Diary of a Student – Part 3 – 19th February 2011 – Businesses and Web Systems

Well it’s certainly been a busy few weeks starting the new semester and I thought it time to let you all know how things were going.

Following on from my previous post, I can tell you that the second part of my Fundamentals assessment went very well and I’m quite confident about the results. A few simple questions about Public and Private GPG keys and some bizarre plain text TCP communications made the test fairly enjoyable. Well, as enjoyable as any test can be I suppose.

All my coursework has been handed in for Semester 1 and I am pleased with the results that have been returned so far. I am on my way to getting those 3 letters after my name!

Semester 2 pretty much kicked off as soon as the assessments were all finished so there has not been much of a break but it has started with some highly interesting topics.

Secure Web Systems looks set to be particularly interesting. While it is slightly more security focused, it does involve learning some PHP and basic web development, which I enjoy a lot and have already dabbled in a little bit.

The culmination of this module shall bring the most terrifying assessment to date – a pen test. Thank goodness I bought those books on SQL and PHP! Hopefully, though, everything will go smoothly and I’ll come out the other side with some valuable knowledge.

Digital Evidence and Incident Response is following on from Forensic Tools and Techniques nicely, with some Virtual Machine Acquisitions and use of various Sysinternals tools. We are already learning much about CIRT and CSIRT teams, and how they operate which has been eye opening if I am honest. A bit more live Forensics is going to be thrown in along with Network Forensics, so all in all, it should be a fun module.

Advanced Topics in Forensics and Security is pretty much like Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin. We will be looking at current research being conducted in both fields and will also receive some guest lectures from the Researchers involved.

By now I imagine you’re wondering why the title of this post is Businesses and Web Systems. Well, among the four modules of Semester 2 is “Professional Practice and Responsibilities”. Now, if you’re like me, then you will take one look at that title and think, “That sounds a bit strange for a Forensics course.” However, the first two lectures have probably been some of the most enjoyable so far.

The main premise of the module is to understand the fundamentals of a business, how IT operates within the business as a support or service function and how Digital Forensics and Security form part of this. In addition we are looking at the various roles that digital forensics and security have within the overall security operations and not just the post event analysis, lastly we will be putting all of this together to develop our own fake businesses and must apply the various laws and policies to make them successful.

In groups of four we will work over the semester building up our research into Business so that, when we face the dreaded DMU Dragons Den, we will be able to present to them, a company that has the beginnings of being highly successful and worth investing into. Who knows? Maybe our businesses will become real some day. The Presentation also assesses our business plans and our communicative skills so it should be a bit of fun.

I will keep you informed as to how our business, currently under the temporary name of Four Candles Forensics and Security Ltd, gets on.

That’s all for this post, really just an intro to the second Semester and what I will be getting up to. I’ll try not to leave it so long before the next post!

For now, I wish you all well.

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About M Isbell

News Editor at DFM