Richard Macfarlane


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Rich Macfarlane has been a Lecturer in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University since 2009, playing a key role in the creation and development of the GCHQ certified MSc Advanced Security and Digital Forensics course (, and the creation and ongoing work engaging with industry, and law enforcement within the Cyber Academy here at Napier (

Working within the Centre for Networking, Distributed Computing and Security research group, and focussed on teaching and research in the areas of Computer and Network Security, Pen Testing, Digital Forensic Triage, Cloud Computing, and Online teaching and E-learning. Rich has developed and taught on almost all of the UG and PG cyber security modules here at Napier, with a current focus on Pentesting and Network Security. Recent research in digital forensic triage techniques has led to a ground breaking Forensic spin-out company Cyan Forensics (

Rich has played a key part in developing an online teaching platform vSOC which provides students with online virtualised practical learning environments, for advanced and authentic teaching and learning in cyber security and digital investigations which is now used on Cyber Security modules throughout the UG and MSc programmes.

Rich also helped start the ENU Cyber Security Society (, with the goal of engaging students from every level in the university to form a cyber security community here at Napier.

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Areas of Expertise link icon

  • Cyber-Security
    Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.
  • Software Systems
    The institute's expertise in software engineering encompasses the entire development lifecycle, and we focus on developing the approaches and tools to improve the engineering process of both emerging and widely used software systems.
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+44 (0)131 455 2335

Room C.64
Merchiston Campus
10 Colinton Road
EH10 5DT

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    Recent Projects

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    PhD Project Involvement

    Peter Aaby (PhD 2016-)
    Continuous authentication and behavioural analysis.
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    Recent Publications

    Sieklik, B., Macfarlane, R., Buchanan, W. (2016). Evaluation of TFTP DDoS Amplification Attack. Computers & Security, 57, (March 2016), 67–92.

    Buchanan, W., Ramsay, B., Macfarlane, R., Smales, A., keane, e., callahan, c., Blazic, B., Popov, O. (2015, August). Evaluation of the DFET Cloud. Paper presented at Cybercrime Forensics Education and Training (CFET) conference, Canterbury.

    Buchanan, W., Ramsay, B., Macfarlane, R., Smales, A., Russell, G. (2015). Teaching Penetration and Malware Analysis in a Cloud-based Environment. In: (Ed.) Proceedings of the 1st Uk Workshop on Cybersecurity Training & Education, , () ( ed.). (pp. ). : . .

    Penrose, P., Buchanan, W., Macfarlane, R. (2015). Fast contraband detection in large capacity disk drives. Digital Investigator, , (March 2015), S22–S29.

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    Supervised dissertations

    ACUÑA, J. (2017). A REVIEWON THE SECURITY AND USABILITY OF DIFFERENTIAL PRIVACY (MSc ASDF Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Macfarlane, R., Aaby, P.).

    Álvarez, M. (2017). Evaluating Techniques for Phishing Detection (MSc ASDF Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Macfarlane, R., Buchanan, B.).

    Chiale, S. (2017). Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Security Analysis of Android Applications in Third-party Marketplaces (MSc ASDF Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Buchanan, B., Macfarlane, R.).

    Levick, D. (2017). Detection of Encryption using Raw Data as input to an Artificial Neural Network (MSc ASDF Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Macfarlane, R., Penrose, P.).

    See all supervised dissertations