Who is forensic analysts and what are his roles and responsibilities, job description and salary?

A Forensics analyst is a digital detective, harvesting and analyzing evidence from computers, networks and other forms of data storage devices.

In your role as Sherlock Holmes, you will pit your wits against the bad guys, investigating traces of complex cyber crimes. Your quarry may be a white collar embezzler, a cyber terrorist or a malware attacker.

Computer forensic analysts combine their computer science background with their forensic skills to recover information from computers and storage devices.

Analysts are responsible for assisting law enforcement officers with cyber crimes and to retrieve evidence. Computer forensic analysts typically hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a background in criminal justice.

Forensics analyst Responsibilities:

  • Conduct data breach and security incident investigations
  • Recover and examine data from computers and electronic storage devices
  • Dismantle and rebuild damaged systems to retrieve lost data
  • Identify additional systems/networks compromised by cyber attacks
  • Compile evidence for legal cases
  • Draft technical reports, write declarations and prepare evidence for trial
  • Give expert counsel to attorneys about electronic evidence in a case
  • Advise law enforcement on the credibility of acquired data
  • Provide expert testimony at court proceedings
  • Train law enforcement officers on computer evidence procedures
  • Keep abreast of emerging technologies, software and methodologies
  • Stay proficient in forensic, response and reverse engineering skills

Career Requirements for Computer Forensic Analysts:

Computer forensic analysts must be familiar with standard computer operating systems, networks and hardware as well as security software and document-creation applications.

Analysts must have expertise in hacking and intrusion techniques and prior experience with security testing and computer system diagnostics.

As their title suggests, analysts are expected to have excellent analytical skills, to be highly conscious of details and to be able to multi-task efficiently.

Educational Requirements for Computer Forensic Analysts:

Because this is a technical role, newbies are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Engineering with a focus on Cyber Security, Digital Forensics or a related field. It’s not enough to know about computer systems; Computer forensic analysts must understand cyber crime techniques as well.

To increase your job prospects, you could choose to pursue a master’s degree in Computer Forensics (plenty of universities offer them). Specialized training and professional certifications will further aid your cause.


Some agencies now require their analysts to be certified. The International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ISFCE) and the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) both offer a Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) certification.

The IACIS awards the certification to analysts who pass their examination. The ISFCE requires completion of Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) Board approved training, professional experience and study as well as passing an exam. This certification must be renewed every three years.

Analysts can also obtain an Advanced Computer System Security, Computer Forensics or Advanced Computer Forensic certification through Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated by passing their examination and showing proof of adequate work experience or training. This certification does not require renewal.

Work Experience required for forensic analyst:

Requirements will vary with the job. Entry-level analysts may only need 1-2 years of forensics experience and/or internships, though 2-3 years is the norm. Senior positions are in the realm of 5+ years.

Salary Information of forensic analyst:

The U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics doesn’t provide salary or employment growth data specifically for computer forensic analysts; however, data for computer systems analysts is available.

In May 2015, computer systems analysts had a median salary of $85,800, and the BLS indicated these workers might see employment growth of 21% from 2014 to 2024.

Computer forensic analysts are a type of computer systems analyst with an understanding of forensic science. They typically hold a bachelor’s degree relating to computer technology and certification as a CFCE. Through earning their degree and certification, they learn the necessary tools to extract and assemble evidence from or with computers and electronic devices.

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