Australian cyber crime investigation skills lacking says Swinburne professor

New postgraduate course aims to get more eForensic experts in workforce

A high number of Australian cyber crime incidents are not investigated due to a lack of eForensic skills and expertise, Swinburne University ICT dean, professor Leon Sterling, has claimed.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia, Sterling said while Australia had pockets of eForensics skills, such as in the Australian Federal Police, these were typically only available in high-profile cases leaving a shortage of skills for use in smaller instances of cyber crime.

"The police usually get involved with high profile investigations but they don’t often don't have time to investigate the small incidents,” he said. “Unfortunately there are lot more incidents happening and there is a need for a lot more people to be trained.

"There is a whole lot of crime and incidents that don’t get investigated because there aren’t the resources to do it."

Sterling's comments precede the launch in November by the university of a new postgraduate course in eForensics, designed to arm professionals with many of the skills needed to tackle cyber crime and cyber misconduct.

According to Sterling the course was developed after consultation with the ICT industry, which had concerns that infiltration of organisations by cyber criminals had led to a substantial upturn in the need for legal and technical advice about cyber crime.

Sterling claimed more than 100 people had expressed interest in enrolling in the new course and that there were "hundreds" of jobs available in the eForensics sector.

“School teachers who were trying to explain to students why ICT is important hadn’t realised that there is this eForensics component," he said. "Investigating cyber crime sounds a lot more exciting than some other ICT careers."

According to course convenor, Dr Vivienne Farrell, the graduate certificate in eForensics was targeted at professionals from business, government, law enforcement agencies and small to medium sized enterprises.

“It will appeal to those trying to protect their organisation’s digital operations as well as those involved in investigating and prosecuting cyber crimes,” she said in a statement.