The research group Digital Forensics & E-Discovery of the University of Applied Sciences Leiden has opened an Internet of Things forensic laboratory at the Hague Security Delta campus (IoT Forensic Lab @HSD). Such a lab is indispensable because of the revolution of digital evidence that is expected to happen in the next ten years.
Why an IoT Forensic Lab?
The rise of IoT, augmented reality and artificial intelligence will lead to a fusion of cyberspace and physical world. Digital forensic research requires new technologies with specialized equipment, knowledge and software. The IoT Lab has such specialized equipment, knowledge and software. A good example of such a technique is chip off, a special hardware technique to extract data from memory when a device is password protected or severely damaged, for instance, by water or fire.
The field of ICT is developing rapidly. This brings new solutions to all sorts of issues in society, but at the same time it also brings new forms of evidence in case of existing and new types of crime. Digital traces are becoming equally important or even more important than traditional traces such as fingerprints and DNA. Teachers and researchers in the field of forensic ICT must work together with experts from the working field and collaborate on digital forensic research to anticipate on this development.
Students are investigating digital forensic techniques
In the IoT Forensic Lab, teachers of the Forensic ICT specialization accompany the third and fourth year bachelor students who work during their internship with advanced digital forensic techniques. Second-year students also receive practical education in the lab. A connection between education, research and working field in optima forma.
Collaboration with the working field
The research group on Digital Forensics and E-Discovery is closely collaborating with experts working at companies that are either located at the HSD Campus or that are a HSD partner. These experts come from companies, government organizations, knowledge institutions and specialists from the working field, such as the department of Digital Technology of the Netherlands Forensic Institute. They share their knowledge and experience with each other and with students and teachers, e.g., by giving instructions and guest lectures. Companies and organizations that are lacking the knowledge, equipment or that have very strict security policy with respect to visiting interns and researches can collaborate on forensic research projects, with or without interns, in the lab.
Towards a National IoT Security & Forensics Lab
Practical cooperation with the working field in the IoT forensic lab is a good basis for applying for subsidies for applied research projects. For example, the university is currently collaborating with the Cyber Threat Intell lab of TNO and the Cyber Expertise Center of the Hague University of Applied Sciences to establish of a National IoT Security & Forensics Lab to advise startups and SME companies on innovations in the field of IoT security and forensics .
Contact: Dr. Hans Henseler, professor Digital Forensics & E-Discovery. Henseler.firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see https://www.hsleiden.nl/digital-forensics/onderzoek/iot-forensic-lab (in Dutch).