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What Qualifies the Computer Forensics?

requirementWhat qualifies the computer forensics investigator? Computer forensics investigator licensing and certification is a topic that can be guaranteed to spark a lively discussion among today’s professionals.

In the United States, some states have grouped computer forensics professionals with private investigators and require that they be licensed in accordance with the state’s licensing standards. It is the belief of the author that this practice is difficult to justify without completely reworking each state’s private investigator licensing standards.

What is important to note is that no clear certification or licensing requirements exist today outside of a few states’ attempts to regulate the profession. This inconsistency is due to the relatively new nature of this metaprofession and the definition of what to certify or license.

Most technical professions have three distinctly differing areas for certification: people, places, and things. When looking at the people aspect of computer forensics, several certifications exist already through organizations such as IACIS, but none are unanimously agreed on throughout the profession.

Other certifications for computer forensics investigations are product-specific certifications managed by individual computer hardware and software product vendors. Although a group of personnel certifications that are more widely accepted for differing levels of competency within computer forensics methodologies may emerge eventually, an essentially limitless array of products, operating systems, and hardware environments to gain knowledge of exists today.

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