Other Computer Forensics Careers

Besides law enforcement, there are a variety of other computer forensics careers. Computer forensics professionals may work in the private sector, be self–employed as a consultant, or work for other governmental agencies. They may recover data in the event of a hardware or software failure.

Detecting Unauthorized Intrusion

Computer forensics experts may analyze computer systems after unauthorized intrusion to determine how the attacker gained access and what action was performed or information was obtained. A computer forensics expert may also be used to gather evidence against an employee a company or organization suspects is engaging in unauthorized activities on its computer network. Their findings may be used as a basis for termination of the employee.

Testing Network Systems

Computer forensic experts may also conduct tests on corporate and government networks to gain information about computer systems for the purpose of detecting vulnerabilities, performance optimization, debugging, or reverse engineering. They can detect and close computer system security holes. There are also sub branches of computer forensics such as firewall forensics, database forensics, network forensics, and mobile device forensics.

Federal government agencies are required to test their computer systems for security vulnerabilities and do contingency planning in the event of an attack or outage. Computer forensics professionals are employed by the United States Military, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Services, and Securities and Exchange Commission among other governmental agencies.

A Variety of Opportunities

In the private sector, there are employment opportunities in corporate security departments, private investigative firms, e–discovery firms, and in self-employment as a consultant.

An example of a computer forensics job would be working at the National Transportation Safety Board retrieving and examining the "black box" recordings on an airplane following a crash.