Making the UK and Europe a Safer Place to Live and Work On-line

A Cybercrime and Security Conference – 12 January 2018

Over one hundred cyberforensics and security professionals working in law enforcement, academia and industry attended the conference entitled “Making the UK and Europe a Safer Place to Live and Work On-line” organised by the Cyberforensics & Security Innovation Hub of the University and co-sponsored by the Cybercrime Forensics Specialist Group of the British Computer Society. In his opening remarks the Chair of the organising committee Dr Abhaya Induruwa said that the conference theme was very appropriate in today’s context when the lives of almost 7 billion people on earth are touched by the Internet, and cybercrime and security incidents are rapidly increasing. He said that for a number of years the Canterbury Christ Church University has played a major role in Cybercrime forensics education, training and research and expressed hope that delegates will find the conference presentations by industry experts, including some speakers from Norway and Finland, immensely useful. He then invited Prof Robin Bryant, School Director for Research & Knowledge Exchange to say a few words of welcome.

Prof Bryant in welcoming delegates said that cybercrime falls into two forms namely cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent.  He referred to ‘old wine in new bottles’ debate and said that there are some novel features of cybercrime due to speed, scale, accessibility, portability, transferability and global reach.  He hoped that this conference will address some of these issues and the delegates will benefit from the deliberations.

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The main keynote of the conference was delivered by Prof Alastair Irons of Sunderland University who is also the Chair of the BCS Cybercrime Forensics SG.  Alistair set the stage by giving an overview of the ‘Global Cybercrime and Security’.  This was followed by a presentation on ‘Virtual currencies – risks, possibilities and legal challenges’ given by Jussi Aittola of the National Bureau of Investigation of Finland.  Jussi alluded to a number of interesting case studies. Ian Howard, a threat hunter from 7Safe, gave an insight into ‘Ransomware Forensics: an incident responder’s perspective’ and illustrated how simple tools and techniques are employed in cyberforensic investigation.

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The post lunch session started with a presentation on ‘Capacity building – a cooperative process’ given by Yves Vandermeer, Chair of the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group (ECTEG).  Yves outlined many of the activities of ECTEG aimed at promoting standardisation of methods and procedures for training programmes and cooperation with other international organisations and emphasised the importance of collaborating with academic partners to establish recognised academic qualification in the field of cybercrime and work with universities that have already created such awards making them available across international borders.

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This was followed by a very interesting talk entitled ‘Open and secure: present and future’ by Mike Bursell, Chief Security Architect at Red Hat.  Mike convincingly explained that not all open source solutions are good and not all proprietary applications are bad.  Floren Cabrera F. de Teresa, CEO, Bitbond Ltd in his presentation on ‘Security Framework for IoT’ discussed the recent developments on Blockchain technology and how work done by IBM can be effectively utilised.  The final presentation on ‘Safer working in local government: a layered approach, was given by Jonathan Haddock, who works for local government as a Network & Security Engineer.  In this talk Jonathan shared many of his experiences and discussed how individuals in an organisation become the key in delivering a safe and secure working environment.

The conference was drawn to a close by Abhaya thanking all the speakers and delegates, especially those who travelled from as far afield as Finland and Norway, the BCS Cybercrime Forensics SG for co-sponsoring and the members of the organising committee for their support in making the conference a great success.  He expressed hope that the delegates would return to Canterbury to participate in the future events organised by the Cyberforensics and Security Hub.

The conference programme, abstracts and presentation material can be viewed here.

Dr. Abhaya Induruwa – Director of Cyberforenics & Security Innovation Hub and Principal Lecturer in Computing, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity

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