EC-Council, the creator of the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) program, has seen significant growth in its computer forensics training program in a year filled with headline-grabbing security breaches. Computer forensics is simply the application of computer investigation and analysis techniques to gather legally relevant evidence to report the crime and conduct audits to prevent future attacks.
The Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) program teaches students how to conduct an investigation into a security incident like many that have dominated the news cycle in 2014. For instance, there was intense media scrutiny focused on Target’s breach early in the year, with the story developing as the facts of the breach came to light. These details are unearthed using industry best practices and set methodology designed to reveal how an intruder gained access and to which systems, how much damage was done, and what information was compromised.
The CHFI program saw a sharp uptick in popularity in 2014 and was named to a “top 10” industry list. Often seen as a complementary certification to the CEH, 2014 saw CHFI stand alone as many professionals are choosing to focus on computer forensics as a career. The 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report for information security analysts and computer system analysts, which have duties similar to forensic experts in computer information, project that job opportunities for people who are working in these fields is likely to increase by about 22 percent, which could mean more than 120,000 new jobs in the field.
According to EC-Council President, Jay Bavisi, CHFI’s popularity surge in 2014 is no surprise. “This year we saw so many horrendous PR nightmares for companies all over the world. One of the first things companies must deal with after a breach is answering questions about how and why the breach happened and who might have done it. These questions can’t be answered internally without a good forensics team, so we think companies are really starting to understand the value of computer forensics for their security but also for their reputations as competent operators.