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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Essay on Computer Forensic Specialist

            In today’s digital world, any business organization which has been victimized by cyber crimes and white collar crimes need the specialized knowledge and skills of a computer forensics specialist.  As the world becomes dependent on computers and the Internet there is the need even more for computer forensics specialists who have advanced knowledge in information systems security, computer programs and computer protection.  The relevance of these specialists has become even more imperative in view of the fact that these crimes are borderless.    For instance, any bank or government agency in the United States may be victimized by a computer hacker who may be located in Asia or the United Kingdom.

            Even private individuals may be surprised to find out that they also need help and protection from a computer forensic specialist.  Consider the countless cases of parents whose minor children have been victimized sexual predators online. (“Computer Forensics” 2) Police investigators do not have the adequate skill and knowledge to deal with these sexual predators.

Computer Forensic Specialists are the ones who will help private individuals and business organization to determine the root cause of hackers’ attacks, trace the location and identity of the computer hacker, and gather evidence against him in preparation of a legal suit.  Indirectly, private individuals and business organizations will also learn from a computer forensics specialist on how to detect weaknesses in the company’s computer systems and strengthen it so that the company may not be victimized again by computer crimes.  

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The job of a computer forensics specialist is not like the ones we see on television.  Most people think that it is glamorous.  Most people say that it is simply about taking the evidence and files purposely hidden or deleted by the suspect to avoid being detected. (Dave Iverson 2) Anyone looking for a glamorous job need is making a mistake being a computer forensics specialist.  Harry Megerian, a former computer forensics specialist with the US Treasury Department, says that it is a job for those who are not detail and process-oriented.  (Ann Bednarz 1)  He added that 95% of the job of a computer forensics specialist is all about protocol, routine analytics and executing projects in a uniform way. (Ann Bednarz 1) For instance, the gathering and storage of evidence must follow certain procedures.  It is very important that the evidence be properly handled, labeled, photograph and tied inside a sealed evidence locker in short term, and possibly to a state crime lab for long term storage and examination so as to avoid the possibility of damaging the data that may be recovered from the hard drive.  It is also important that the chain of custody be properly established to ensure that the evidence does not fall into the wrong hands (Pettinari 3).  In addition, access to the area should be limited to a very few key personnel, usually those responsible for performing forensic analysis or those key personnel responsible for transmitting  the evidence material to state crime lab or other s analysis maintaining proper chain of custody. 

            In order to become a qualified computer forensic specialist, the person needs to obtain a degree either in computer forensics or any computer-related courses such as computer science or computer engineering.  In addition, since the function of a computer forensic specialist is quite specialized, any person who want to be a qualified computer forensic specialist need to attend training courses in order to enhance and improve his knowledge on the new ways of detecting computer-related crime and the ways to prevent apprehend the persons responsible. 

            Moreover, in view of the importance of this job and the need to protect the public against investigators claiming to have extensive knowledge on computer forensics, there is now a license requirement for computer forensic specialist.  This means that a person who wants to be licensed as a computer forensic specialist needs to show that he has the required qualification and training and even the experience on computer forensics.

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