Communications Office: Stephen Mease
BURLINGTON, Vt. (July 7, 2014) - A Champlain College proposal to use advanced networks and gigabit internet connections to enhance public safety and speed up cyber forensic investigations earned the top public safety award at the 2014 US Ignite Application Summit in Silicon Valley.
The plan, entitled "Cyber Security as a Service," would utilize gigabit access available in Burlington Vermont and the resources of the BTV Ignite / U.S. Ignite initiative to effectively expedite digital forensic processes and enhance public safety.
Jonathan Rajewski, assistant professor of Digital Forensics at Champlain College, and director of the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LCDI), presented the plan at the three-day conference in Sunnydale, CA, and outlined its potential benefits.
"Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Public safety (law enforcement) investigates crimes that involve technology on a daily basis. Backlogs at law enforcement digital forensic labs are growing across the country and there are only a given number of trained experts available at a given moment to help." Professor Rajewski explained that by creating a forensic operations center with gigabit service, staffed by highly trained digital forensic examiners who work directly with investigators over gigabit internet, the response time to helping police analyze information from computers and electronic devices would be dramatically decrease.
"This U.S. Ignite Award is well-deserved recognition of the great work being done at Champlain College. Employing the latest technology, this application will help law enforcers gather evidence and increase the efficiency of their investigations, potentially saving crucial time and resources," said Leahy, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "As a former prosecutor, I appreciate the value that this cutting-edge technology brings to criminal investigations, while providing citizens the confidence they value in our criminal justice system. Congratulations to Jonathan and the entire team."
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger praised the Champlain College initiative. "Congratulations to the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation on this national recognition. This award is another example of Champlain College's leadership in the 21st century technology economy," said Weinberger. "The award is also an indication of the growing partnership between Burlington and the White House-inspired national US Ignite initiative, and I am glad to see that the BTV Ignite effort to grow jobs and expand the culture of innovation in Burlington is continuing to gain momentum."
U.S. Ignite, which hosted the Summit, is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the creation of next generation Internet capabilities, generating new business opportunities, and positively impacting how Americans work, live, learn and play. BTV Ignite is the name of the Burlington-U.S. Ignite partnership, and designed to encourage public, private, and academic institutions to develop next generation internet applications in Burlington, Vermont.
The City of Burlington was named a U.S. Ignite partner in October 2013 because of its capacity for city-wide gigabit access, the density of research and education networks, a vibrant tech business culture, its core capabilities in key research areas, and its intense entrepreneurial mindset and an enviable quality of life. The BTV Ignite program takes advantage of the city's world-class fiber optic network to deliver symmetrical speeds 100 times faster than the national average to attract new technology businesses, enhance education and research, and attract entrepreneurs to Vermont.
Rajewski's plan received numerous compliments from the panel of judges at the 2014 US Ignite Application Summit and sparked considerable interest among other communities and potential funders. To demonstrate how his plan could work, he used the example of a police search for a missing child. With the benefit of a forensic operations gigabit capable center, investigators could quickly tap into online forensic experts and link to home computers, smart phones and other electronic devices to search for clues that could help them determine how to best narrow the search.
"This kind of quick response capability is especially important since not every community has access to cyber forensics experts and often time is of the essence in a criminal investigations," said Rajewski.
In coordination with US Ignite, Champlain College's LCDI plans to submit a grant proposal to build a scalable "Cyber Security as Service" model that could be tested locally and then replicated in other communities. According to Rajewski, with the ability to utilize Burlington's gigabit network, the Center will revolutionize the way data is monitored and collected during a cyber-security or digital forensic project.
Champlain College provides full gigabit bandwidth for residential students at the College, along with service for the LCDI and the Champlain College Emergent Media Center.
"We think our ability to provide next generation internet capacity to our students and faculty will be a major factor in helping to attract top students to our award-winning Champlain programs in cyber security, game design and digital forensics," added David Provost, senior vice president of Finance and Administration at the College. "This award from U.S. Ignite is validation of the potential gains the LCDI and our students can bring to helping public safety do its job in cyber security and forensics," he said.
Champlain College is currently expanding the LCDI, located in its Lakeside Miller Center, to be able to take on projects like the cyber security plan and other secure forensics investigations.
The US Ignite Application Summit provided forums for learning, workshops, demos and sessions with experts to informal connections where attendees have time to learn and share with their peers. To learn more about the US Ignite Summit http://us-ignite.org/
Learn more about Champlain College's gigabit connection at http://www.champlain.edu/about-champlain/newsroom/gig-college. Visit the College website at www.champlain.edu.
Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and 11 master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu