The news these days is often filled with reports of cybercrime. Data breaches seem to occur every week, as major corporations constantly report about hackers stealing customer data. Most recently, Home Depot went under siege as it was reported that the debit and credit card information of estimated 56 million customers had been compromised by POS malware.
With major corporations having access to advanced technology, how do crimes like this manage to escape advanced security software systems? Many times, its human error: phishing, social engineering and software flaws that have gone overlooked have all been blamed for data breach. And human error, along with other forms of malware, is costly—U.S. officials have confirmed that over $445 billion has been lost in 2014 as a result of data breach, and there is no sign that the frequency or probability of this crime will lessen. The focus now then, is retaining talent that can help solve the issues surrounding this subset of criminal activity. But are those sort of individuals easy to come by?
Identified formally as Computer Hacking Forensic Investigators, these individuals study the ins and outs of computer forensics, a form of forensics in which digital evidence is used to solve crimes that occur using computers. The process includes identifying potential illegal activity then providing the applicable legal evidence that a crime has been committed. These specialized criminal investigators are not widely prevalent in the job market—but it’s that fact that makes them extremely desirable to employers.
Becoming a computer hacking forensic investigator doesn’t take years and years of secondary schooling—a simple week of intense, boot-camp training is sufficient for an aspiring cyber-sleuth. CHFI training educates students on how to create sterile examination media, how to legally gain access to classified data, and how to recover “deleted” data for use as evidence.
If today’s prevalent news topics on cybercrime, are any indication of what’s to come in the future, computer hacking forensics investigators will be in demand for a long time to come.