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News

Undergraduate course in forensic computing.

The Open University : 18 January, 2008  (New Product)
The Open University is running a postgraduate course in computer forensics which can be used towards further post graduate qualifications.
Email bullying, online fraud, electronic identity theft: guard against
cyber crime with new course

If a malicious employee stole data from your organisation, would you
have the skills to detect it? Could you gather evidence that would help
the authorities prosecute a criminal case? Would you be able to produce
the evidence to handle a disputed transaction, or a misbehaving
employee? In this digital age we live in, computing security and
business IT processes are under more scrutiny and pressure than ever
before.

A new postgraduate course from The Open University is now available to
equip professionals with a basic understanding of this complex field.
Computer Forensics and Investigations provides an introduction to the
world of digital evidence collection, forensic computing and IT incident
management. The course will enable people to know what to do in the
first initial stages of investigation - being a 'First Responder' to a
situation and helping an organisation prepare for problems before they
happen.

Carefully constructed to balance the legal and technical aspects of this
area, the course is relevant to IT professionals wishing to broaden
their skill set, human resources managers who need to understand the
issues and legal professionals seeking a new challenge. Specially
commissioned material has been written by a legal and technical expert
in the field, Peter Sommer, who has acted as an expert witness in
high-profile cases ranging from terrorism and fraud, Internet child
abuse and international hacking to corporate espionage, defamation and
murder. Peter also has had experience in Westminster and Whitehall as
a specialist advisor.

Peter Sommer said: 'IT related crimes are more prolific and businesses
have to guard themselves against a multitude of issues: fraud, illegal
downloads, theft of data and online bullying, for instance. Cyber crime
is a major issue: in addition to the spectacular events that capture
media attention, most businesses are likely, over a 12-month period, to
suffer from incidents where digital investigation and evidence are
required, for example, disputed transactions, employee disputes, minor
frauds and attacks. Some universities offer courses to produce
forensic technicians and analysts - but there is a huge need to support
the 'first responder' as it is at this point that much useful
information is lost, or even inadvertently destroyed.'

Students on the course will learn the essentials behind identifying,
acquiring, preserving and analysing evidence and gain an overview of
relevant law. They will use authentic computer forensic tools during
investigations of specially prepared scenarios that replicate real-life
situations, developed with input from digital forensic consultancy
Evidence Talks Ltd.

Course Team Chair Blaine Price said: 'An understanding of the basics of
computer forensics is becoming more and more important for a wide range
of professionals. But in contrast to the high-profile media
representations of the subject on TV shows like CSI and Spooks, this
course is not aimed just at 'techies' - it also teaches skills important
for managers and those with legal interests at companies of just about
any size.'

This course will give a good grounding in forensic computing and equip
students for further study. It is a 15-point postgraduate level course
which can be used towards a postgraduate qualification. The first
presentation of the course starts in May 2008, with registration closing
at the end of March. The course will run again in November 2008.

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