The rapid increase of fraudulent internet crimes and other cyber-related offenses has consequently encouraged a growing number of individuals to pursue a computer forensics degree. While computers have become extensively available and technically advanced, cyber crimes have continued to be prevalent as felons take advantage of the electronic media for illegal and shady purposes. Due to the dynamic nature of digital technology, computer forensic jobs are apparently enlarging to meet newer and larger challenges in overcoming cyber crimes that have also turned elaborate and more complex. Unlawful undertakings in the internet have gone widespread, ranging from fraud to child pornography.
Over the years, forensic science — which has remained a fascinating approach in identifying and solving crimes through scientific and systematic means — has expanded to the digital domain. Digital evidences which are meticulously gathered by certified experts, who have undergone intensive computer forensics training, are currently proven to be authentic, reliable and admissible after following specific legal guidelines during civil and criminal court proceedings. The computer forensics degree focuses on the basic forensic principles of methodically collecting, recovering, preserving, identifying, analyzing, interpreting and reporting data or evidence for legal means.
Current trends in computer forensic science reveal that, despite the use of advanced technology in the investigative processes, there is still a steady need for more professionals with adept computer forensics training background and extensive experience in this field. Reputable universities, colleges and other educational institutions hold comprehensive computer forensics degree programs that provide a solid digital and legal knowledge base with extensive technical training. Aspirants and currently employed computer forensic technicians could further enhance their chances of attaining and maintaining more lucrative careers by acquiring computer forensics certification which ascertains proficiency and reliability.
Attaining a computer forensics degree does not only guarantee a future in law enforcement but also in the corporate and private business industry. Each piece of data stored in an electronic media will never be absolutely erased and will always leave an imprint that would later serve as pertinent clues during investigations in any criminal case or corporate violation. Computer histories, files, electronic mails and instant message archives which have been deleted either deliberately or accidentally can be retrieved through technical and systematic methods employed by computer forensics experts. Web server logs and internet caches can provide accurate information on every entity that has gained access to the sites. Information would include specified time and date of access, entity’s current IP address, visited web page or link, HTTP referrer and codes, total quantity of served bytes, and user agents.
For the corporate and private business arena, computer forensics jobs focus significantly in maintaining the company’s integrity and continuance in terms of safeguarding vital information and network security against illegal intrusions. Prevailing cyber crimes identified nowadays are hacking, identity theft, scam, spam, cyber stalking, credit card fraud, non-delivery of merchandise or of payment, child pornography, child grooming, espionage, intellectual property destruction and other forms of financial theft.
Basic in every computer forensic degree program are the established digital forensic methods of investigation generally divided into three major steps, namely acquisition, analysis and reporting. When conducting computer forensic procedures, various learned techniques are applied. Cross-drive analysis helps in detecting cyber anomalies by coordinating data stored in several hard drives. Live analysis is a method done inside an operating network, in which files that have been purposely encrypted to secure them from individuals who can access the system can be effectively opened and critically examined. Previously deleted files can be restored through forensic digital tools, such as a number of software capable of retrieving or extracting data layer by layer.
Computer forensic standards have been set reasonably high as unlawful cyber cases surge. A specialist who carries a computer forensics degree should be adept not only with the theoretical and technical aspects of the field but also with laws regarding computer security and safeguarding of privacy and information. Accredited learning institutions provide training and computer forensics certification necessary for thriving and high paying digital forensics careers.