Nowadays, a good majority of the world is run by computers. They have made our lives and many jobs easier. However, because of this increase in the use of computer technology in most areas, everything is now susceptible to cybercrime. Thankfully, a relatively new field of law enforcement has grown to combat the increase in computer crimes. This field is called Digital Forensics.
Check out this TED Talk by Davin Teo to learn a little more about Digital Forensics.
“Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime.”  The type of cases that a Digital Forensic Specialist might see include things like proving someone’s location by using GPS tracking, copyright issues, privacy/harassment issues such as cyber stalking, identity theft, hackings, credit card fraud, etc…. Because of the wide range of technology and cybercrimes, there are several sub-branches of digital forensics: computer, network, data analysis, Internet, and mobile devices. Digital Forensic Specialists uncover the digital information to be used in a court of law to “attribute evidence to specific suspects, confirm alibis or statements, determine intent, identify sources, or authenticate documents.”  Even though a good majority of Digital Forensic Specialist work within law enforcement, there are job opportunity in the private sector for large companies and in private investigations.
Each investigation has a three stage process: acquisition of the materials or device by creating a copy, analysis of the item to determine use, and reporting. “There is a critical need in the law enforcement community to ensure the reliability of computer forensic tools.”  Because of this the National Institute of Standards and Technology created the Computer Forensic Tool Testing project to establish the methodology for testing the tools used in digital forensics.
To become a Digital Forensics Specialist, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer programming, and some schools are now offering degrees in digital forensics. You must also have a strong knowledge of computer technology, programming, and networking; be able to keep up with the technology; a good understanding math and science; ability to think critically and problem solve; be able to focus on attention to detail; and communicate effectively.
Want to learn more? There is a magazine dedicated to the field. Visit it here! And check out this great news story talking about why students should consider a career in Digital Forensics.
And did you know that Superheroes use this type of technology to help save the day?! Check out this Medium article, “Five Superheroes Who Use Encryption for Good.”
Have a Computer Science career that you’re interested in knowing more about or one that you would like to share with us? If so, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may choose it for a future blog!