The National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) program has been developed to foster the digital forensics field and encourages growth in supporting the National Initiative Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework.
Students participating in the CDFAE program will graduate with the ability to:
Develop a partnership between academia and the government to establish standards and best practices for digital forensics practitioners, educators, and researchers to advance the discipline of digital forensics and increase the number of qualified professionals in the law enforcement, counterintelligence, national defense, and legal communities.
The United States is in a cybersecurity workforce deficit. More than ever, organizations need to plan for the future as significant shifts in cyber operations accelerate globally. Digital forensics skill sets provide cross-cutting application to multiple fields. In its strictest connotation, digital forensics is the application of computer science and investigative procedures involving the examination of digital evidence, including following proper search authority, chain of custody, validation with mathematics, use of validated tools, repeatability, reporting, and expert testimony. Beyond traditional legal purposes, the same techniques, scientific rigor, and procedural precision now support the range of military operations and course of action (e.g., computer network operations, as well as counterintelligence objectives). CDFAE serves as a prime avenue for cultivating leaders to meet evolving objectives across the digital forensics and cyber communities, as is vital to protect, investigate and serve public, private and national goals.
Operating since 1998, DC3 provides digital and multimedia (D/MM) forensics, cyber investigative training; research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E); and cyber analytics to DoD computer network defense (CND), law enforcement (LE), intelligence community (IC), counterintelligence (CI), and counterterrorism (CT) agencies. DC3 is recognized as a designated National Cyber Center in the National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD-54/HSPD-24) and serves as the operational focal point for the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cybersecurity and Information Assurance DIB CS/IA Program.
DC3 is also a co-lead and the DoD representative for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework under Component 4 - Cybersecurity Workforce Training and Professional Development for Functional Area 3 - Domestic Law Enforcement (LE) and Counterintelligence (CI). DC3's contributions, along with its co-leads defined the NICE framework's high-level category of Investigate for the specialty areas of Digital Forensics and Investigation.
DC3 chairs the CDFAE governance board comprised of academia and professional organizations specific to the discipline. The governance board oversees learning objective requirements, designation, and ensuring that a holistic approach to developing digital forensics, cyber investigation, and cyber analytics education is in place.
CDFAE focuses upon building core knowledge domains at multiple skill and ability levels across the education spectrum. CDFAE designates DoD and federal education organizations, and academia to a digital forensic education standard based upon knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) used in the field. It is an objective driven program which progresses to topic-based research and problem solving. The CDFAE program is designed to create an applied knowledge (hands-on) to knowledge applied (theoretical and research) educational mechanism with a clear progression between the training and education dichotomy in workforce development.
The eight knowledge domains represent well-rounded digital forensics education topics field and the learning objective levels are indicative elements of those topics. The program must provide structured advanced academic, research, and development capabilities in any or all of the digital forensics knowledge domain areas under the Learning Objective Framework (LOF) at a level appropriate for the current curriculum of participating educational institutes while enhancing and providing supplemental support towards digital forensic objectives. This is accomplished by transitioning general knowledge areas to a specific topic application.
The CDFAE program maps digital forensic knowledge domains to specific learning objectives including practical exercises.
The CDFAE program offers designations to accredited academic programs that confer a digital forensics-related degree. To receive CDFAE designation, an institution's accredited academic program must map courses against a common core curriculum and must have in-course peer reviews of curriculum and practicum within a three year period.
The CDFAE program provides two separate designations that map to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework for persons successfully passing CDFAE testing through a designated CDFAE academic program:
Date Updated: 08 Jan 2014 12:13 EST