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Certifications Poll

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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samr
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 24, 05 22:18

In that respect how much are academic qualifications worth or is it assumed that people will have a degree and possiblity a postgrad? If not then how do they really compare to professional certifications?  
 
  

m7esec
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 24, 05 23:36

Interesting question. Which, unfortunately, cannot be measured, other than personal preference. IMO, I believe that a BS and/or MS in a computer related field gives you good building blocks to get a job in the industry and shows you can be taught.

However, due to the aggressive nature of technology progression, anything more than a couple of years old could be considered out-of-date. For instance, when I was getting my BS in CS, they were still teaching ADA! Some say that once a book on CF is printed, it is out-of-date. So the key to "Good" Certs, and the difference between that and a BS or MS, is the requirement of CPE or Continuing Professional Education at the least (CISSP, EnCE), or even retaking the entire Cert every couple of years (GSEC, GCFA).  
 
  

bjgleas
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 25, 05 08:22

One of the "dangers" with most certs is that they are only a single, multiple choice exam, and for many of them, there are brain dumps available. I have the Security+, EC-Council CHFI, CISSP, and the GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst from SANS. Those all have their pros and cons, but they are only multiple choice tests, and simply say that I can read and take a multiple choice test.

The cert I like the most (so far) is the Certified Computer Examiner from the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners. In this test, you are given an online multiple choice test, and that is followed by three practical physical evidence examinations: a floppy, a CD-ROM, and a hard drive. There is no multiple choice - you need to duplicate the evidence, and provide a detailed report to the client on what you found. Each one of these report (for me anyway), ran in the neighborhood of 20+ single spaced pages. It is reviewed by a human, who generates your score. This is more comprehensive and valuable than just a single, simple, automated exam.

As far as degrees go, I also hold a BS and MS in Computer Science and a BA in Criminal Justice. The big difference between certs and degrees is that there is a more significant time commitment, and the number of class and professors you encounter will often challenge you, in many different ways. And from what I have seen in the corporate world, many companies won't hire people without a college degree, and it would be a tough sell to have an expert witness without a degree.

In my mind, the degree shows that you have completed a comprehesive course of study, and the certs show that you are keeping up in the field. I go even further back than M7esec (FORTRAN, punch cards, JCL), but despite that, have been able to prove to my various employers that I have mantained my knowledge in the field by obtaining various certifications.

bj  

Last edited by bjgleas on Oct 25, 05 17:29; edited 1 time in total
 
  

samr
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 25, 05 16:20

- bjgleas


In my mind, the degree shows that you have completed a comprehesive course of study, and the certs show that you are keeping up in the field.


I think that probably summarises it quite nicely. In such a field like IT where everything is changing so quickly it is important to be able to say that you move with the times and keeping up with current technology. I completed my degree in 2002 and although quite a lot of it is still relevant now, new technology is emerging all the time and of course there are many aspects of IT that I didn't cover in my degree or postgrad.

As for the Certified Computer Examiner, I found it quite a useful examination process which helped me learn a lot of stuff whilst working through it. In fact, I quite enjoyed doing it. Out of interest Bj, are you thinking of completing the specific exams in various file systems to upgrade to MCCE status?  
 
  

bjgleas
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 25, 05 17:41

samr:

The CCE was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

In order to become a MCCE you need to take 3 or more file system endorsement exams. But when I go to register at www.certified-computer...ister.htm, I only see 1 - Win9x. I was going to wait until I saw that a few more were available.

bj  
 
  

samr
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 25, 05 17:43

Yes, I also noticed this and emailed John about it. I received a reply from John Mellon the other day to state that the other specialist exams should be ready in the next few weeks so if you are interested in the MCCE you might find it useful keep checking the site in the near future.  
 
  

m7esec
Senior Member
 

Re: Certifications Poll

Post Posted: Oct 25, 05 19:05

The EnCE is similar to CCE in some levels, it requires a level of experience (18 months) and after the initial exam there is a practical requirement where they send you data to run a Forensic Exam. There is a good overview of Security Certifications here.
dmiessler.com/writing/infoseccerts
_________________
GSEC, GCFA, GCIH, EnCE
Certified Forensic Examiner
St. Louis, MO 
 

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