Today, governments are having a hard time dealing with criminal cases. This is why there is continuous involvement and engagement of experts in the field of forensic science. Forensic science involves the collection and examination of information that is inclined to the past for use in a court of law. Experts and specialists in the field are known as forensic investigators. A forensic investigator is a specialist in the field of forensic science with the duty of working closely with police departments to combat crimes. The investigator may also play a role in the retrieval of vital information from technological devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. This is a common practice when these devices are damaged intentionally or accidently making retrieval of information contained and that can be used as evidence in a court of law difficult. The expert who works closely with law enforcement agencies in such a case is a computer forensic investigator (Srinivasan, 2006).
The qualities of a computer forensics investigator
A computer forensics investigator is obliged to have excellent knowledge of all aspects of the computer (Srinivasan, 2006). In essence, he or she must be well conversant with the operation and use of hard drives, software, encryption, networking, and other computer-related ideologies. Having professional and basic computer knowledge is a necessity in the field as it could help in the retrieval of information that could aid in a criminal investigation, from encrypted or damaged computers.
Computer forensic investigators spend much time tracking information and computer or cyber criminals. Excellent execution of their roles requires curiosity, and this is why an employer would give preference to a person with a curious nature (Bui et al, 2003). Such quality is vital as it facilitates digging deep into an issue, asking questions, and staying on a case until it is solved. Lack of curiosity among computer forensic investigators has in the past constrained the achievement of success in investigations in the field.
A computer forensic investigator must have good organizational skills (Bui et al, 2003). Organization is the ability to pick and place things and information in the right place and manner. In the field of computer forensics, the possibility of dealing with a lot of information is unavoidable. Thus, success can only be achieved if the expert involved is organized and exhibits the ability to recognize and identify correlations between various pieces of information, exhibits and clues. Dealing with computers and related technological devices can be hectic without good organizational skills.
Computers have details and information displayed on screens, and it is essential that the details displayed are observed before a course of action is taken (Bui et al, 2003). Apparently, this could be one of the underlying reasons for the minimal recruitment or involvement of blind people in the field of computer forensics. A crucial quality of a computer forensic investigator is that he or she must have excellent observation skills. This quality enhances the investigator’s capability of seeing minute and major details before taking a next course of action.
Objectivity is the other key quality that could determine the success of a computer forensics investigator. Objective computer forensics experts have enhanced open-mindedness and sharpness. This provides a platform where conclusions are drawn without the influence of prejudice or preconceptions. The field itself is critical, and prejudice or preconceptions jeopardize the effective and efficient execution of duties and operations.
Subsequently, meticulous documentation of findings as well as clear presentation of the findings is key qualities required among computer forensic investigators (Bui et al, 2003). Irrefutably, the documentation of findings involves writing, and this requires excellent writing skills for computer forensic investigators. Once documented, the information must be presented before attorneys or judges. Therefore, good speaking skills are prerequisites.
What would make computer forensic investigators successful in the field?
Like any other field, the success of computer forensic investigators depends on a plethora of factors. Proper and consistent training of the experts on how to use and operate the technological devices used in the field such as computers play an integral role in the achievement of success (Srinivasan, 2006). This is owed to the fact that through training, they will better the knowledge they have while acquiring new knowledge that could facilitate the embracing and implementation of innovative ideas in the field.
Motivation could also play a part in the achievement of success of 3xperts in this field. Today, due to the inception of technology and subsequent rise in computer crimes, more people are getting interested in the sector. Undoubtedly, not everyone has a passion in computer crime investigations. This leaves financial motivation as the major factor that could make computer forensic investigators successful in the field. Employers need to review their remuneration packages for the experts involved in the field to achieve success (Srinivasan, 2006).
In conclusion, computer forensics has become an integral part of the modern day investigative process, and more investments should be channeled to the field. However, employers, organizations, firms, and law enforcement agencies must emphasize the qualities that would set individuals in this field apart.
Bui, S., Enyeart, M., & Luong, J. (2003). Issues in Computer Forensics. Santa Clara University Computer Engineering, USA.
Srinivasan, S. (2006, November). Security and privacy in the computer forensics context. In Communication Technology, 2006. ICCT’06. International Conference on (pp. 1-3). IEEE.