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Career in Cyber Forensics

Cyber Forensics

Cyber forensics is the process of extracting information and data from computer storage media and guaranteeing its accuracy and reliability. The challenge lies in actually finding this data, collecting it, preserving it, and presenting it in a manner acceptable in a court of law. Electronic evidence is fragile and can be easily modified. Moreover, cyber thieves, criminals, dishonest (and even honest) employees hide, wipe, disguise, cloak, encrypt and destroy evidence from storage media using a variety of freeware, shareware and commercially available programs. Global dependency on technology combined with the expanding presence of the internet as a key and strategic resource requires that corporate assets are well-protected and safeguarded. When these assets come under attack, or are misused, infosecurity professionals can gather electronic evidence of such misuse and summon it to book the culprits. Today, a cyber forensic expert can cull and analyse every kind of evidence from cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), SIM cards, iPods and other devices. They can retrieve any kind of data from these devices, even if the information is deleted. Although firmly established as both an art as well as a science, cyber forensics is still in its infancy here. With technology evolving, mutating and changing at such a rapid pace, rules governing the application of cyber forensics to the fields of auditing, security, and law enforcement are changing as well. Almost daily, new techniques and procedures are evolving to equip infosecurity professionals with electronic evidence to collect, preserve, and present it for potential use in spotting and prosecuting cyber criminals (whose rank is ever increasing). A large number of e-forensic experts are required to book these criminals. The industry also needs people who can handle the latest cyber forensic equipment introduced from time to time by cyber security equipment manufacturers. Cyber forensic experts are required in the defence, government and financial sectors. As technologies advance, so does the area of digital forensics. Many major companies have introduced cyber security solution divisions, where these professionals can easily find jobs. A fresher could join as an information security engineer and work his way up to become a principal or lead consultant. Depending on your skills, you could even move into management and head particular practices. With experience, you could also work as an advisor in government departments of various ministries or as security auditors and network administrators in technology firms. Just the other day, I was talking to someone from the World Bank here, who said they were looking at recruiting forensic accountants, but not making much headway as there are presently very few of them.