Cindy Murphy

Cindy Murphy served in law enforcement for more than thirty years, including twenty-five years at the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department, where she worked as a detective and a certified digital forensics examiner. While at MPD, she had the opportunity to serve as a detective and as a certified digital forensics examiner for over seventeen years. 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.

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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.

Qualifications Summary:

  • Over 30 years of law enforcement experience
  • Digital forensics instructor for more than eight years

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