What is digital forensics and why is it important?

Online learning | MSc Cyber Security and Digital Forensics

What is digital forensics and why is it important?

Digital forensics is increasingly becoming a popular career path for those interested in combating cybercrime.

As our world gets more technologically advanced, digital forensics is increasingly becoming a popular career path for those interested in combating cybercrime. Read on to learn more about digital forensics and the role it plays in cybersecurity.

What is digital forensics?

A branch of forensic sciences, digital forensics has to do with extracting, recovering, and processing evidence in digital devices and further analysing and recording it. The rise of this branch has only been recent — dating back to the ‘70s. It consists of different branches like computer forensics, mobile forensics, network forensics, data analysis, and database forensics.

Explore more terms involved in digital forensics in our glossary:

Read the glossary 

Why is it important?

As the world sees the rise of technology and an inevitable increase in cybercrime, it’s important to pay attention to digital forensics, which can help trace the footprints left by electronic devices to unearth such crimes.

Today, cybersecurity is the name of the game. As the world moves online, it’s become easy for hackers to access personal and financial information online and commit cybercrimes like fraud, exploitation, malware attacks, and more.

Digital forensics can help identify the intent behind a cyberattack, how it was carried out, along with geolocations, mapping, and even increasing cybersecurity. It can help improve cybersecurity to ensure that the chances of a cyberattack are lowered.

How is it related to cybersecurity?

Both cybersecurity and digital forensics focus primarily around computer-related crimes. Cybersecurity is the first step of the path, followed by digital forensics.

Cybersecurity is a way to prevent cybercrimes from occurring by protecting digital technologies and networks. Digital forensics has to do with response, in the form of identifying cybersecurity breaches, looking for and collecting digital evidence from large datasets, and any other type of data recovery.

Both are essential for those working in industries that use any form of technology, resulting in a widespread demand for cybersecurity and digital forensics experts in the job market.

What are the job opportunities in digital forensics?

Those looking to pursue a career in the high-growth field of digital forensics will find that they can choose from a range of industries such as IT, public services, and finance, among others. Some of the roles they can consider include:

  • Security analyst

  • Information Security Analyst

  • Cyber Security Consultant

  • Security Operations & Intelligence Analyst

  • Digital forensic investigator

  • Cryptographer

  • Cyber Vulnerability Analyst

  • Chief information security officer (CISO)

  • Information systems administrator

Why should I do an MSc in Digital Forensics?

If you’re passionate about preventing cybercrime, digital forensics is one way to do it. It allows you to strengthen the cyber security of individuals or firms, and equips you with the knowledge to track down cybercrime if required.

The University of Portsmouth offers a flexible online, part-time MSc in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. You can access the material from anywhere in the world and peruse it at your own convenience, ensuring you can study and work.

As part of this course, you’ll:

  • Discover the variety of cybersecurity disciplines which can help you create the best cybersecurity system for your firm

  • Learn about how to design and conduct forensic investigations

  • Understand the theory and principles behind collecting digital evidence

  • Stay informed about the continuously changing legal, social, and ethical norms related to presenting digital evidence

  • Earn an optional MSAB XRY certification, valid for 3 years for an additional cost of £100

If you want to further understand the driving forces behind online criminal activity, and develop a systematic understanding of digital forensics concepts, the MSc in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics can help you achieve your goals. Gain firsthand experience with specialist software and forensic tools, and apply your learnings to your career. 

Explore the course

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