Cyber Security Certification: GCFA

Cyber Security Certification: GCFA

"...The enemy is getting better and bolder, and their success rate is impressive. "We can stop them, but to do so, we need to field more sophisticated incident responders and digital forensics investigators. We need lethal digital forensics experts who can detect and eradicate advanced threats immediately. A properly trained incident responder could be the only defense your organization has left during a compromise. Forensics 508: Advanced Digital Forensics, Incident Response, and Threat Hunting is crucial training for you to become the lethal forensicator who can step up to these advanced threats. The enemy is good. We are better. This course will help you become one of the best." - Rob Lee, Course Author

The GCFA certifies that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct formal incident investigations and handle advanced incident handling scenarios, including internal and external data breach intrusions, advanced persistent threats, anti-forensic techniques used by attackers, and complex digital forensic cases. The GCFA certification focuses on core skills required to collect and analyze data from Windows and Linux computer systems.

Areas Covered

Who is GCFA for?



GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice. Based on a scientific passing point study, the passing point for the GCFA exam has been determined to be 72% for all candidates receiving access to their certification attempts on or after December 2nd, 2019. To verify the format and passing point of your specific certification attempt, read the Certification Information found in your account at


NOTE: All GIAC exams are delivered through proctored test centers and must be scheduled in advance.
GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt. GIAC exams must be proctored through Pearson VUE. Please click the following link for instructions on How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam GIAC exams are delivered online through a standard web browser.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

The topic areas for each exam part follow:

Identification of Malicious System and User Activity
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the techniques required to identify and document indicators of compromise on a system, detect malware and attacker tools, attribute activity to events and accounts, and identify and compensate for anti-forensic actions.
Incident Response in an Enterprise Environment
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how to rapidly assess and analyze systems in an enterprise environment and scale tools to meet the demands of large investigations.
Incident Response Process and Framework
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the steps of the incident response process, attack progression, cyber threat intelligence, malware and adversary fundamentals.
Timeline Artifact Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the Windows filesystem time structure and how these artifacts are modified by system and user activity.
Timeline Collection
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the process required to collect timeline data from a Windows system.
Timeline Processing
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the methodology required to process Windows timeline data from multiple system sources.
Volatile Artifact Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of normal and abnormal activity within the structure of Windows volatile memory and be able to identify artifacts such as malicious processes, network connections, system data and memory resident files.
Volatile Data Collection
The candidate will demonstrate and understanding of how and when to collect volatile data from a system and how to document and preserve the integrity of volatile evidence.
Windows Filesystem Structure and Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of core Windows filesystems, and the ability to identify, recover, and analyze evidence from any file system layer, including the data storage layer, metadata layer, and filename layer.
Windows System Artifact Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of Windows system artifacts and how to collect and analyze data such as system back up and restore data and evidence of application execution.

*No Specific training is required for any GIAC certification. There are many sources of information available regarding the certification objectives' knowledge areas. Practical experience is an option; there are also numerous books on the market covering Computer Information Security. Another option is any relevant courses from training providers, including SANS.*

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