CHFI Certification: How It Can Open Doors and Boost Your Computer Forensics Career

Forensics, which means a public discussion or debate, is seemingly the least recognized cybersecurity field. Exploring and understanding forensics is fun and at the same time demands a lot of learning, required to make a cybersecurity professional expert in the field.

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As digital technology is being broadly adopted by criminals across the globe, organizations are facing highly advanced cyber-attacks, and thus, the need for highly skilled cybersecurity professionals has gone up multifarious.

The attackers or perpetrators are usually much skilled in what they do and wipe out almost all the evidence that they may have dropped behind. This makes the whole method of solving the crime a lot more challenging and brings forward a requirement of highly learned and skilled cybersecurity professionals. The qualities that an individual must have to include the ability to learn, interpret the information as well as the situation, learn the facts and carry out judgments.

What is Computer Forensics?

Computer forensics is its brand of forensics utilizing investigative processes to gather, analyze and offer digital evidence for legal procedures. Sometimes called ''cyber forensics,'' these digital and computer-based techniques can often present the evidence needed to determine a crime. Computer forensics professionals practice a variety of software and other applications to recover, recognize and secure data, even data that has been protected or deleted, and then offer their report or interpretation of the data collected.

Digital evidence on computers can be challenging to work with. While some of it may be apparent, a good portion of a computer forensic expert's work is concerned in identifying potential or hidden data inside a computer's systems. Whether out in the exposed or hidden, the method of computer forensics is the same: gather, analyze and present the digital data found.

Computer Forensics is a developing field; it’s only as old as the personal computer itself. New technologies such as cloud storage and solid-state drives help promote it in a way that stimulates advancement, but the core framework that was laid remains. Even with these new technologies, understanding some of the core technical concepts such as hard-drives, data hiding, and cryptographic hashing is significant. A computer investigation is not much complex than a traditional, criminal investigation. The fundamental difference is the computer itself, so understanding and handling the computer as if it were a suspect is the key to being an efficient investigator.

What is EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator Certification?

To contribute to all the technicalities, some distinguished certifications are available in the market; the most sought-after vendor-neutral certification is Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) from EC Council. This certification is one of the most universally recognized, industry standard and esteemed certifications.

EC-Council concentrates in Information Security and has been accredited for its CHFI certification. The certification is designed upon relevant investigation and is prepared by experienced subject matter professionals and digital forensics practitioners.

CHFI certification is created to present the skills required to identify an attacker’s imprints and accumulate the evidence to be presented in the court of law. The certification allows professionals to chase, investigate and arrest cybercriminals from anywhere within the world. The certification comprises a series of forensic investigation scenarios and gives hands-on experience to become expert in various forensic investigation techniques and tools.

A CHFI certification opens doors for a professional in the field of computer forensics. Exposing a cyber-crime is a challenging task. Most cyber-crimes are exposed long after the actual stealing of data. Sometimes, these crimes go undetected. CHFI is an advanced level certification by EC-Council that qualifies individuals to reveal cyber-crimes and hunt down culprits. It is one of the most sought-after certifications in the field of computer forensics. Computer investigation techniques are being practiced by corporations, governments, and even the cyber cell of police departments.

The target audience for this certification includes System Administrators, Security Officers, Law Enforcement Personnel, Defense and Military Bankers, Personnel, Legal Professionals, Security Professionals, and individuals interested in the integrity of network infrastructure.

Here are some of the important skill sets and expertise covered by EC-Council’s CHFI certification exam:

  • The means of investigating cyber-crime, laws included, and the details in acquiring a search warrant

  • Various types of digital evidence, rules of evidence, digital evidence examination method, and electronic crime and digital evidence consideration by crime category

  • Functions of the first responder, first responder toolkit, securing and assessing an electronic crime scene, conducting preliminary interviews, documenting the electronic crime scene, acquiring and protecting electronic evidence, packaging and transporting electronic evidence, detailing the crime scene

  • How to retrieve deleted files and deleted partitions in Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

  • The method involved in forensic investigation practicing Access Data FTK and Encase Steganography and its techniques, Steganalysis, and image file forensics

  • Password Cracking Concepts, tools, types of password attacks and how to investigate password protected file breach

  • Several types of log capturing techniques, log management, time synchronization, log capturing tools

  • How to inspect logs, network traffic, wireless attacks, and web attacks

  • How to stalk e-mails and investigate e-mail crimes and much more

To pursue the CHFI certification, one requires to have a fundamental understanding of cyber security, computer forensics, and incident response. To add to it, some former knowledge of CEH would determine to be an added advantage.

Career Opportunities:

There is a tremendous demand for CHFI-certified professionals across industries. CHFI-certified individuals are being hired not only by IT and IT security organizations but also by law enforcement agencies, legal practices, defense and military sectors, banking, and insurance organizations.

The CHFI certification confirms an applicants' skills to gather the required evidence of theft to prosecute in a court of law. Starting salaries in the field can go as high as $98,545. According to Payscale.com, on an average, a Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) earns around $86,000 annually in the U.S. Top employers include Sentek Global, Paylocity, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and U.S. Navy.

The certified CHFI professionals can pursue the following roles:

  • Computer Forensics Analyst

  • Information Security Analyst

  • Malware Analyst

  • Network Security Specialist

  • Security Administrator

  • IT Security Consultant

  • Ethical Hacker

  • Penetration Tester

  • IT Auditor

  • Homeland Cyber Security

Another benefit for many prevailing IT security professionals who are considering about earning a CHFI certification is that becoming a Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator may give greater flexibility regarding employment. If you don’t enjoy the monotony of sitting at the same desk and working for the same organization every day, you can employ your unique qualification and become a freelance consultant.

Conclusion

With an increasing number of cyber-crimes, it is not an alternative but a requirement for all sorts of businesses to either hire or advance their present IT professionals to execute cyber investigations and provide evidence. In doing so, they can come forward with the powerful case in the court of law and, thus, get compensated for the damages or protect themselves against a fake allegation. It is very significant that professionals in such a role have all the required skills; otherwise, they won’t be capable of identifying cybercrime. So, getting prepared for the CHFI certification seems to be the smart choice.

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