So, You Want to Become a Cyber CSI? Study Digital Forensics at a Top University in Malaysia
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According to the Cybersecurity Malaysia website, Digital Forensics is a scientifically derived and proven method towards the presentation, collection, validation, identification, analysis, interpretation, documentation and presentation of digital evidence derived from digital sources for the purpose of facilitating or furthering the reconstruction of events found to be criminal: or helping to anticipate unauthorised actions shown to be disruptive to planned operations.
Traditionally, digital forensics practitioners came from a more general computer science background, and often were experienced sysadmins who were already comfortable with many of the basic tools used in digital forensics. However, in line with the increasing specialization within the industry, only a few private universities in Malaysia offer the Digital Forensics degree programme. To find out which are the top universities offering this course, please contact us for the details.
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What will You Study in the Digital Forensics Course at a Top Private University in Malaysia?
Students in a forensic science program with a digital forensic emphasis may complete courses in cybersecurity; digital forensic technology and practices; advanced forensics; and problem-solving in cybersecurity, among others.
At a top private university in Malaysia, the Digital Forensics degree programme is specifically designed to provide with:
- The ability to develop technical knowledge, skills and background in the design and organisation of computer systems with an emphasis on digital forensics.
- The ability to critically evaluate design paradigms, languages, algorithms, and techniques used to perform advanced digital forensics investigation and incident response.
- The ability to evaluate and respond to opportunities for developing and exploiting new technologies with digital forensics methods and tools.
What is Digital Forensics?
Digital forensics (sometimes known as digital forensic science) is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime. In addition, Digital forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law. The goal of digital forensics is to perform a structured investigation while maintaining a documented chain of evidence to find out exactly what happened on a computing device and who was responsible for it.
Forensic investigators typically follow a standard set of procedures: After physically isolating the device in question to make sure it cannot be accidentally contaminated, investigators make a digital copy of the device’s storage media. Once the original media has been copied, it is locked in a safe or other secure facility to maintain its pristine condition. All investigation is done on the digital copy.
Investigators use a variety of techniques and proprietary software forensic applications to examine the copy, searching hidden folders and unallocated disk space for copies of deleted, encrypted, or damaged files. Any evidence found on the digital copy is carefully documented in a “finding report” and verified with the original in preparation for legal proceedings that involve discovery, depositions, or actual litigation.
Digital forensics professionals are called into action once a breach occurs, and work to identify the hack, understand the source, and recover any compromised data. It is a crucial aspect of law and business in the internet age and can be a rewarding and lucrative career path.
How digital forensics is used in investigations
There are a number of process models for digital forensics, which define how forensics examiners should proceed in their quest to gather and understand evidence. While these can vary, most processes follow four basic steps:
- Collection, in which digital evidence is acquired. This often involves seizing physical assets, like computers, phones or hard drives; care must be taken to ensure that no data is damaged or lost. Storage media may be copied or imaged at this stage in order to keep the original in a pristine state for reference.
- Examination, in which various methods are used to identify and extract data. This step can be divided into preparation, extraction and identification. Important decisions to make at this stage are whether to deal with a system that’s live (for instance, to power up a seized laptop) or dead (for instance, connecting a seized hard drive to a lab computer). Identification means determining whether individual pieces of data are relevant to the case at hand — particularly when warrants are involved, the information examiners are allowed to learn may be limited.
Analysis, in which the data that’s been gathered is used to prove (or disprove!) the case being built by examiners. For each relevant data item, examiners will answer the basic questions about it — who created it? who edited it? how was it created? when did this all happen? — and attempt to determine how it relates to the case.
- Reporting, in which the data and analysis are synthesized into a format that can be understood by laypeople. Being able to create such reports is an absolutely crucial skill for anyone interested in digital forensics.
What will You Study in the Digital Forensics Degree Course in Malaysia?
As computer science students specialising in digital forensics, students will first learn the relevant Year 1 Subjects to provide the fundamentals of knowledge and skills. Digital forensics is an evolving field with many sub-disciplines. Thus, technical knowledge is as equally important with the practical hands-on to promote meticulous and critical minds in performing digital forensic investigations.
The common modules include Mathematical Concepts for Computing, Operating Systems & Computer Architecture, Fundamentals of Software Development and System Analysis & Design. Students will also learn the Introduction to Networking, Databases and C Programming as part of their core modules.
A strong foundation in knowledge with relevant technical techniques and analytical thinking skills are important pre-requisites for their second and third year studies. To provide the essentials of this programme, Introduction to Security Technologies and Forensic Tools and Techniques are offered as specialised subjects in Year 1.
Introduction to management introduces the third key area to promote the understanding of personal and organisational development. The overall study experience comes along with independent learning and team working skills.
Next, a broader range of knowledge and skills will be learnt at Year 2. Students will exploit the technologies innovatively to implement software/system and develop feasible solutions to computing problems, specifically in the realm of digital forensics.
Digital forensic is a discipline where consistent practice is required to ensure the acquisition, examination and presentation of digital evidence are following legal requirements. Well-versed professionals specialised in digital forensics are flexible in performing range of computing tasks with extended theories and aligned strategies.
The core modules take development and investigation skills to the next level and deepen the understanding of the discipline, while specialised modules pave the ways for students to go further into areas such as Advanced Forensic Methods, Ethical Hacking and Incident Response and Practical CTF Strategies. Research Methods for Computing & Technology module facilitates the students with the right tools and techniques for completion of their final year investigations and project in Year 3.
In their final year, students will portray their personal and professional development in the field of computer science, specifically in digital forensics based on their previous studies and industrial experience. These are further refined in accomplishing Project Management, Innovation Management & New Product Development and Emergent Technology common modules.
Students will extend the capabilities developed in previous levels into the focus of specialised modules. These include Algorithmic, Advanced Cyber Security, Penetration Testing, Mobile Forensics, Deep Learning for Intrusion Detection as well as Legal and Professional Practice in the Cyber World.
A final year project requires the students to investigate and develop a solution for a real world problem. This provides proof of their ability to combine technical knowledge, programming skills and critical thinking skills to achieve a goal, which is an important addition to their academic portfolio.
What are the Subjects for the Digital Forensics Degree course?
- Introduction to Management
- Mathematical Concepts for Computing
- Operating Systems & Computer Architecture
- Fundamentals of Software Development
- System Analysis & Design
- Introduction to Networking
- Introduction to Databases
- Introduction to C Programming
- Introduction to Security Technologies
- Introduction to Forensic Tools & Techniques
- Programming for Data Analysis
- Creativity & Innovation
- System Development Methods
- Object Oriented Development with Java
- Data Structures
- Research Methods For Computing & Technology
- System & Network Administration
- Computing Theory
- Computer Systems & Low Level Techniques
- Advanced Forensic Methods
- Ethical Hacking & Incident Response
- Practical CTF Strategies
- Project Management
- Innovation Management & New Product Development
- Emergent Technology
- Advanced Cyber Security
- Penetration Testing
- Mobile Forensics
- Deep Learning for Intrusion Detection
- Legal & Professional Practice in Cyber World
- Investigations in Digital Forensics
- Project in Digital Forensics
What are the Entry Requirements for the Digital Forensics Degree course?
|DIRECT ENTRY TO LEVEL 1 OF THE DEGREE:|
|Computer Science / Sofware Engineering / Cyber Security / Intelligent Systems||A Pass in STPM with a minimum Grade C (GP 2.0) in any 2 subjects and a Credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM Level or its equivalent.|
|Computer Science / Sofware Engineering / Cyber Security / Intelligent Systems||2 Passes in A-Level and a Credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE OR 2 Passes in A-Level including Mathematics and a Credit in Mathematics at O-Levels.
Note: Overseas qualification maybe accepted if Mathematics in 12th Grade/ A-Level is comparable to Additional Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE. Students can be given preferential entry for ICT related subject in SPM/ O-Level/ IGCSE.
|Computer Science / Sofware Engineering / Cyber Security / Intelligent Systems||5 Grade B’s in UEC, including Additional Mathematics.|
|Computer Science / Sofware Engineering / Cyber Security / Intelligent Systems||Passed the APU Foundation programme (minimum CGPA of 2.0) with an acceptable achievement in “Further Mathematics” module and a Credit in Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE or equivalent.
Passed a Foundation/Matriculation (minimum CGPA of 2.0) with a Credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE or equivalent.
|DIRECT ENTRY TO LEVEL 2 OF THE DEGREE:|
|ICT RELATED DIPLOMAS|
|Computer Science / Sofware Engineering / Cyber Security / Intelligent Systems||APU Diploma (minimum CGPA of 2.5) with a Credit in Mathematics or Additional Mathematics at SPM/ O-Level/IGCSE or equivalent.
Diploma from other institutions with minimum CGPA of 2.5 and a Credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE or equivalent.
Note: Students who do not have a Credit in Additional Mathematics in SPM/ O-Level/IGCSE but have an acceptable achievement in Mathematics related subjects during the Foundation which may be equivalent to SPM/O-Level/IGCSE Additional Mathematics, can be accepted into Degree Programmes. Students can be given preferential entry for ICT related subject in SPM/ O-Level/ IGCSE.
What are the Career Options for the Digital Forensics Graduates in Malaysia?
- Digital Forensics Investigator
- Forensic Compliance Investigator
- Computer Forensics Analyst
- Cyber Defense Forensics Analyst
- Cyber Defense Incident Response Analyst
- Ethical Hacker / Penetration Tester
- Intrusion Detection Analyst
- Forensic Analytics Specialist
- Secure Applications Engineer
- Information Security Analyst / Engineer
- Information Security Technical Specialist
- Computer Engineer
- Systems Engineer
- Software Developer
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)