Career Path – Cyber Crime Investigator

A common career path for this investigative specialty passes through several years as an integral part of a cybersecurity team. A sound understanding of cybersecurity defenses arms the applicant with the basis for understanding how cybercriminals will react in a variety of circumstances. Work in a discipline that has helped the applicant acquire skills related to investigative work are valuable within the industry.

How to become a cybercrime investigator

A cyber crime investigator is primarily concerned with gathering evidence from digital systems that can be used in the prosecution of internet-based, or cyberspace, criminal activity. In today’s world, many crimes include the use of the world wide web. A cyber crime investigator can be used to gather crucial evidence to help solve these crimes.

While possessing and utilizing many of the same skills as a computer forensics investigator, the cyber crime investigator is more focused on and adept at investigating crimes that use the internet as the primary attack vector.

Cyber crime investigator skills and experience

This is a multi-functional role in that both investigative techniques and cyber security skills must be deployed to correctly gather and preserve evidence for later prosecution.

The ability to work in a multi-jurisdictional or cross-jurisdictional environment is important. An important aspect of cyber crime is its non-local character. Illegal activity can occur in jurisdictions separated by vast distances. This poses severe challenges for cyber-crime investigators since these crimes often require international cooperation. For example, if a person accesses child pornography located on a computer in a country that does not ban child pornography, is that individual committing a crime in a nation where such materials are illegal? The cyber crime investigator must be able to ask and answer questions related to understanding exactly where cyber crime has taken place.

Job responsibilities may include

  • Analyzing computer systems and networks following a crime.
  • Recovering data that was either destroyed or damaged.
  • Gathering evidence.
  • Gathering computer and network information.
  • Reconstructing cyberattacks.
  • Working in a multi-jurisdictional or cross-jurisdictional environment.
  • Preparing expert reports on highly complex technical matters.
  • Testifying in court.
  • Training law enforcement on cyber-related issues.
  • Drafting expert testimony, affidavits, and reports.
  • Consulting with clients, supervisors, and managers.
  • Continually developing investigative and cybersecurity skills through research and training.
  • Recovering password-protected/encrypted files and hidden information.
  • Assessing software applications, networks, and endpoints for security flaws.
  • Identify and recommend methods for the preservation and presentation of evidence.
  • An ability to work and collaborate well with a team.

 

 

Experience LevelExperience Level BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Median annual salary*$61,294$74,304$85,053
Job Postings*23,23956,66628,555
Number of certificates available at each level5118
* Burning Glass Technologies. (2019). Labor Insights.

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