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Francisca Afua Opoku-Boateng, Ph.D., CBFI

Cybersecurity Professional | Ask me about DFIR & OSINT | Google Women Techmaker Ambassador | Blacks in Cybersecurity Mentor & Ambassador | WiCyS Scholar 2023 | Girls in STEM Advocate



    Peer-Reviewed Publications

    Peer-Reviewed Conference Abstracts and Posters

    Non-Refereed Publications and Tech Reports


    June 2022Present
    Duke University - Identity in Computing Lab

    3C Fellow

     The Cultural Competence in Computing (3C) Fellows Program is a cohort-based professional development program that helps computing faculty, staff postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and professionals. As a fellow, I will learn about:

      1. Social science topics (such as identity, intersectionality, racism, bias, and discrimination),
      2. How these topics impact computing environments (as well as the developed technologies); and
      3. how to develop computing deliverables at my home institutions that leverage these topics to foster more inclusive and equitable cultures.
    March 2021Present

    OHUB.SXSW Fellow

    The OHUB is the leading technology, startup entrepreneurship & and venture ecosystem building platform created to ensure that everyone, everywhere has an equitable opportunity in the future of work, the fourth industrial revolution, and beyond as a path to multi-generational wealth creation with no reliance on pre-existing multi-generational wealth. They utilize multiple programs and initiatives like OHUB.SXSW to meet their ultimate goal. The goal involves delivering early exposure, skills development, job placement, entrepreneurship support programming, net new job creation, and alternative capital formation via geographically placed technology hubs, citywide communities, campus chapters, managed programs, and live events and experiences that include thousands of college students, young professionals, founders, investors and ecosystem builders throughout America and beyond.

    January 2021Present
    The Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Equity Research (LAIER)

    Research Volunteering Associate

    The LAIER strives to contribute to Authorship Attribution, Human-Computer-Interaction, Privacy, Security, and Social Computing ongoing research.

    As a member, I

    • Assist with ongoing research projects; engage in literature reviews.
    • Provide assistance with event planning as needed
    • Provide supervision and mentorship to student members of the LAIER as needed.



    August 2021August 2022
    Dakota State University

    Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity

    As an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at Dakota State University, my teaching specialization revolves around Digital, Windows, and Mobile Forensics as well as Incident Response. My research areas include:
       -  Dark Web and OSINT Investigations
       -  General Cyber Awareness
       - Black Girls in STEM specifically in the Cybersecurity space.
       - Cyber Threat Intelligence

    June 2021August 2021
    Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Cyber Academy Pilot Program

    Student Lead Mentor

    Dakota State University organized a Cyber Academy for Air Force Junior ROTC (JROTC) students during the summer. As a student lead and mentor, I assisted in teaching and mentoring the Air Force JROTC (students) to give them an opportunity to jump-start a career in cyber security. 

    May 2021July 2021
    CybHER Security Institute

    CybHER Leader

    As a CybHER Leader,

    • I carried out the mission of CybHER thus empowering, motivating, and educating girls in cybersecurity.
    • Overall, the goal was to inspire girls to be cyber aware and become educated in cybersecurity, and be motivated to enter the field.
    • Created cybersecurity curriculum, web-based educational tutorials, assessments, computer-based simulations, multi-media presentations, and conducting both virtual and in-person training with participants of the program.
    • Contributed to developing specialized and technical curriculum development and training geared toward the middle, high and elementary school students as well as teaching the developed curriculum at GenCyber camp the week of June 20-24, 2021. 
    January 2021May 2021
    Dakota State University

    Adjunct Instructor of Computer Forensics

    • Lectured students based on material from the approved curriculum.
    • Developed daily lesson plans and build-out courses to include instructional aids.
    • Encouraged and motivated students to actively participate in all aspects of the educational process.
    • Maintained expertise in the subject area and recommends improvements in curriculum design.
    • When possible, participated in core course academic support programs, certification programs, and student professional associations
    January 2019May 2021
    Digital Forensics for Cyber Enforcement (DigForCE) Lab

    OSINT & Digital Forensics Investigator

    • Performed digital and mobile forensics criminal investigations utilizing AXIOM, FTK, Cellebrite, and other tools.
    • Performed all phases of incident response and created playbooks and reference guides to illustrate and elaborate the incident response processes.
    • Performed and developed security monitoring by using cases and supporting content for security tools like dashboards, alerts, reports, rules.
    • Conducted OSINT examinations/investigations. Cases worked on include email and website scams, drug-related, cybercrimes, fraud, counterfeiting.
    • Developed OSINT training materials and presentations for law enforcement agents.
    • Designed social media smart cards for consumer protection in South Dakota.
    Google Women TechMakers

    Scholarship Fellow

    Google Women TechMakers aims to build a world where all women can thrive in tech, as part of this initiative, I was awarded a 10K scholarship and continues resources as a woman in tech. The Techmakers program provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.

    Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology (SPACT)

    National Research Traineeship (NRT) Program - Affiliate

    The negative societal impacts of counterfeiting are widespread, touching nearly every economic sector, including health care, and threatening our national security. The explosion of the illicit economy can be traced to the growth in online commerce and an “abuse ecosystem” of rogue internet actors, direct-to-consumer courier delivery services, and the lack of product protective measures to counteract counterfeiting. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) collaborative award to four South Dakota universities (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Dakota State University) provides graduate students with the scientific knowledge and professional skills and training needed to become next-generation leaders in the fight against counterfeiting. Participants will receive professional and leadership training within the framework of a unique cyber-physical-social model. This model takes a comprehensive approach that factors in not only the technical aspects of the cyber strategies and physical methods used to combat counterfeiting, but also whether these strategies and methods are compatible with human behavior. This model allows trainees to solve complex problems, where the solutions must tightly integrate cyber, physical, and social interactions in real-time.



    The blackcomputeHER Fellows Program is a cohort-based, leadership development program designed to cultivate black women leaders in computing+tech. The program offered 12 months of intensive development for selected fellows. 

    SBS Cybersecurity

    Network Security Intern

    • Worked on projects dubbed: Dark Web Monitoring. 
    • Researched how to utilize the recorded future tool in performing monitoring scans for our clients. 
      • Researched other specific competitive tools (Dark Owl Vision, ACID Cyber Intelligence, Digital
        shadows SearchLight) for monitoring the dark web.
      • Documented process, procedure, and findings on how the tools can aid us in performing assessments
        for our clients.
    • Researched current dark web darknet platforms for selling counterfeits and fake goods.
      • Compiled a list of all identified markets and run a test to make sure they are still alive.
    • Performed Penetration Tests, Vulnerability Scans, and Social Engineering Assessments.
    •  Worked on getting certified as a Banking Ethical Hacker
    SBS Cybersecurity

    Information Security Intern

    • Worked on mobile forensics project.
      • Researched how to build and test a mobile device investigation workstation with the SANS SHIFT
      • Documented process and procedure on how to conduct investigations using the tool.
    • Researched current ransomware attacks & breaches.
      • Compiled the various descriptors and keys and generated a white paper for the team. (Yet to be
    • Performed Risk Assessments
    • Worked on getting certified as a Banking Forensics Investigator
    • Research on dark web infiltration
    • Worked on a project to create a SysLogging Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
    Dakota State University

    Undergraduate Instructor

    • Taught CSS 388-Computer Forensics Fundamentals during the summer session of this year.
    Dakota State University

    Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant

    • National Science Foundation NRT Affiliate – Participate in National Research traineeship program (Cyber-Physical-Social System for Understanding and Thwarting the Illicit Economy)
    • Assisted faculty members with research projects on digital forensics, Girls in STEM, Mobile and IoT Forensics.
    • Assisted in teaching CSS 388 – Computer Forensics Fundamentals
    • Performed grant review for the AAUW grant, developed idea proposals for the CybHER organization, and perform a variety of administrative tasks for the CybHER organization
    RSM US

    TMC-MS Dynamics Ax Consulting Associate

    • Contributed to business development by identifying new opportunities and assisting with proposal
    • Provided Dynamics 365 for Operations, AX2012 R3, and 2009 professional services for clients, ensuring their requirements and expectations were met with high-level quality, on time, and within budget.
    • Participated in some phases of Dynamics 365 for Operations or 2012 ERP projects.
    • Conducted system analysis for vulnerabilities and contributed to creating solutions for system vulnerabilities and security flaws. 
    Luxottica Via Real Soft Inc.

    Technical Support Specialist

    • Provided technical support for various hardware and software applications via phones and/or other media as required.
    • Gained knowledge of application security and development processes and technologies.
    • Performed escalation procedures to counteract potential threats/vulnerabilities as well as internal
    • Worked on various incident management queues assigned to the support department via Remedy.
    • Deployed, troubleshot and responded to requests and issues affecting client databases.
    Kroger Technology Via Ascendum Solutions

    IT Support Center Analyst

    • Deployed, troubleshot, and responded to requests and issues affecting client databases.
    • Provided technical support for software applications via phones.
    • Worked on various incident management queues assigned to the Support department
    University of Michigan-Flint

    Research Assistant

    • Assisted in tutoring individuals and groups of students and conducted an end-of-semester evaluation.
    • Assisted a faculty member with a research project; engaged in literature review and collected data for research on indicators of ethics and privacy.
    • Conducted meetings with students, administered tests, and supervised students during exams.
    • Provide assistance with event planning including supervision of undergraduate student workers.



    CITI Program, A Division of BRANY

    The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is dedicated to promoting the public’s trust in the research enterprise by providing high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, research administration, and other topics pertinent to the interests of member organizations and individual learners.


    Software and Tools

    • CrowdStrike, AttackIQ
    • SIEM, Splunk, Sans Investigative Forensics Toolkit (SIFT) Workstation
    • Recorded Future Tool, Multiple OSINT Tools, Wireshark, CrypTool
    • FTK Imager and FTK ver 7.1.0 | Access Data, Magnet AXIOM, Autopsy, Redline, OS Forensics
    • SELKS (Suricata), Kibana, Metasploit, Nmap
    • Cellebrite UFED Mobile Forensic, XRY Mobile Forensics
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for operations, AX 2009, 2012 R3


    • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
    • Association of Computing Machinery (ACM)
    • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
    • Blacks in Cybersecurity (BIC)
    • Google Women Techmakers (WTM)
    • National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
    • Computing Research Association (CRA)
    • Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
    • Women in Security Profesional (WISP)


    • 2020  Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A., Google Women Techmaker Scholar engagement award Initiative Wobble Bot Maker Day.  


    • 2023   Scholarship Recipient, Women in Cybersecurity WiCyS
    • 2022   Recipient,  Grace Hopper Celebration Faculty Scholar
    • 2022   WiCyS  Graduate Poster Competition - Runner Up (2nd Place)
    • 2022   CRA-WP Grad Cohort for Women Scholarship Recipient, Computing Research Association 
    • 2022   Student Scholarship Recipient, Women in Cybersecurity WiCyS
    • 2021   Travel Scholarship Recipient, Women in Cybersecurity WiCyS
    • 2021   Scholarship, ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference
    • 2021   Grad Cohort Scholarship Recipient, Computing Research Association - URMD
    • 2020  Travel Scholarship Recipient, Grad Cohort Scholarship Recipient, Computing Research Association
    • 2020  Travel Scholarship Recipient, Women in Cybersecurity WiCyS 
    • 2020  Travel Scholarship, Rapid City Branch of the American Association of University Women
    • 2019   Travel Scholarship WiSP
    • 2019   Best Presenter Award, Mini Wic
    • 2019   Travel Scholarship Google
    • 2019   Travel Scholarship Recipient, Women in Cybersecurity WiCyS
    • 2019   Travel Scholarship, ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference
    • 2019   Travel Scholarship Recipient, NSA / CRRC Faculty Professional Development Workshop
    • 2019   Recipient, Google Women Techmakers
    • 2019   Recipient,  Grace Hopper Celebration Scholar 
    • 2019   Fellow, BlackComputeHER Fellowship Program
    • 2019   Recipient, Grad Cohort Scholarship, Computing Research Association - URMD
    • 2019   Affiliate Scholarship, NSF NRT SPACT  
    • 2019   Recipient, SBS/Gamewell Scholarship
    • 2018   Travel Scholarship Recipient, Dakota State University
    • 2014   Recipient, Ralph M. and Emmalyn E. Freeman Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics Scholarship (UoM–Flint)


    University Courses

    • Undergraduate Courses
      • Computer Forensics Fundamentals 
      • Advanced Computer Forensics
      • Windows Forensics
    • Graduate Courses
      • Computer and Digital Forensics


    • Inclusive Pedagogy
    • Active Listening
    • Active Learning 
    • Providing Practical Examples


    June 6 2022June 10 2022
    GenCyber Teachers Camp

    Instructional Stuff

    The GenCyber Teachers Camp at DSU will be hosting 50 middle and high school STEM teachers June 6th - 10th for a week-long camp to introduce and integrate cybersecurity topics into your classroom. 

    February 2022April 2022
    Blacks In Cybersecurity Mentor

    Mentor for 2nd Cohort

    • Weekly checking in with mentee.
    • Working closely on Smart Goals with mentee.
    • Reviewing Digital forensics materials with mentee.
    Blacks in Cybersecurity

    Ambassador, South Dakota

    • Successfully manage community relations and support positive interactions between BIC@ Location groups and the surrounding community.
    • Frequently lead negotiations on a variety of topics.
    • Build relationships with their BIC group and the surrounding community.
    • Developing and maintaining positive relations is a major benefit in this position.
    • Oversee and direct my respective communities, assigning roles and managing meetings, etc.


    March 2022May 2022
    CMD-IT Tapia Conference 2022

    Scholarship Reviewer

    The Tapia conference is the premier venue to acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in computing. The goal of the Tapia Conferences is to bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities to Celebrate the diversity that exists in computing; Connect with others with common backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and gender so as to create communities that extend beyond the conference; Obtain advice from and make contacts with computing leaders in academia and industry and Be inspired by great presentations and conversations with leaders with common backgrounds.

    RESPECT Conference

    Paper Reviewer

    Served as paper reviewer for the Respect conference 2022.

    RESPECT Conference

    Position Paper and Poster Reviewer

    Served as both position paper and poster reviewer for the Respect conference 2021.


    • Invited Guest Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (June 2022) Minnesota High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA)  - IoT Forensics. 
    • Invited Panelist: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (April 2022) State of South Dakota Week of Work - IT Cyber Security Panel 
    • Invited Panelist: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (March 2022) Technology Leaders Association: Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.
    • Invited Guest Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A.  CybHER Conversations (March 2022).
    • Invited Panelist: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (March 2022) Black in Cybersecurity Mentorship - Women in Cyber Pannel. 
    • Invited Guest Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (October 2021) Virtual Cybersecurity Awareness Month Digital Health Webinar, Digital Alor (Ghana, West Africa) - How safe are you on Instagram and Facebook.
    • Invited Guest Panelist: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (October 2021) Virtual Cybersecurity Awareness Month Career Panel, Jefferson State Community College (Birmingham, AL) - Journey into Cybersecurity.
    • Invited Guest Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (June 2021) North Carolina Central University LSIS 5810 - Utilising Zotero in Research
    • Invited Panelist: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (March 2021) Black Women in Cyber Panel (BWIC)
    • Invited Guest Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (February 2021) North Carolina Central University LSIS 5010 - A Journey into STEM
    • Invited Speaker: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A. (September 2019) 3rd Annual Ladies' Day Out - Identity Theft
    • Invited Speakers: Opoku-Boateng, Francisca A, Katie Shuck (September 2018)  CybHER Security – Making a Difference through the Cyber Sciences.


    • 2022   Adventurer (Busy Bee) Class, Teacher, Cincinnati Ghanaian SDA, Cincinnati, OH
    • 2021   Dakota State University Giving Back Community Service Day, Madison Comunity Library, SD 
    • 2021   GenCyber Camp, DSU
    • 2020  Wobble Bot Day, DSU 
    • 2018   CybHer IoT Day, DSU
    • 2018   Lead Strong Women in Banking Conference
    • 2018   Women in Science Event, Mt. Mary College
    • 2018   Flandreau Robotics Club activity day
    • 2018   SBS Cybersecurity CybHER outreach