“The need and importance of digital forensics has and will continue to further increase.”

Steven Djohan, Partner at Revnext and ‘CSI-010: Digital Forensics’ initiator 

Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Steven Djohan, currently partner at Revnext, a high-tech strategy consultancy firm. I have studied Business Administration at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam and have now been active for over 18 years as a consultant and project manager. I carry out independent evaluations for ministries, municipalities, and organization. As well, do the project management for around 40 ethical hackers who do security tests for a variety of organizations (from startup to NGO’s to education institutions from the Dutch government to multinationals).

Would you please introduce Revnext to our readers?

One of the domains, in which Revnext is active, is cybersecurity and forensics. We help public and private organizations with improving their digital security and posture. Important and responsible work for which there is a high demand out there. A lot of organizations are looking for talent to support them with this. At the same time, the required skills do not match the curriculum at universities, colleges, and schools. This is a societal challenge which we would like to tackle via our social return programs.

When was the partnership between Cyberworkplace and Revnext launched? 

Revnext was involved since the start of the Cyberworkplace in 2016. What started with a challenge to run a pilot program for a full week during the summer resulted in a successful non-profit organization running successful programs for those interested in the broad field of cybersecurity.

Can you please tell us more about the CSI-010: Digital Forensics course and your role in it?

In 2018, I together with my colleague at Revnext, Anh Tran, came up with what eventually is called the CSI-010: Digital Forensics program. In my work in the field of evaluation and forensics, the need and importance of digital forensics has and will continue to further increase. In addition to ‘traditional’ evaluation and forensic techniques, the need and ability to go efficiently and correctly through large digital libraries of documents and through data on computer devices (from mobile phones to laptops to cloud environments) increases the need for knowledge of digital forensics. It also highlighted another side in the field of cybersecurity which– back then – attracted more focus and interests from students in ethical hacking.

When conceiving CSI-010, we looked to create a unique curriculum with not only the Cyberworkplace, but also schools and other companies. After talks with the Techniek College Rotterdam, we found a great partner to work with. In the first year of CSI-010: Digital Forensics, we heard from students that they never had many guest lectures from the field. “You can’t be what you can’t see” is a saying. This applies to the field of cybersecurity and digital forensics as well; role models are needed. We not only offer knowledge, but also a career perspective.

For the curriculum of CSI-010 we gathered guest lecturers and partners from law enforcement such as the Police. A good mix of experts who can give more insight in the broad field of forensics. CSI-010 doesn’t only offer a glimpse of the possibilities of digital forensics, but allows students to get hands-on experience with actual cases and forensic techniques.

It is great to see that CSI-010 is well received by students and partners (an average of an 8.5 rating by students in 2022). The program might be free for students, but not without obligations. Students have to apply and to invest time and effort during the lessons, as do the teachers and guest lecturers. That is quite special and also means that we continue to do our best to create something special (e.g., new guest lecturers, new hands on challenges during lessons, etc.)

Digital Forensics is not only a skill for the future, but is already extremely important today. We will continue this program until we are no longer needed (and when it is included in the standard teaching curriculum).

What do you like the most about Cyberworkplace?

The Cyberworkplace gives those interested in the field of cybersecurity a place to learn more about it. It’s great to hear about students who dropped out of school are motivated by the Cyberworkplace to return to school. They help them understand the importance of a good education if you want to succeed as a cybersecurity specialist, IT specialist or any other field you like.

Describe Cyberworkplace in three words.

Motivating, fun and ‘getting things done’ mentality.

How do you see this partnership in the future?

CSI-010: Digital Forensics was realized as a partnership between business (Revnext), education (Techniek College Rotterdam) and non-profit (Cyberworkplace). With now also law enforcement and government as a partner to the CSI-010 program, it is a successful and unique example of a partnership. I hope we can continue and build further on this partnership. 

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