Training facility on course to tackle cybercrime

Gateshead College has opened a facility that it says will help IT experts and technicians tackle cybercrime. The £75,000 Digital Forensics Lab at its Baltic Campus site will offer courses to equip companies with the skills needed to investigate criminal activity and implement preventative measures, the college claims.

The Digital Forensics Lab was designed with support and guidance from Northumbria Police, who will have the opportunity to use this specialist resource for their own training purposes, and the North East Fraud Forum, which works with organisations to raise awareness of the latest techniques for fighting fraud.

The lab uses the latest forensics equipment and systems to replicate an industry- standard fraud protection and law enforcement facility. The college will be able to provide a range of courses delivered by fully trained lecturers covering all the important aspects of computer forensics like opening a case file, searching for evidence and preparing this for presentation in court.

The number of computer crime investigations carried out by local police over the last 10 years has increased fourfold - from 72 in 1998 to almost 300 (296) in 2008, according to Detective Sergeant Alan Batey, head of Northumbria Police's computer crime unit. "We are seeing year-on-year growth in the number of people using computers, the internet and mobile phones to co-ordinate and undertake criminal activities,” he says. "The new Digital Forensics Lab will be a great resource to help companies uncover fraudulent activity, helping them to better protect their business, market share and ultimately profits."
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