Announcements & News

February 2010

Marshall University signs on to work with the world leader in digital forensics software

Marshall University Forensic Science Center, in conjunction with the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, has announced two agreements with a world leader in digital forensic software.

According to the first Memorandum of Understanding, Marshall University will conduct research for AccessData, a pioneer in digital investigations for more than 20 years. The company’s software empowers law enforcement, government agencies and corporations to perform computer investigations of any kind.

As a part of the MOU, Marshall students will conduct research on new browsers, instant messenger clients, and other Internet-related applications. The results of this research will be incorporated into AccessData training and training materials that will be delivered to a worldwide audience.

John Sammons, assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, worked to develop the relationship with AccessData. He said because of the agreement, the University will receive credit in AccessData materials and students will gain real-world experience working with the company’s Forensic Toolkit®, which is considered to be the industry standard.

“Anyone working in the sector has to gain proficiency working with Forensic Toolkit®,” Sammons said. “In most cases employers have to send new staff to be trained on forensic technology. Upon graduation, our students will leave our program proficient in FTK® with the AccessData Certified Examiner® credential.

“Forensic Toolkit is not just a law enforcement technology; it is also the foundation for AccessData’s enterprise-class solutions used by corporations and government agencies around the world,” Sammons explained. “So, graduates of our program will have an advantage over other job candidates in the law enforcement, corporate and government sectors. When they leave us, they will be able to list an internship with AccessData on their resumes. The company is the leading provider of digital forensics training and certification in the world and our students have exposure to that level of industry leadership.”

AccessData’s solutions address criminal and internal investigations, incident response, eDiscovery and information assurance. The company is headquartered in Lindon, Utah, and has training centers across the U.S. and around the world. The company’s Forensic Toolkit® and network-enabled enterprise solutions allow organizations to preview, search for, forensically preserve, process and analyze electronic evidence.

This agreement with Marshall University is unique for the company.

Keith Lockhart, Vice President of Training at AccessData, said, “We are proud to be working with Marshall University, and commend them on their real-world approach to computer forensics education. Their ACE certified graduates will undoubtedly have a leg up in the work place, as employers would prefer to put their new employees to work straight away with the confidence that they can handle the technology and utilize it to its fullest capacity.” According to the second MOU, AccessData training will be offered at Marshall University’s state-of-the-art Forensics facility this summer. In July, Marshall University will host two AccessData classes for practitioners – Mac Forensics and Applied Decryption. Sammons said, “Our hope is that Marshall University can and will become a regular training hub for AccessData.”