A Step-by-Step Guide to Being a Cybercrime Investigator


A cybercrime investigator’s main goal is to collect information from digital networks that can be used in the investigation of internet-based, or cyberspace, illegal activity. Many crimes in today’s world include the use of the internet. A cybercrime investigator may help collect vital information to aid in the investigation of these crimes.

Although a cybercrime investigator has many of the same capabilities as a computer forensics investigator, they are particularly focused on and skilled at solving crimes that use the internet as the primary attack vector.

Cyber-attacks by hackers, foreign rivals, and terrorists are investigated by the cybercrime prosecutor. Cybercriminals pose a substantial — and – — danger. Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent, more dangerous, and more sophisticated.

Every minute of every day, adversaries threaten both private and public sector networks. Universities are criticized for their research and growth, while companies are punished for trade secrets and other sensitive data. Identity thieves target citizens, and online predators target children. For the effective prosecution of these crimes, the ability to store and retrieve digital evidence is crucial.

Steps to becoming a cybercrime investigator

To work as a cybercrime investigator, you’ll need a mix of knowledge and experience. Both cybersecurity and investigations should be covered by this education and practice, or a mixture of both.

Education is quite important. To work as a cybercrime investigator, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or cybersecurity. Few community colleges offer two-year associate degrees in criminal justice, which can be transferred to a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A computer science degree is also advantageous for work as a cybercrime investigator.

Choosing a career path A typical career path for this investigation specialty involves working as a member of a cybersecurity team for many years. A solid understanding of cybersecurity protections gives the applicant a solid foundation for predicting how cybercriminals would behave in a number of situations. Employment in a discipline that has helped the candidate develop investigative expertise is highly valued in the industry.

Certifications for professionals Although no industry-wide technical credential is needed to work as a cybercrime investigator, two certifications stand out as desirable qualifications.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential validates an applicant’s knowledge of security architecture, engineering, and management. The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) also shows a thorough understanding of cyberattacks and countermeasures.

Experimentation Since the knowledge base necessary to be a good cybercrime investigator is cross-functional in several ways, it is a job ideally suited for cybersecurity or criminal investigations professionals with experience. Even if an applicant has one of the above-mentioned bachelor’s degrees, he or she is unlikely to have the required expertise in both cybersecurity and investigations. Experience in the field will allow you to combine your cybersecurity skills with a strong understanding of investigative principles and procedures, or vice versa.

What is a cybercrime investigator?

An investigator or detective who specializes in cybercrime is known as a cybercrime investigator. These investigators are in high demand in both the private and public sectors because they have the expertise to solve today’s complex internet crimes.

Every year, billions of dollars are spent fixing networks that have been harmed by cyberattacks. Some take down critical infrastructure, causing hospitals, banks, and emergency call centers around the country to experience disruptions and, in some cases, outages. The cybercrime investigator collects the requisite information to prevent cybercriminals from carrying out their nefarious activities.

Cybercrime investigator skills and experience

In order to properly collect and retain evidence for later trial, this is a multi-functional position that requires both forensic techniques and cybersecurity skills.

It’s crucial to be able to function in a multi-jurisdictional or cross-jurisdictional setting. The nonlocal nature of cybercrime is a significant feature. Illegal activity may take place across large distances between jurisdictions. This presents significant difficulties for cybercrime investigators, as these crimes often necessitate international cooperation. Is it, for example, a crime if an individual accesses child pornography on a computer in a country that does not prohibit it from being accessed in a country where such materials are prohibited? The cybercrime investigator must be able to pose and answer questions in order to determine the precise location of cybercrime.

What do cybercrime investigators do?

The majority of cybercrime analysts work for law enforcement, consulting firms, or businesses and financial institutions. Like white hat hackers, cybercrime investigators may be recruited full-time or on a freelance basis in some cases. The investigator’s job entails examining the defenses of a particular network or digital device, while also offering penetration testing (pen testing) services. The aim is to find security flaws or vulnerabilities that could be abused by real-world adversaries.

Investigators must archive and catalog digital evidence after gathering it. The proof is often used to compile reports and is presented in court. A cybercrime investigator may perform all of these tasks.

Cybercrime investigator job description

A cybercrime investigator is a specialist who focuses solely on cyber, or internet-based, crimes. While a detective or law enforcement investigator can investigate a variety of crimes, a cybercrime investigator is a specialist who focuses solely on cyber, or internet-based, crimes.

A cybercrime investigator looks at a variety of crimes, from retrieving file systems on compromised or destroyed computers to investigating crimes against children. Cybercrime authorities also recover data from devices that can be used in criminal prosecutions.

Cybercrime investigators write reports that can be used in court until they have obtained all of the relevant electronic evidence. In addition, cybercrime analysts are required to testify in court.

Large companies may hire cyber crime investigators to test security systems that are already in place. Investigators do this by attempting to break into the company’s data networks in a variety of ways.

Job responsibilities may include:

    • Following a crime, examining operating systems and networks.
    • Data that has been lost or corrupted must be recovered.
    • Obtaining proof
    • Information about computers and networks is gathered.
    • Cyberattacks are being reconstructed.
    • Working in a cross-jurisdictional or multi-jurisdictional environment.
    • Creating expert reports on extremely complicated technological issues.
    • Giving evidence in court.
    • Law enforcement officers are being trained on cyber-related problems.
    • Expert testimony, affidavits, and reports are all written by me.
    • Clients, bosses, and administrators were all consulted.
    • Via research and training, I’m constantly honing my investigative and cybersecurity skills.
    • Recovering password-protected/encrypted files and information that has been hidden.
    • Detecting security bugs in software programs, networks, and endpoints.
    • Determine and propose strategies for proof preservation and presentation.
    • The willingness to work and communicate effectively as part of a team.

Outlook for cybercrime investigators

Since computers and the internet were widely adopted in the United States early on, the majority of the first victims of cybercrime were Americans. By the twenty-first century, however, there was scarcely a culture on the planet that had not been affected by cybercrime of some kind. The demand for cybercrime investigators is now global and increasingly increasing. The market for cybercrime investigators does not appear to be slowing down in the near future.

The rise in online criminal activity, such as identity theft, spamming, email abuse, and unauthorized downloading of copyrighted materials, would increase the demand for investigators. For cybercrime investigators, the prospects are expected to be outstanding.

How much do cybercrime investigators make?

Information security specialists (a closely related specialty to cybercrime investigators) earned a median annual salary of $98,350 in 2018, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while police and detectives, in general, earned a median salary of $63,380. (www.bls.gov). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for this closely related specialty is expected to rise 32% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the national average.

According to other reports, career growth would be at least 22% (the expected rate of growth for private investigator jobs) and likely higher than 27%. (the projected rate of growth of computer-support-related jobs).

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.