Digital Forensics

Hello Everyone!
I am back with more questions!

As some of you might know, I am a high school student with a strong interest in computers and now I am planning for my future career.

Someone on this forum suggested that I should look into digital forensics for the future. Well thank you again for telling me about it. I told my friend about it and he got totally hooked on to it. He started dreaming about high tech environments and stuff. Well I am not like that so please dont worry (I am not irresponsible like most teenagers).

Now I would like to know which Universities in Canada offer at least a bachelors degree. Can you tell me how to find out? When I look into the University websites, they only have forensics science which is not quite what I am looking for.

Say once I have a found and chosen a degree which I intend to attend in the next few years, what should I do for the time being while I am still in school. When I was pretty sure that I would be going into Networking, I intended to go for a CCNA in the summer so that I could get a head start. Similarly if I want to go into digital forensics, then what should I do for the time being? Put up linux on my PC and play around with it and eventually master it? Or go for Certified Ethical Hacker cert? Would you please suggest something?

I have heard that Networking is really hard work and it takes quite a big bite out of your social family life. Is this the same for digital forensics? What about job security? I have also heard that entering the networking industry without experience is very hard. Again is this true with digital forensics provided that I have a bachelors degree or masters degree with maybe an internship?

What about the international market for digital detectives? A person with an MBA can get a job almost anywhere in the world without too much of a problem. Same here? or no?

What technical and personal skills does a person need for a successful career? What certificates would come handy? What aspects of computing should a person have experience in? In security or operating systems or hardware?

I know I have asked too many questions but these are the ones that normally come into my mind whenever I think about my career. I hope someone can help me out!

Thank You

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Now I would like to know which Universities in Canada offer at least a bachelors degree. Can you tell me how to find out? When I look into the University websites, they only have forensics science which is not quite what I am looking for.

    You may have a difficult time finding such a specific bachelors degree. I know there isn't really anything like that around here (aside from 18 month associate programs that I am definitely not impressed with). Part of the problem is that IT information becomes dated quickly, and I think most reputable institutions are hesitant to hand out degrees that would essentially become obsolete in 5 years.

    There would be nothing wrong with focusing on something more general such as math, computer science or communication. I recently met with a manager that runs a quarter of a $200 million IT company, and his undergraduate degree is in theology (he went on to get an MBA). I'm personally wrapping up a degree in psychology. You may also find it advantageous to go with a more general degree as it may grant you more flexibility in the future.

    That's not to say you should pass up your ideal program if you're fortunate enough to find it. Just remember that you can obtain much of this knowledge through personal study and work experience, so don't feel that a specific degree is required to work in that field. You may be better off searching for degrees in information security than digital forensics. Information security seems to be becoming an increasingly popular masters program.
    Say once I have a found and chosen a degree which I intend to attend in the next few years, what should I do for the time being while I am still in school. When I was pretty sure that I would be going into Networking, I intended to go for a CCNA in the summer so that I could get a head start. Similarly if I want to go into digital forensics, then what should I do for the time being? Put up linux on my PC and play around with it and eventually master it? Or go for Certified Ethical Hacker cert? Would you please suggest something?

    If you're interested in security, I'd definitely start with Comptia's Security+. That'll get you a solid foundation, and honestly, it was the most interesting material I've studied thus far. The CCNA is a big endeavor. What's your current network knowledge? You may be better off starting with Comptia's Network+ if you feel you need a better foundation.

    If you want to play around with Linux, download VMWare's free player http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ and the Ubuntu virtual appliance http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/843 It's a quick and easy way to get into Linux and start messing around with it. A knowledge of Linux will definitely not hurt you (Comptia's Linux+, if you want to make it official).

    I'd do the Security+ before the CEH. The CEH's validity has also come into question: http://techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14444 I'm not sure if that's true or not, and I'll probably get that cert eventually just because it seems like fun and the knowledge will be worthwhile regardless. That's just something to keep in mind. The company that offers the CEH also offers computer hacking forensic investigator that you would probably be interested in as well. Here is another organization that offers security certs, most notably the CISSP: https://www.isc2.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi
    I have heard that Networking is really hard work and it takes quite a big bite out of your social family life. Is this the same for digital forensics? What about job security? I have also heard that entering the networking industry without experience is very hard. Again is this true with digital forensics provided that I have a bachelors degree or masters degree with maybe an internship?

    What about the international market for digital detectives? A person with an MBA can get a job almost anywhere in the world without too much of a problem. Same here? or no?

    It depends how intensely you study. You can put in an hour a day and maintain your relationships or you can be like me and obtain a certification each month while taking a college course and working full-time. Just do what I do and get your friends and family into WoW. They'll forget you exist in no time, and you'll be free to do your studies. :D

    A more experienced poster said in a post a few days ago that you need education, experience, and certifications. Just obtaining a degree or certification will not allow you to just walk into a job. I'd talk with your high school IT staff to see if you could get some experience there and see if you can get a job in the IT department of your college once you get there. You'll most likely have intern and work some less-than-exciting jobs to build up some experience before you can do what you truly want to. I'd get as much of that as you can as you go through high school and college.

    Digital forensics seems to be a more specialized area of the general security field. You'll probably have to start as more of a network admin and work your way into security and digital forensics. I'd assume there's less demand for digital forensics than more general security roles. If you think about it, there's going to be far more personnel employed trying to prevent intrusions than there would be actually investigating intrusions. The other problem is that intrusions are sporadic, so you could likely be in a position where you work as a security professional most of the time then investigate intrusions on an as-needed basis. You may want to get more in the mindset of being a security professional that also has the ability to provide forensic services as well. Please keep in mind that I strictly work with security in a small business and am not a forensic specialists, and I'm just telling you what I know from my experiences and knowledge. Just take it with a grain of salt and do some more digging yourself.

    Security is a hot area right now, so I would imagine that once you get educated, certified, and gain some experience, you will have a decent amount of doors open to you. I'm not sure if you are considering and MBA or just using that as an example. If you go for an MBA, just remember that you'll be in more of a management position as opposed to a technical, hands-on position. There's nothing wrong with that, but just keep that in mind before you invest the time, money, and effort.
    What technical and personal skills does a person need for a successful career? What certificates would come handy? What aspects of computing should a person have experience in? In security or operating systems or hardware?

    Besides the obvious, I'd focus on communication. That's the one area where I am consistently being told I need more experience. I'm not antisocial or anything, but I don't have any real, solid work experience dealing with others on a regular basis. If you go the forensics route, you will likely have to communicate technical concepts to those with little to no technical knowledge. You may find yourself in a courtroom having to explain an attack to a jury.

    The certifications are a gray area. As I said, Security+ should be a priority. You can go on to MCSE +Security, get a CCSP after your CCNA, the CEH and CHFI from EC Council, the CISSP from (ISC)^2, as well as various Linux and other security certs. Just remember, you don't need to be a CCNA to be able to understand a log file that a Cisco admin gave to you. It may not be practical or necessary to get certified in everything. However, they're not going to hurt you, so get as many as you can.

    I know I have asked too many questions but these are the ones that normally come into my mind whenever I think about my career. I hope someone can help me out!

    Thank You

    No problem, and good luck. I hoped that helped a bit. Now I gotta get back to my paper. I wish I had the dedication to college that I did to this forum lol
  • oldbarneyoldbarney Member Posts: 89 ■■□□□□□□□□
    In Canada, I found a diploma program through St. Lawrence College.

    In the USA, several options exist:

    BS in Cybersecurity; Cybercrime Investigations and Forensics concentration. - Utica College. Online learning available.

    BS in Computer and Digital Forensics - Champlain College. Online learning available.

    BS in Computer Forensics - Bloomsburg University

    Finally, with a hat tip to JD Murray, for those of you with an undergrad BS, a Graduate Certificate in Computer Forensics is offered by the University of Central Florida. UCF is expanding the program to include a masters degree. There is currently an online option for this program although I believe a residency might be required.

    I'm sure other academic, computer forensics programs probably exist in the US and Canada.
  • DingdongbubbleDingdongbubble Member Posts: 106
    I found this degree in UOIT Masters of Information Technology in Security and here is the link:
    http://www.businessandit.uoit.ca/EN/main/96618/140839/141099.html
    http://www.businessandit.uoit.ca/EN/main/142282/142958.html

    Do you think this is alright?

    I already have Ubuntu installed on my PC and can you tell me what I can do to start of advanced stuff? Read books?

    Is the demand for Security specialists or Network specialists more?

    If I am going into either Neting or Security, I should go for a Comptia Security+ or Network+ right?

    UOIT offers a Bachelors degree in InfoTech specialising in either Security or Networking so which one do you think looks better looking at the future and Canada's job market and the careers as a whole? To me Security looks better as I can go a Masters and it can lead me to Digital Forensics.

    I have heard getting into the IT industry with little or no experience is very hard, so is it the same for Security? And what is the salary range for a Security guy?

    I know my questions might be a bit vague but I hope you can answer them.

    Thank You
  • DingdongbubbleDingdongbubble Member Posts: 106
    I forgot to add that UOIT has a hacker REsearch Lab and theres a complete networked environment where you are given two scenarios, as a criminal mided hacker and as a Security Officer. Maybe this will help in racking up experience for a job.
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 912 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You do have many questions, but sometime you need find out yourself what you want and what is good for you.

    Experience play important role on many of the security/networking job.

    You want to know how to break down the digital concept. You best place to start with is by getting yourself into Computer Science.

    A programmer can do everything in the IT world, except some business function. Remember everything you see and learn from IT, they all start with a program.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Kasor wrote:
    A programmer can do everything in the IT world, except some business function. Remember everything you see and learn from IT, they all start with a program.

    icon_rolleyes.gif

    If all programmers were like JDMurray, I'd agree with you. But I've seen some real stupid programmers. I've also seen real smart programmers that just aren't good at managing and maintaining servers, networks, Cisco equipment, etc. simply because they aren't interested.
    All things are possible, only believe.
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