from 45,000 to 75,000. With experience and certifications, salaries can exceed 125,000 (Turrell 44-55).
With the growing use of computers in all areas of life, the number of computer crimes surely will continue to ride. As a result, the need for skilled specialists to battle these crimes will increase for many years to come. Works Cited Reinman, David P. “Fighting Cybercriminals. ” Cybertech Montly February 2008: 52-58. Shelly, Gary B. , and Thomas J. Cashman. “Computer Careers. ” Course Technology. 7 March 2008 <www. scsite. com/wd2007/pr2/wc. html>. Turrell, Marcia O. , and Alex N. Gutierrez. Cybercrimes and Criminals. El Paso: Legal Works Publishing Company, 2008.