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Learn forensics tools with online courses

Looking to embark on a career in cybersecurity? Learn how to use digital forensics tools with online courses delivered through edX.

What is digital forensics?

Before you start learning how to use digital forensics tools and software systems, it's important to first understand the definition of digital forensics. Digital forensics is the process of gathering, preserving, and analyzing digital evidence. This digital evidence can ultimately be used in a court of law to prosecute cybercrime as well as other types of crime.

Many types of professionals use digital forensics tools and software programs in their work. A few roles that may use digital forensics tools include: 

  • Digital forensics investigator, analyst, or engineer

  • Cybersecurity consultant

  • Information systems security analyst

Using tools for digital forensics can significantly speed up the investigation process and eliminate human error. Tools and software can also help ensure that investigations stay within legal and ethical bounds.Footnote 1

Forensics tools | Introduction Image Description

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Forensics software course curriculum

Those wondering how to learn digital forensics may want to first seek out a course on the fundamentals of cybersecurity. This type of course can provide a broad overview of digital security best practices, risk mitigation, types of cyberattacks, and incident response strategies. 

After completing an introduction to cybersecurity course, consider taking an advanced course in computer or digital forensics. These courses can explore the digital forensics software and tools you can use to gather, preserve, and analyze evidence. It may include topics such as:

  • Incident response protocols and step-by-step investigation procedures

  • Techniques for gathering, preserving, and reporting on different types of evidence

  • Important legal considerations

  • Use cases for digital forensics tools for Windows, Mac, and Linux

  • Malware and hidden data detection

Interested in pursuing a digital forensics education but unsure where to start? Browse edX’s wide variety of learning options designed for people of all backgrounds and aspirations. From a full bachelor's degree in computer science to a specialized coding boot camp or even a cybersecurity boot camp, there are many learning pathways to choose from. Find the right one for you.

Jobs that use digital forensics tools

There are many digital forensics jobs to choose from in today’s digitally connected world. A background in digital forensics software can be helpful when pursuing jobs such as: 

  • Developer

  • Computer forensics examiner

  • Cryptographer

  • Information systems security analyst

  • Cybersecurity consultant

While possessing a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in computer science or a related field may be useful in your job search, boot camps and other online courses can help you build the skills needed to get started in a digital forensics career.

How to use digital forensics software in your career

Digital forensics investigators and examiners use tools to uncover evidence in cyber incidents and cases of network breach. Security system developers, consultants, and cryptographers (professionals who write code to encrypt and secure data) use forensics tools to help develop and test security systems.

There are many different types of digital forensics tools, some of which are specific to major operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux, and others that are multi-platform. Some tools are built to aid throughout the process of an investigation, from gathering evidence to reporting on it. Others are built to examine and report on specific equipment. 

For instance, disk analysis tools can give investigators a look into everything that’s taking up space on a certain computer, whereas network analysis tools can identify suspicious activity within a grouping of computers. Some other categories of tools include memory capture software, mobile device tools, email analysis tools, wireless network analysis tools, and database analysis tools.Footnote 2

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