Daytona State College is the lead institution in a consortium whose goal is to advance cyber forensic education in the southeastern United States. The consortium is comprised of nine colleges from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas operating as the Southeastern Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium (ACE). Its work is funded by a National Science Foundation grant totaling $1,834,931 over four years.
Cybersecurity has become a rapidly growing market, with numerous high-profile attacks occurring over the past few years that have increased awareness and changed the way business and government defend against such threats.
Cyber forensics professionals gather, process, interpret and use digital evidence related to cybercrime. Evidence gathered in their investigations often is used in criminal prosecutions. The field also involves the study of evidence from attacks on computer systems to learn how they occurred, the extent of damage and possible means to prevent them from recurring.
Consortium schools will offer an associate-level course in digital forensics, as well as four baccalaureate-level courses, including introductory and advanced digital forensics, incident response and network forensics, and Linux administration. Daytona State already teaches these courses as part of several associate of science degrees and its Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology. The consortium will develop a consistent set of core online course materials that can be shared among the schools. The Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, and existing ATE (Advanced Technological Education) Cyber Security Centers are assisting with the project.
Information technology professionals in need of continuing education or retraining also will be able to take advantage of the online courses, which provide hands-on experiences through the use of video demonstrations and desktop virtualization technologies.
In addition to Daytona State, other consortium schools include Middle Georgia State College, South Piedmont Community College, and Trident Technical College.
Cyber forensics professionals may find themselves working in financial institutions, for Internet providers and software developers, as well as for governmental agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security and for state and local law enforcement agencies. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, job growth in the cyber forensics field is expected to grow from 13 to 22 percent over the next five years, depending on which industry or government sector one chooses to pursue.
Dr. Philip Craiger
Faculty, School of Engineering Technology