Cindy Murphy served in law enforcement for more than 30 years, including 24 years as a detective with the Madison Police Department in Wisconsin. During 17 of those years she worked as a certified digital forensics examiner. During her time as an investigator, she saw firsthand the emergence of mobile devices as the primary source of evidence in investigations. This pushed her to grow into the mobile forensics expert she is today and enabled her to co-author the SANS FOR585 Advanced Smartphone Forensics course. Just recently, Cindy took a leave of absence from the Madison Police Department to launch Gillware Digital Forensics, where she is co-owner and serves as president and lead examiner. As a life-long police officer, Cindy knows the transition from the public to the private sector to private will present new challenges, but she's looking forward to broadening her professional experience even further, which will benefit both Cindy and her students.
Throughout her career, Cindy has always looked for opportunities to help in meaningful ways. In one recent case, experts spent a year trying to unlock the phone of a 16-year-old girl who was killed in a tragic traffic accident. As the family prepared to spread the girl's ashes in a ceremony a year after her death, Cindy was given the victim's locked phone. She was able to unlock it, enabling the family to see their daughter's last photos. The family sent Cindy a thank you note that said: "We so appreciate this opportunity you've given us to hold onto a piece of our daughter's life we were sure was lost to us."
Digital devices have a huge impact in our world today, and Cindy believes mobile phones have become the diaries of people's lives. That's why mobile forensics is such a vital field. A thorough knowledge of these devices is thus crucial to investigations, since they can provide indispensable evidence that law enforcement can't afford to miss. Cindy knows the tools and programs that support digital forensics, has trained officers how to handle cell phone evidence, and knows how to take care of herself and others when working through tough cases like child pornography. Her extensive experience has given her both the real-world experience and the foundation in training that it takes to excel in the mobile forensics field and share her knowledge with others.
Cindy has been teaching digital forensics since 2002. In 2006, she helped develop the curriculum for a certificate program at Madison Area Technical College. Cindy has served as guest faculty for the National District Attorney's Association, testified as a computer forensics expert in state and federal court on numerous occasions, presented internationally on digital forensics topics, and written frequent articles and whitepapers. She as a master's degree in science degree in forensic computing and cyber crime investigation from University College in Dublin. Cindy is also a military veteran, a mother, an activist in defense of first amendment rights, a musician (banjo, cello, tenor guitar, mandolin, and ukulele), and a Brittany Spaniel enthusiast.
Here's What Students Are Saying about SANS Certified Instructor Cindy Murphy
"Cindy Murphy is a force to be reckoned with! Very happy I signed up for this class." - Reza Z., DirectTV
"Cindy is Awesome! She fully understands what is happening in the field and how to do our job better." - John P., Shell Oil
"Good, real-world experience. Clearly, Cindy has been there, done that." - Chris Mallow, University of Oklahoma
References from SANS Instructors
"Cindy has told me multiple times that teaching others how to do this job was some of the most rewarding work that she can do. Cindy truly believes that her material, instruction, and experience could make a difference in helping stop bad guys around the world. She gets how important the role of our work is in developing additional investigators and responders in law enforcement, media exploitation, and information security fields." - Rob Lee, SANS Fellow & DFIR Curriculum Lead
"Cindy is one of the most dedicated people in the field of digital forensics. She spends tireless hours making herself better at the trade and always gives back to the community through white papers, forensic instruction, conference speaking events, and now through SANS. Cindy is able to take her law enforcement experience and spin it in a way that dazzles the students with her stories and real-life experience. Anyone can speak to slides ? Cindy can add value to the content and gives the material meaning." - Heather Mahalik, SANS Senior Instructor & FOR585 Advanced Smartphone Forensics Course Lead
- Over 30 years of law enforcement experience
- Digital forensics instructor for more than eight years
- FOR585 Advanced Smartphone Forensics course and author statement
Get to know Cindy Murphy:
- Cindy's police department webpage
- Cindy's band website
- Cindy is also involved with the "Girl Tech" program at Madison Area Technical College teaching STEM subjects to middle school girls
- Learn more about Cindy Murphy in this DFIR Hero interview on the SANS DFIR Blog.
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