Throughout my career in digital forensics field, my team and I have been approach quite several times by universities and colleges asking for advise on setting up digital forensics course. Here are some of our common advise to higher education in setting up digital forensics course:
1. Diversify the course; not too digital forensics centric
Digital forensics field in Malaysia is quite a niche area; an organization may need to have 1 or 2 experts in digital forensics, and the staff are often experts in other area as well. So the market for newly hired is quite limited.
It is better to diversify the course and include other subjects.
Example: incident handling, information security, forensic on financial accounting, risk management, cryptography and security management.
2. Cost & tools to set up a lab
To setup a digital forensic lab, here are our suggestion (the item following can also be used for incident handling):
*The price for EnCase software is for commercial used, there is a special prize for Higher Education institution.
*The price for computer desktop take into consideration of processing power that is suitable for forensic work. It includes utilities software, for example MS Office.
3. Training for educators
There are several training that educators can attend to gain some inputs, knowledge and hands-on on the digital forensics and other cyber security fields; namely Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator and Certified Security Analyst from EC-Council, Windows Forensic Analysis and Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking by SANS Institute. Other than that educators can go for vendor-based training such as EnCase Certified Examiner.
Alternatively, CyberSecurity Malaysia does provide a complete training program in cyber security. The training program is as following:
With that, I hope this article provides an insight to all higher education institution out there seeking to develop the course. Happy teaching!