We’re continuing our “Meet the Forensic Trainer” series this summer with an introduction to Lyn Goh, another of the newer faces on our Training team. Lyn is based in the United Kingdom, where she worked in IT before migrating to digital forensics and later, digital forensics training. Read on below!
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MF: Tell us about your life before becoming a Trainer.
LG: I have worked in IT for more than 30 years, starting on Mainframe systems and gradually migrating over to network and desktop support.
I fell into Digital Forensics more by accident than intention. I started working for the UK Forensic Science Service (FSS) project managing the team that was re-coding the software that ran the DNA sequencers as the software contained a millennium bug.
When Jan 01 2000 came and went and the sequencers were all still working, I needed a new job. So I spoke to the strange secretive people in the locked office at the end of the corridor and asked them what they did. The manager spent the next two hours telling me about the computer crime department, how important the work was, and how interesting it was, so I asked him for a job. For his sins, he said yes, and that was the beginning of my career in digital forensics.
I worked for the FSS for 9 years, then moved to the UK financial regulator where I worked as a digital forensics investigator for 8 years.
MF: What made you want to be a Trainer?
LG: Again, it wasn’t really a conscious decision. A former colleague worked for a digital forensics training company and invited me to become one of their part-time instructors. I agreed to give it a go as I viewed it is a way to ensure my skills and knowledge remained up to date. But it turned out that, although it is quite scary standing in front of a room full of students, I really enjoyed it.
MF: What type of training have you taken part in personally? What is your favorite part of the role?
LG: I have attended many training courses for various software that is most commonly in use for digital forensics examinations, but I have also completed a Masters degree in Forensic Computing.
My favourite part of the role is learning new information and then passing it on to my students. It is very fulfilling teaching people how to help protect innocent people.
MF: What excites you the most about a new class?
LG: Meeting new people and learning what they do and how they do it.
MF: Do you ever learn anything from the students?
LG: Always. You would have to be an idiot to think that you will ever learn everything there is to know about your chosen field of work. No matter how long I work in this arena, I am always learning. And who better to learn from than the people at the coalface.
MF: Is there a particular moment that stands out the most to you in your career in the classroom?
LG: There isn’t really just one in particular. For me the highlight of teaching is when a student has a “lightbulb moment” and suddenly they start bombarding you with questions as they have just understood the implication of what you are teaching them and want to fully understand everything, and pick every last detail from your brain.
Practical demonstrations that go wrong (usually mobile phone related) always make me cringe, but they are memorable for completely the wrong reason. You just have to learn how to push through those moments.
MF: What do students get out of training in person that they can’t get on their own?
LG: The interaction with other students. One of the things I love about teaching is listening to the students telling you and the other students about problems they have encountered and either telling you how they resolved it, or asking advice on what they can try next.
I love these ‘round table’ discussions as you learn so much from fellow investigators. On your own, you don’t always get a flavor of these ‘real world’ scenarios.
MF: How prepared do you feel students are to use Magnet Forensics products after taking the training course?
LG: Very! Many students have already been using the product when they come on the training, but they may not necessarily be using it to its full potential. Not only do they learn how to use the software better, but we also give them tips and tricks on making their review of the data more efficient. I definitely advocate “Work smart, not hard,” so I always try to give my students options for saving time and effort.
MF: What is most unique about Magnet Forensics’ approach to training?
LG: Our willingness to listen to customer feedback and our relaxed approach to learning.
MF: Why do you think certification is important to examiners?
LG: The same reason you have to pass a driving test. You might be able to get in a car and make it go forwards and backwards but does that mean you are safe be on the public highway?
The same is true of forensics software. Just because you can use it, doesn’t mean you are understanding what you are seeing and know how to interpret the results.
There should be accountability as people’s lives are on the line and certification ensures a level of knowledge and competency.
MF: How do you manage to keep up on the latest trends in digital forensics?
LG: From students, colleagues, research, and lots of reading.
MF: What trends do you see coming down the pipeline in digital forensics?
LG: Not really a trend in digital forensics per se, but I think home computers will become extinct! Everyone is moving to smartphones and tablets with cloud-based storage, and I think we are rapidly approaching a time where very few people will bother owning a home computer.
MF: Any final words of wisdom you’d like to share?
LG: Never underestimate the value of knowledge, and never stop trying to gain it from everywhere and everyone you possibly can.
Thank you, Lyn! Your insights and experience are deeply valued and appreciated.
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