Digital Forensic Analyst

How To Become A Digital Forensic Analyst

While new developments in technology can enhance human lives in different ways, they also come with increased instances of cybercrime. As a result, digital forensics is an emerging field for professionals with a background in computer science. One such role, the digital forensic analyst, allows people to use their knowledge and talents to investigate illegal online activity and promote better cybersecurity. Fairfax University of America is based in Virginia, with a campus in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Discover more about this job and how a master’s degree in cybersecurity and networking enables you to pursue it.

What Is a Digital Forensic Analyst?

Digital forensic analysts work in both public and private organizations, investigating cybersecurity issues and developing strategies to strengthen the safety of digital devices and computer networks. They investigate various online crimes, such as email scams, identity theft, and fraud cases. To conduct thorough investigations, digital forensic analysts may review data from computers, smartphones, tracking devices, and other electronic tools.

There are multiple other names for a digital forensic analyst, including forensic technician, digital forensic examiner, and computer network defense forensic analyst. Regardless of their title, these professionals perform virtually the same tasks, such as:

  • Assessing files, records, and other data from computers and devices
  • Breaking through security features to attain full access to a network
  • Collaborating with law enforcement personnel to confirm dates and facts about data collected from computers, cell phones, and other devices
  • Communicating findings from analysis to other people working on the case using coherent language and observing accepted reporting processes
  • Conducting data analysis to distinguish between relevant and extraneous information amid increasingly complex datasets
  • Evaluating systems to establish the best strategy for classifying culprits
  • Performing backup and recovery carefully to preserve all content of the original file
  • Recognizing patterns and clues within computers and networks to strengthen the evidence
  • Respecting privacy regulations when handling sensitive or personal information such as photographs and financial data
  • Using evidence gathered from investigations to develop mitigation strategies for enhanced cybersecurity

How Digital Forensic Analysts Can Advance Their Careers

Positions and salaries for digital forensic analysts differ based on their industry, location, and specific role. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual wages are $61,930 for forensic science technicians and $102,660 for information security analysts. With that being said, these computer professionals can increase their experience level and education to seek more responsibilities and higher-paying jobs. Strategies for advancing your career as a digital forensic analyst include:

  • Obtaining work experience: In any career, advancement requires honing your skills. Starting in an entry-level digital forensics position allows you to grow in your knowledge of the organization’s networks, systems, and cybersecurity infrastructure. If you excel at your entry-level position, you may receive promotions and higher compensation.
  • Earning certifications: You may not need certifications to secure a digital forensic analyst job, but they can boost your chances among other applicants. Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is a valuable resource for those looking to enhance their cybersecurity knowledge.
  • Pursuing higher education: Many organizations will require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field to apply for a digital forensic analyst role. Additionally, completing a graduate program in computer science or networking and cybersecurity can augment your career prospects.

Why Study at Fairfax University of America?

If you wish to pursue a career as a digital forensic analyst, consider enrolling in the Master of Science in Networking and Cybersecurity (MSNC) degree program at Fairfax University of America. This program is designed for individuals with various backgrounds who want to deepen their understanding of the topics. Students who complete the master’s in networking and cybersecurity will develop the following proficiencies necessary for becoming a digital forensic analyst:

  • Creating and implementing defense strategies to protect computers, networks, and information resources at organizations
  • Communicating with other personnel on a team or across departments
  • Designing solutions to copyright, forensics, privacy, and security challenges in professional and social settings
  • Maintaining and evaluating the performance of multiple network architectural models
  • Recognizing the ethical, legal, and social principles of technologies regarding networking and cybersecurity

Completing the MSNC program will not only prepare you for a career as a digital forensic analyst. Graduates who earn their master’s in cybersecurity and networking also become IT security consultants, security architects, network engineers, chief information security officers (CISOs), and other related positions.

Begin Your Professional Journey in Digital Forensics

Launch your career as a digital forensic analyst with a business-focused education at Fairfax University of America. Our students receive high-quality instruction from knowledgeable professors with experience in their fields. Additionally, we offer flexible payment plans to make tuition and costs affordable for more students.

To learn more about the MSNC program or our undergraduate computer science degree program at our Virginia campus in the Washington, D.C., area, request information online today.