James Moos, graduated from the MComp (Hons) Computer Forensics degree in 2016 where he received the Certificate of Excellence and Highest Overall Mark awards. He previously attended Dean Close School in Cheltenham. James’ current role is Technical Security Group Lead at C3IA Solutions Ltd, a company certified by the National Cyber Security Centre.
Describe, in simple terms, what you do
My role is primarily as a consultant, performing technical security tasks for clients such as Vulnerability Assessments, Technical Security Countermeasures (anti-eavesdropping, otherwise known as bug sweeping) and Cyber Essentials Scheme support. In addition, I am responsible for developing the technical services that we offer.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Variety. Being able to engage in tasks that range from security audits through to technical work keeps me motivated and interested in what I do, rather than conducting the same task day in day out.
Biggest achievements so far?
I have been published multiple times with articles related to cyber security in various editions of the quarterly BCS magazine, as well as a research paper in the International Journal of Forensic Sciences. But I think my overall greatest achievement was entering my degree without any technical knowledge or experience and graduating with the knowledge, experience and awards.
Why is it a good profession?
Cyber security is a broad term that actually covers a multitude of different roles. You really can choose a role that plays to your strengths and plan your career within a field that has a shortage of skilled professionals, with this likely to continue.
How has the qualification helped you in your career?
Having my degree really has given me a solid foundation to build my career upon. Without it, I would not be in a career within this field. The learning doesn't stop at graduation though, as there's nothing more important than practical experience.
What were the most valuable aspects of the course?
One of the most valuable skills which really cannot be understated is technical research – being able to receive an unknown digital device, go away, research it and successfully reverse engineer it to produce meaningful results. There are times when it is extremely challenging, but there is nothing more rewarding once you succeed with it. As digital devices are constantly changing and improving, with new technologies used, you're bound to encounter such challenges so being able to tackle them yourself makes you a valuable employee.
Aside from this, my work placement year was also key to success. It allowed me to put knowledge learnt into practice, learn new skills and come back to University with security clearance, experience, specialist training and sponsorship. This helped me to no end with my final years of study and the subsequent job hunt.
What did you enjoy the most?
One particularly enjoyable moment was conducting the mock court-room scenarios – taking the opportunity to go head to head in teams against our course mates. Another prominent memory was my final forensics assignment to finish the masters year off – tackling an unknown CCTV system, reverse engineering it and then creating six of my own programs by programming in Python to recover evidence in a forensically sound manner.
Would you recommend the Computer Forensics course?
I would wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone who has an interest in a specialist career within cyber security or digital forensics. A lot of the core modules taught are very relevant to either field and you only truly learn just how up to date the course is when you step into industry and discover you know exactly what you need to get the job done.
Anything else you want to mention?
The lecturing team were absolutely fantastic and their vast experience and knowledge only served to motivate me further in my studies. As active consultants in the field alongside their lecturing roles, they really are at the forefront of the field and it's thanks to them that I am where I am now!