Why digital forensics jobs could be your next career move

Cyber security offers a wide range of roles, but despite some common misconceptions, no two jobs in this area are alike. This means that whatever your skills and interests, there's a position to fit you. As talent shortages continue to be a problem in the sector, this presents a range of opportunities.

One area that's especially growing in importance is digital forensics. This is a vital part of any business' incident response strategy in the event they do suffer from a cyber attack, but it also plays a key role in strengthening systems and ensuring the right lessons are learned.

Browse our range of digital forensics jobs today to see the latest roles available in this sector.

What is a digital forensic examiner?

Digital forensics professionals have an important part to play in protecting organisations from attacks and helping crack down on cyber crime. This might mean defending a firm from an ongoing hack or working with a law enforcement agency to track criminals and gather evidence of data breaches. These jobs offer good prospects for IT professionals, whether you're a recent graduate or a more experienced worker looking for a career change.

Why do firms need computer forensics specialists?

Computer forensic specialists are a vital part of incident response and recovery efforts, both in the immediate term and in the long run. A digital forensics investigation helps businesses ascertain how an incident occurred and what information was stolen, which is vital in both stopping a breach in progress and fixing any vulnerabilities

Digital forensics, however, is about more than just containing breaches and attacks launched by third parties. It covers investigations into a wide range of cyber security incidents, from unauthorised use of company equipment to countering industrial espionage. Digital forensics specialists play a vital role in gathering evidence and preventing future attacks.

What are the typical job duties of a forensics expert?

The primary role of a digital forensics analyst will be as part of the incident response team. Their job is typically to gather evidence and analyse data related to any suspicious or illegal activity on their systems - whether this originates from inside or outside the organisation. This may involve working closely with law enforcement to determine exactly what has happened and how it occurred, as well as building a case for a criminal investigation.

In addition to this, a key part of the job description for many professionals will be writing reports and assisting with the creation of improved cyber devices, using the lessons learned from incidents to strengthen defences against future attacks.

What is the digital forensics life cycle?

Many of the activities a computer forensics investigator will undertake can be thought of in terms of the digital forensics life cycle. This sets out a clear process for the course of any investigation, so is something any forensics computer examiner must be familiar with. The basic stages of this are:

  • Identification - Set out the purpose of the investigation and the resources required
  • Preservation - Ensure all relevant data is secured, isolated and preserved
  • Analysis - Process data to learn more about the incident and draw conclusions
  • Documentation - Produce clear records of all findings to detail and recreate what happened
  • Presentation - Summarise and explain findings to stakeholders, either in written or verbal form

What is it like to work in digital forensics?

Digital forensics can be a challenging but fascinating career path. It requires professionals to have a curious, investigative mindset and pay close attention to detail. As such, it's an ideal option for people with a passion for problem solving and an analytical way of thinking.

It's also a great choice if you're looking for a cyber security career that offers a lot of variety. No two days in the life of a computer forensics investigator are the same. Cyber security is a rapidly-evolving sector, so you'll need to be able to keep up with any new developments and apply them to your work.

Digital forensics jobs in the United Kingdom

If you're looking for digital forensics jobs in the UK, there are a few things you should be aware of before making an application. An understanding of the type of business looking to fill these positions, the skills and qualifications they require, and what you can expect in terms of pay is essential before you start sending out your CV.

Who employs digital forensics investigators?

Forensics analysts are in particularly high demand in large organisations. Firms with complex, sprawling networks and those that hold valuable data that would be of particular interest to hackers will always have a need for these professionals to minimise their risk of breaches and bolster their defences. Financial services companies, public sector firms - especially in healthcare and government - and telecoms providers, in particular, may be among those most in need of these experts.

You may also find opportunities with law enforcement agencies. Police forces around the UK, the National Crime Agency and even intelligence services, among others, all require individuals with the digital investigative skills needed to combat cyber crime - and this is only likely to increase in the coming years.

How do you get certified in digital forensics?

Holding a relevant incident response or digital forensics qualification will make you more attractive to employers and help you stand out from the crowd. There are several industry certifications you can pursue to help with this - many of which don't require huge amounts of prior knowledge or experience. These courses can often be completed online in your own time, allowing you to fit study around your current job.

Among the most popular certifications employers for digital forensics jobs will be looking for are:

Does digital forensics pay well?

Digital forensics offers prospects for both entry-level positions and more senior professionals with proven levels of skill and experience, and overall its compensation compares well with other IT positions. According to the National Careers Service, you can expect to earn around £25,000 a year if you're just starting out in this sector, whereas more senior roles reach up to £60,000.

How do you get a job in digital forensics?

The best way to find a job in digital forensics is to use a dedicated cyber security jobs board. This can put you in touch with recruiters in this sector, who know that candidates on these services have the relevant skills they're looking for. By uploading your CV to CyberSecurityJobsite.com, employers can even reach out to you directly.

Another great way to learn more about what these roles have to offer is to attend a cyber security jobs fair. Our Cyber Security Expo takes place several times a year around the UK and offers an ideal opportunity to speak face-to-face with some of the Britain's biggest employers.

Browse our range of digital forensics jobs today to see the latest roles available in this sector.