If you’ve ever watched the TV show NCIS and thought how cool it would be to have a job like Tim McGee, the cyber forensics scientist, then I have good news for you.
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC) ², has recently announced the availability of a new certification, the Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFP). This expert level credential is the first global standard for assessing experienced digital forensics professionals’ mastery and professionalism. If Tim McGee were more than just a TV character, he would certainly be in line to attain this master credential to prove his worth.
The CCFP credential is designed to provide digital forensics employers and the legal community with validation that a digital forensics professional can lead investigations that yield complete, accurate and reliable results. The credential adheres to internationally accepted standards of practice, forensic techniques and procedures and the legal and ethical principles required of digital forensics professionals.
Though there are other professional credentials that touch upon digital forensics, they are primarily tool-based. The CCFP is much broader, encompassing six domain areas that are being brought together for the first time. Those domains include:
- Legal and ethical principles
- Forensic science
- Digital forensics
- Application forensics
- Hybrid and emerging technologies
The legal and ethical principles domain is something that you don’t normally find in other forensics-focused credentials. Even though this is an international credential and the legal requirements can vary from country to country, there are a lot of common legal and ethical principles that professionals around the world should observe. (ISC) 2 has developed the credential so that it can be customized according to a country’s specific needs. For this reason, the credential will be available initially in the United States and South Korea, with other country-specific versions to follow. These two countries showed the most interest and provided significant support in developing this credential.
The application forensics domain area is quite hot right now because there’s an in-depth need for malware analysis. The hybrid and emerging technologies domain will evolve to help people stay current with the technologies as they change and the services as they are applied.
Because this is a master level certification, there are some pretty significant prerequisites that candidates must meet. A college degree in a related field plus 3 years of full-time digital forensics experience in 3 of the 6 domains, or 6 years of experience is required for people who don’t hold a college degree or equivalent. (ISC) 2 does allow other select forensics credentials to substitute for 1 year of the required work experience.
Since the goal of this credential is to have it become the premier global certification in digital forensics, (ISC) 2 worked with some of the world’s leading experts as well as academia and organizations like the NSA and the FBI in the U.S. and the Academy of Forensic Sciences. Some of these organizations are likely to require their employees to attain the credential for specific positions.
Training is available to help candidates prepare for the single certification exam, which will be offered for the first time in September 2013. Find out more information about CCFP, download the exam outline and register for the exam.