U.T. Dallas To Establish Digital Forensics And Security Institute To Help Fight Cybercrime
Greater Dallas Crime Commission, Law Enforcement Agencies and Private Industry To Play Significant Roles
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), in partnership with the Greater Dallas Crime Commission (GDCC) and in collaboration with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), plans to establish a Digital Forensics and Security Institute on campus in September to help deal with the rapidly growing, and often international, problem of cyber crime.
The Texas Justice Department, along with a broad consortium of law enforcement agencies and representatives of the private sector, also will be involved in the initiative.
The institute, which will be part of UTD’s highly acclaimed Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, will be one of the first establishments of its kind in the United States and will encompass a degree program that offers such courses as understanding security, digital forensics encryption, secure wireless and hardware networks and safety and security within computer or digital networks. Jonsson School Senior Associate Dean Dr. Andrew Blanchard said the mission of the institute would be threefold:
- To provide training and education in state-of-the-art methods for identifying and deterring cyber crime
- To provide research that helps refine the techniques used to manage security, protect systems and information and preserve digital evidence
- To provide effective strategies that can move new approaches to dealing with cyber crime to the public and private sectors as quickly as possible
“In establishing this institute, our goal is to provide a public service by using the university’s deep technical expertise and research capabilities to help law enforcement combat an insidious new form of crime that often has a global reach,” UTD President Dr. Franklyn Jenifer said.
Mille DeAnda, executive director of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission, said, “Cyber crime is growing at an alarming rate and costs businesses and individuals more than $15 billion a year in this country alone. Even more ominously, it often has a connection to international terrorism. What we hope to do at the institute is bring broad technical expertise, financial resources, practical real-world experience and emotional and intellectual commitment to bear on an increasingly serious problem.”
De Anda said UTD was “the perfect place for such an institute because of its longstanding record of commitment to public service and the Jonsson School’s many innovative programs in engineering and computer science.”
In recent months, the Jonsson School, which ranks second in the U.S. in the annual number of computer science graduates, has announced two other related initiatives – the Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology in collaboration with UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities and the Human Language Technology Research Institute – both of which also have potential implications in the war on cyber crime.
Blanchard said the Digital Forensics and Security Institute would be designed to “provide state-of-the-art education and research in the methods of deterring computer-generated crime and protecting valuable information” and will “work closely with a number of national organizations, including the NW3C, to create curricula that will afford the institute the opportunity to be the preeminent organization of its kind in the U.S.”
“The National White Collar Crime Center is proud to bring its experience and expertise to assist in this initiative,” NW3C Director Richard Johnston said. “It represents a comprehensive and visionary approach to address a critical threat to American citizens and businesses.”
The center will bring together UTD faculty members, encryption experts, cyber-legal specialists, law enforcement officers, criminologists, corporate security personnel and chief technology and information officers from major corporations in an “alliance that will provide a potent new force in the battle to preserve and strengthen our nation’s informational infrastructure and way of life,” Blanchard said.
Grants from federal and local governments, corporations and private contributors will finance the new institute.
The NW3C provides nationwide support services for enforcement agencies involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of economic and high-tech crime and is funded by the U.S. Justice Department. The NW3C also is a leading source for the design, development and delivery of computer forensic and investigations course materials.
The Greater Dallas Crime Commission is a nonprofit organization that provides support to law enforcement for advanced training and equipment. The GDCC educates citizens to work together for safer communities by providing crime control programs and bringing important criminal justice issues to the forefront of the state’s legislative agenda. The GDCC accomplishes its mission through various committees made up of volunteers from law enforcement, corporations and citizens. Committees include: Anti-Fraud, Auto Theft, Crime Stoppers, Campus Crime Stoppers, Youth Crime Council, Law Enforcement Liaison and Legislative Affairs.