I’m up to my armpits in revising the Sybex book Computer Forensics JumpStart into a second edition at the moment, and have almost gotten through the entire first draft as of today. One of the more interesting exercises in this book was to talk about available certifications in the area of computer forensics, and I’m very pleased to say that I came up with two very good ones (the CFCE and the PCI) that Anne Martinez missed in her introduction of the brand-new Certified E-Discovery Specialist (aka CEDS, which made its debut on 11/1/2010) in her latest newsletter. Of course, that only makes us even, because she alerted me to a couple about which I had been unaware).
Here’s a combined list of the items you’ll find in Appendix C of our upcoming book (due out in January 2011) and in Anne’s most recent newsletter, in alphabetical order with links (asterisked items are in my book, but not on Anne’s list; items with a plus didn’t get onto my radar until Anne pointed them out to me in her article):
– AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE)
– Certified Computer Examiner (CCE)
– Certified Digital Forensics Examiner (CDFE)
– Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS)+
– Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE)*
– Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI EC-Council)
– Certified ProDiscover Examiner (CPE)
– CyberSecurity Forensic Analyst (CSFA)+
– EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE) and EnCase Certified eDiscovery Practitioner (EnCEP)
– GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)
– Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)*
Who says that two heads aren’t better than one? Actually, it’s really three heads, because I ran my list past Neil Broom, the principal behind the Technical Resource Center for Computer Forensics, and a co-author and technical editor for our book. The result is a pretty comprehensive list of computer forensics certifications that are not just currently available (there are more, including the dangling remains of some now defunct credentials in this area) but also worth researching, and possibly even earning. FWIW, Neil’s opinion is that the CCE and the CHFI are the best of the vendor neutral bunch, and he also gives the ProDiscover and EnCase vendor-specific credentials the nod as well. As for the rest, dig in and draw your own conclusions, knowing that most of them have been around for three or more years.