Adastral Park
Careers & Education   >   British Science Week   >   Science: Digital Forensics
Day 1: Science - Digital Forensics
1 - Introduction
Meet Dan and Steph, our hosts for the day, who will introduce you to the world of Digital Forensics with our team of experts from BT and the University of Suffolk:
2 - Digital Forensics with Naomi, Ryan & Lewis
Photo of Steph Bally
Steph (host): Now we know what we're going to be exploring, let me introduce you to our first industry experts, Naomi, Ryan and Lewis. They will be looking at your online footprint and how you can keep your lives and work secure in the digital world.
Over to you guys...
Photo of Naomi Lee
Photo of Naomi Lee
Naomi
Software Engineering Professional in Security, BT
Key qualifications: A Levels: Computing, Maths and Chemistry. BSc in Software Engineering as part of the Apprenticeship.
What does your job involve? I am currently working in a DevOps team, responsible for writing and maintaining our automation. I work directly with customers making sure our products are tested to the highest standards before being released. My role involves working with many stakeholders to manage automation suites working across several systems.
How did you get into your current role? I joined as an Apprentice and have worked on requirements capture right through to the end delivery of products.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I really enjoyed music and wanted to be a singer.
What do you do outside work? I enjoy cycling and horse riding.
Photo of Ryan Roberts
Photo of Ryan Roberts
Ryan
Networks Apprentice, Secure Platforms, BT
Key qualifications: Maths, Physics and Electronics A Levels, working towards a BSc in Digital & Technology Solutions (Network Engineering).
What does your job involve? I am currently working in the Secure Platforms Delivery team coordinating the investigation and fixes of security issues found on our systems. It's giving me a great insight into the different methods cyber-attacks can make use of.
How did you get into your current role? When I was doing my A Levels I was pretty sure that I would be off to University somewhere across the country, but then I attended an open evening for BT Apprenticeships and I was hooked. I applied and got the job and have since had a chance to spend time in 5 different teams doing 5 very different things!
What did you want to be when you were younger? I went through many different phases... I started off wanting to be a farmer, then a forklift driver, then a paramedic or policeman. But, as soon as I was old enough to use and understand computers, I knew I wanted to work with them and have never looked back!
What do you do outside work? I love designing and building electronic circuits such as a set of LED lights that can be controlled via voice assistants and a little screen that displays the UK Covid statistics. I also enjoy cooking, walking, watching films and playing video games!
Photo of Lewis Smith
Photo of Lewis Smith
Lewis
Secure Platforms Apprentice (Network Engineering), BT
Key qualifications: A-Levels (Business, Geography and Exercise & Sports Science). Working towards a networking degree as part of my apprenticeship.
What does your job involve? I work in a team called Secure Platforms and we provide technical solutions to secure customers. The best part about my job is working on very interesting projects which we are not allowed to tell anyone about.
How did you get into your current role? I am now in the 3rd year of my apprenticeship and my current role is being a Lead Technical Design Authority (LTDA). I have had other rotations in Design, Delivery, Customer Billing and Application Support Group roles.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I have always had an interest in sport so I wanted to be a sportsman, mainly a footballer. Another sport related job which I had an interest in was becoming a P.E. teacher.
What do you do outside work? I love to play any kind of sport, mainly football and golf at the moment. If I'm not playing sport, I will either be socialising with friends or playing video games.
Photo of Naomi Lee
Naomi: Thanks for watching our video, I hope you've enjoyed learning about Digital Forensics! We have had some questions submitted relating to this topic in the lead up to British Science Week which are answered below. However, if you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you. Please email stemexpert@bt.com. We also held a live Q&A session on the day, a recording of which can be seen below...
Questions and answers
Question:
How can I keep my home Wi-Fi secure?
student profile
Photo of Ryan Roberts
Answer:
At the very least, it's important to have a secure password so make sure you change your router password from the default one it comes with. Many home routers will also let you view all of the devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi too and it is often possible to set up a 'Guest' Wi-Fi. This can be a great way to allow people at a party, for example, to connect to your Wi-Fi while keeping their connection separate from yours!
Question:
What happens if someone steals packets of my data?
student profile
Photo of Lewis Smith
Answer:
As long as you are web browsing using https (you'll see a locked padlock symbol next to the website name), then the data inside the packet will be encryped/scrambled so it won't make sense to anyone other than the computer that it is supposed to reach.
See more digital forensics questions and answers...
Got a question? email stemexpert@bt.com
3 - Have a go activities
Photo of Dan McHugh
Dan (host): Now it's your turn to have a go at becoming a detective, to help you understand the key steps and processes in a digital forensics investigation. You can download the activity pack to get step-by-step instructions...
Downward arrow
Download activity pack
4 - Career profiles
Photo of Steph Bally
Steph (host): Digital Forensics can be a really exciting career choice and you might be surprised by the various different roles available within this space. Below we've pulled together some profiles of people from Adastral Park and across BT that work in this area. Take a look and discover how varied a career in this space could be.
Photo of Chris Howe
Photo of Chris Howe
Chris
Security Specialist, BT
Key qualifications: Ph.D, BSc(hons), CISSP, CCSP, OSCP, TOGAF.
What does your job involve? My team and I create new technology-based security solutions for BT to run as a managed service for our customers.
How did you get into your current role? BT were looking for people to move into security. I volunteered to be part of a cohort to do this.
What did you want to be when you were younger? A millionaire and a hacker. Ideally one not being dependent on the other!!!
What do you do outside work? I have a young family; I love spending time with them in the great outdoors!
Photo of Daniel Capp
Photo of Daniel Capp
Daniel
Applied Research Degree Apprentice, BT
Key qualifications: A Levels in Physics, Maths and Computer Science; completing a BSc Digital & Technology solutions as part of the BT apprenticeship.
What does your job involve? I'm currently in my first rotation in the cyber security team, working on continuous biometric authentication including facial recognition.
How did you get into your current role? Having only just started my apprenticeship, my career journey is only just beginning. From the moment I heard about the BT degree apprenticeship scheme, I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to get on it.
What did you want to be when you were younger? For most of my life, I've wanted to work with computers but there were a few different phases along the line where I wanted to be a music teacher, in addition to a parkour ninja as shown in the Assassin's Creed series.
What do you do outside work? I play guitar in a band – we currently have a demo single released and are working on an EP. I also enjoy nerding out running games of Dungeons and Dragons for friends.
Photo of Chris Rouse
Photo of Chris Rouse
Chris
Graduate Software Engineer, BT
Key qualifications: A Levels (Maths, Further Maths, Physics and German) and a Physics BSc from the University of Birmingham.
What does your job involve? Automating large networks of virtual computers, firewalls and switches. I work on very secure, air gapped systems (not connected to the internet) which is an interesting challenge!
How did you get into your current role? I applied as a Software Engineering Graduate after enjoying a Python project at Uni. I just happened to be placed in a cybersecurity team which was a good fit.
What did you want to be when you were younger? A scientist. In some ways this isn't too different from that, although I like that this is more practical.
What do you do outside work? I like to play squash and go climbing. I also enjoy cooking with varying degrees of success!
5 - University of Suffolk
Photo of Dan McHugh
Dan (host): Meet Ali from the University of Suffolk who will take you through how evidence from electronic and digital devices are used in a court of law to convict criminals.
Over to you, Ali...
Photo of Ali Hasan Alhaj
Photo of Ali Hasan Alhaj
Ali
Lecturer in Cyber Security, University of Suffolk
Key qualifications: BSc Computer Science, MSc Computer Forensics.
What does your job involve? At the University of Suffolk, I teach Cyber Security and Digital Forensics courses to students from different backgrounds and varied professional experience levels. I also conduct research in the area of network security and digital forensics. The best thing about working as a university lecturer is that you will never stop learning and discovering; learning is a lifelong process.
How did you get into your current role? My passion to learn and share knowledge with others led me to academia. Being a university lecturer allows me to share this passion with others.
What did you want to be when you were younger? A Mechanical Engineer.
What do you do outside work? I enjoy cooking, reading, and watching documentaries.
Photo of Ali Hasan Alhaj
Ali: I hope my video has inspired you to explore more about Digital Forensics. We have had some questions submitted relating to this topic in the lead up to British Science Week which are answered below. However, if you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you. Please email stemexpert@bt.com.
Questions and answers
Question:
What is unique when dealing with digital evidence compared to traditional evidence in forensics investigations?
Student profile
Photo of Ali Hasan Alhaj
Answer:
Compared to traditional evidence, such as paper documents or even crime weapons, digital evidence has unique authentication challenges for investigators because of the volume of data on digital devices and its volatility, where it can quickly disappear by being overwritten or deleted. Additionally, digital evidence can easily be manipulated or changed. For example, just opening a computer file changes the file metadata. Computers record the time and date it was accessed within the file itself. If digital forensics investigators seize a computer and then start opening files, there's no way to tell for sure that they didn't change anything, which allows defence lawyers to contest the validity of the evidence when the case goes to court.
Question:
Can digital forensics investigators recover deleted files or images from computers and smartphones?
Student profile
Photo of Ali Hasan Alhaj
Answer:
Usually, trained digital forensics investigators will be able to recover deleted files and images from any device if they have been deleted in the standard method using operating systems functions. This method only deletes a pointer to the file so that it doesn't appear in your folders, but the file actually still exists in the device. Moreover, when you press the delete button, the file is not actually deleted, and therefore, such files are usually recoverable and usable.
Got a question? email stemexpert@bt.com
6 - Related STEM learning content
If you enjoyed this content, why don't you take a look at some of these other great resources around this topic below:
British Science Week 2021
Cyber security
Explore the world of cyber security with our team of experts from BT and the University of Bath.
Supported by:
BT logo University of Bath logo
Free online learning
Digital forensics
This free course is an introduction to computer forensics and investigation, and will give you an overview of forensic science in general, including how it works in practice.
Supported by:
The Open University logo
Video
Hashing and cryptography
This short video explains what hashing is in computer science and how it enables us to preserve the integrity of our data.
Supported by:
BT logo
Video
Online security
This short video from Juniper Networks is all about staying safe online.
Free online learning
Introduction to cyber security
This free course will make you feel more confident about your online safety, helping you understand online security and protect your digital life.
Supported by:
The Open University logo
Video
Digital forensics
This short video will take you through all of the key elements of digital forensics and how they are pieced together during a digital forensics investigation.
Supported by:
The Open University logo
Day 2: Technology - Software & Programming >