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Zayed University and AccessData partner to promote cyber security

Zayed University and AccessData Group, which provides digital investigations and litigation support, have announced a joint collaboration in an effort to raise regional awareness and the standard of education in the area of digital forensics and cyber security. To commemorate the partnership and in recognition of AccessData’s support for the University’s initatives in this field, AccessData was awarded with a prestigious ‘Friend of Zayed University’ certificate.

In an event that took place at the University campus on the 21st of June, 2012 attended by a large number of government and commercial sector attendees, AccessData unveiled its revolutionary Forensic Toolkit 4.0 (FTK) as part of the company’s official 52 city global launch. One of AccessData’s local partners will be donating academic licences of the product to equip and modernise the University’s digital forensics laboratory. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the software as part of their Masters programme in Digital Forensics. AccessData is looking to recruit graduates from the University on completion of the course and place them in relevant projects across the region as part of the collaboration.

Speaking at the event, Geoff Brooks, Regional Sales Manager, Middle East, Africa and India at AccessData said, “The Middle East has seen cyber crime increase at an alarming rate in recent times. These sophisticated and malicious attacks can have a crippling effect on organizations as well as the country as a whole when directed towards critical national infrastructure. We believe that by aligning with leading educational institutions like Zayed University and by helping educate the country’s next generation of business professionals and leaders in the latest cyber security technologies, we can contribute to reducing the impact of cyber crime in the long term. We want students to have the right skills once they graduate and be proficient in working with industry standard cyber security tools like FTK”.

AccessData has been present in the Middle East since 2010, and is the only vendor to offer digital forensic solutions for static, volatile and network data. FTK is recognized around the world as the standard in computer forensics software with its intuitive interface, email analysis, customizable data views and stability. The all-in-one solution allows users to process a wide range of data types from forensic images to email archives; analyze the registry; conduct an investigation; decrypt files; crack passwords; create images and build reports. AccessData offers two expansion modules with the new version—Cerberus, a malware triage technology that provides threat scores and disassembly analysis to determine both the behaviour and intent of suspect binaries, without a hash library and visualisation for relationship analysis in multiple display formats, including timelines, cluster graphs, pie charts and more.

“Zayed University is a pioneer in the area of digital forensics in the Middle East as we established the first ‘Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory’ in the Middle East in 2010, which was inagurated by his H.H. Sheikh Saif, the Minister of Interior. We continue to publish research findings in top conferences and journals worldwide. Since the inception of the Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory, we have been able to educate students in the area of digital forensics that work in both private and public sectors. As we continue to produce bleeding edge research in this domain, it is critical that we align ourselves with companies like AccessData so we can use their tools to teach our students the applied fundamentals in digital forensics, as well as conduct scientific experiments in this domain. It is critical that as neutral academics we bridge the gap between private and public sector, and this is what is taking place at this event – a marriage between academia and private sector,” concluded Dr. Ibrahim Baggili, Assistant Professor and Director of the Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory at Zayed University.

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