It is no secret that individuals skilled in the art of cybersecurity are in high demand, both within the public and private sectors, as the wave of data breaches and terror-related threats reaches pandemic level. Cyber or digital forensics is an intrinsic function which falls under the cyber umbrella, with those relevantly skilled professionals undertaking the examination of computer systems, data and networks to identify and acquire evidence and intelligence for legal purposes to ultimately thwart these breaches and attacks.
For those candidates looking for cyber forensics jobs in the UK, they will find a large proportion of those roles available within the sector of law enforcement, particularly regionally where local police and constabulary departments are looking for digital forensic experts. Government departments, banks, Big Four firms, security services enterprises and other financial entities are also excellent places to look for jobs in cyber forensics.
With median salaries typically ranging between £20,000 – 60,000 dependent on role and level of experience, according to the National Careers Service, candidates looking for a way into a career in cyber forensics could look to apply to a level four apprenticeship, as offered by a number of major companies and the security services.
Candidates looking to apply their digital forensic aptitude are expected to have an undergraduate degree in computer science, maths, or physics with additional qualifications in the area of ethical hacking, digital forensics or information security. Employers are also looking for those experienced with industry forensic software, such as Encase, FTK or Nuix, as well as excellent communicators and individuals who can demonstrate equal strength in working within a team and working independently. You will be expected to provide tactical advice to those you are working with during active operations and investigations and thus must be extremely organised in your findings and your method of delivery both written and verbal. Ensuring you are meticulous in how you document your findings is an important factor in that level of organisation as they will often serve as evidence in legal cases and need to be presented before a judge or other law officials.
Digital forensics is a technical field which is why a background in computer science stands candidates at an advantage when applying to cyber forensics roles. Employers are looking for individuals with a deep understanding of how technology works as well as experience with computer systems, programming, networks or similar because the definitive goal of a cyber forensics expert is to evaluate the operation of a digital system and how and where it could be compromised.
Similarly, cybersecurity expertise is relevant to cyber forensics in furnishing professionals with an insight into the techniques being used to target systems, which in turn facilitates the prevention of cyber-crimes and assistance in solving those that occur. Equally importantly is the ability to think analytically, as applicable to anyone serving an investigative purpose, and in cyber forensics applying this thinking in double the time is hugely important. Cyber forensics jobs require individuals with the skill to see patterns and make the relevant correlations that will ultimately solve the case.
Certifications that employers look for cover the breadth of cyber computer forensics with CISSP, CEH, CCFP, CCE, CHFI, CFCE, GCFA and EnCEP, among others all being valuable assets for candidates applying to cyber forensics jobs. With technology an intrinsic element of this discipline, employers expect a level of knowledge and demonstrable proficiency with coding languages including Assembler, C, C++, Java, Perl and Python.
You may also be interested in the below articles: