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Question for students and newbies

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:09 am

I've been asked to write a book for people who are thinking about going into digital forensics, or who have already started but are new to it. Working title is 'First Steps in Digital Forensics' and I already have a couple of ideas about what it will contain but wanted to open it up to suggestions.

So if you're new to the field, what would you most like to know? What would be useful for you? If you've been working in digital forensics for a while, what do you wish you'd known when you started out?

I'm veering away from technical stuff (how-to guides for specific tools etc.) as these are covered in other books.

Happy to take any suggestions on board! If you'd rather not post your response publicly feel free to PM me.
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Web: www.forensicfocus.com
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scar
Forensic Focus
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:32 am

Hi Scar!

Well, I'm new to the field of DF. I'm still working on Masters in DF, so I have tons of questions that might be helpful to you.. or not..

One of the my persistent questions is, how much should I know to get in the field, like how much experience should I have on my own before I start applying for jobs? What would be the best way to show case skills, should I write research or challenge papers to show what I have done on my own? Should I take extra DF courses to list them on my resume? Should I try to obtain certifications without actual "work" experience? What would make me an ideal candidate even though I'm new to the field?

Also advise on how navigate the field, conferences to attend, and any information that would help me be competitive a newbbie.

Not sure if that helps... If you need anything else, feel free to PM me.  

ahern168
Member
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:54 am

Those are all great suggestions, thanks!
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Senior Editor, Forensic Focus
Web: www.forensicfocus.com
Twitter: twitter.com/ForensicFocus
Facebook: www.facebook.com/forensicfocus 

scar
Forensic Focus
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:04 am

I would have loved a book like this when I was going through school. I just got my bachelors in digital forensics in May and I am about a month in on my first job in the field. Some of the things I would have loved to know during school or in the job hunting phase were:

- Security clearances: I didn't know that a lot of DF jobs (especially around D.C.) required at least a secret level clearance. If you want to do government contract work you'll need a clearance which is very difficult for someone coming right out of school to have without prior military service.

- Experience vs yearly pay increases: As I said before I'm only a month in at my first job but after talking to dozens of examiners a common thread is that its not uncommon for you to move to several different companies you first 5-6 years. As I understand it your "years of experience" increases your value as an employee much faster than what a company will generally give you as a yearly pay increase. If anyone has other thoughts on this I'd be very interested in what they've experienced.

- Career path: One thing that I am still trying to feel out is the career path for a digital forensics examiner. What are the positions to move up to after your first position and how is the best way to get that promotion? And where is the "ceiling" for a person on this career path?

- Bachelors, Masters, Experience, Certs, and Training: Something else I am trying to determine is, what is worth doing. Personally I am looking to start a masters degree in DF while I have others that say that experience and certs are the way forward. A good reference sheet as to what is worth doing or even an order a newbie should roughly following to maximize their growth as an examiner and a professional.

Yeah those are basically things I wish had known/still want to know about the field as a newbie.  

BloomStudent
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:23 pm

I think including sections on chain of custody and data integrity would be helpful. I've worked with many junior examiners who almost torpedoed investigations by not understanding the importance of those two items.  

intervex_digital
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:51 pm

- BloomStudent

- Career path: One thing that I am still trying to feel out is the career path for a digital forensics examiner. What are the positions to move up to after your first position and how is the best way to get that promotion? And where is the "ceiling" for a person on this career path?

- Bachelors, Masters, Experience, Certs, and Training: Something else I am trying to determine is, what is worth doing. Personally I am looking to start a masters degree in DF while I have others that say that experience and certs are the way forward. A good reference sheet as to what is worth doing or even an order a newbie should roughly following to maximize their growth as an examiner and a professional.


Try playing a role. Shocked

Let's say that you are ALREADY the firm/office/structure general manager, with the powers to hire (and promote/demote Wink ) forensic examiners.

Why would you promote a junior?
What would impress you about a junior?

Now, let's say that you want/need to hire a new non-junior examiner.

Would you hire someone with a Master and (say) two years experience?
Or you hire someone with a Bachelor, a couple common certifications and (still say) five or ten years experience?

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Question for students and newbies

Post Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:15 am

- intervex_digital
I think including sections on chain of custody and data integrity would be helpful. I've worked with many junior examiners who almost torpedoed investigations by not understanding the importance of those two items.


I guess my question is, why didn't the organization that the junior examiners work for, or at least the senior examiners, do something about this before sending the junior folks out?

The reason I ask this is that I've seen this question before, and every organization I've seen has their own way of doing this. I've worked for teams with former LE in the management position, and had really good, thorough chain of custody documents...and worked for other teams where the manager specified other information on the form. There is no "one-size-fits-all" to something like this.

If an investigation was "almost torpedoed" by a junior examiner, it's not because of something that may or may not have been in a book...it's because they were sent out without the necessary skills and training.  

keydet89
Senior Member
 
 

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