A cyber crime investigator is a law enforcement officer who focuses on the investigation of computer crime cases. These individuals, who are also known as forensic computer technicians, can work for both law enforcement agencies and private companies. Working in this field necessitates information technology and law enforcement training so that employees have the tools to locate evidence as well as the skills to secure it and ensure that it can be used in court.
A cyber crime investigator joins the investigation when members of the public report cyber crimes. This can range from analyzing an individual computer that may have been used in a crime to testing a bank’s network to determine how and when a data leak occurred. If data is accidentally or intentionally damaged or destroyed, cyber crime investigators can recover and rebuild it. They can also look for evidence of criminal activity on computer networks as well as individual computers and hard drives.
A cyber crime investigator may testify in court about a case or assist legal teams with the discovery process in addition to working on ongoing investigations. Legal teams use electronic discovery to locate and secure evidence that will be used to argue their cases in court, and they rely on information technology professionals to ensure that the process is completed correctly. Some companies have in-house cyber crime investigators, while others may hire a third-party firm.
Making recommendations to combat cybercrime may also be part of this work. The development of better legislation, as well as public education, is frequently an important part of the mission. Before a crime occurs, a cyber crime investigator can spot emerging trends and security issues and offer advice on how to address them. This proactive aspect of the work is critical for ensuring public safety and national security making it more difficult for criminals to identify and exploit security flaws.
Cyber crime investigators typically pursue continuing education through conferences, workshops, and professional publications as part of their job. Because information technology is always changing, it is impossible to rely solely on skills learned in school. Instead, the investigator must delve into new areas of the field and apply his or her knowledge to criminal investigations and law enforcement support. A cyber crime investigator can also work as an instructor for a law enforcement agency, college, or university, where they will train the next generation of investigators and provide continuing education to their peers.