What do incident response practitioners need to know? A skillmap for the years ahead

Radek Hranický, Frank Breitinger, Ondřej Ryšavý, John Sheppard, Florin Schaedler, Holger Morgenstern, Simon Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Digital forensics incident response (DFIR) specialists are expected to possess multidisciplinary skills including expert knowledge of computer-related principles and technology. On the other hand, recent studies suggest that existing training and study programs may not fully address the needs of future DFIR professionals. To reveal possible gaps in practitioners education and identify the most needed skills, we built a skillmap for DFIR where we followed a threefold approach: (1) an online survey among DFIR experts; (2) a review of training programs; and (3) an analysis of job listings on LinkedIn. Each source was first analyzed on its own and the findings were merged into a DFIR skillmap which is the main contribution of this article. The results show that network forensics and incident handling are the most demanded domains of skills. While these are covered by existing courses the newly desired skills, in particular, cloud forensics and encrypted data, need to get more space in training and education. We hope that this article provides educators with information on ways to improve in the years ahead.

Original languageEnglish
Article number301184
JournalForensic Science International: Digital Investigation
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • DFIR
  • Digital forensics
  • Incident response
  • Skillmap
  • Skills
  • Survey


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