Utica College was awarded a $214,000 grant by the Department of Justice.
The college has been working in collaboration with Boston University to develop new undergraduate and graduate programs in the cybersecurity field.
Professor of criminal justice and economic crime Kyung-Seok Choo will be partially handing the grant on UC’s end.
“The grant will allow us to develop the student computer forensics and digital evidence educational program, which delivers essential components of cybercrime investigative skillset,” Choo said.
According to the FBI, cybercrime is a growing threat. With cyber intrusions becoming “more commonplace, more dangerous and more sophisticated,” the demand for cybersecurity experts has been on the rise.
Choo said security breaches, identity theft, digital fraud, online drug-trafficking, cyber-bullying and online interpersonal are among the cybercrimes that have increased.
The cybersecurity field requires up-to-date knowledge and a specific skill set, including how to work a case involving them and how to prevent them.
“Cybercrime requires a fresh response from law enforcement officers trained in both cybercriminal behavior and information technologies,” Choo said. “However, such training is not yet commonplace in the U.S.”
The new grant will help update the program, ensuring that most class projects will be used for practical, hands-on learning and exercises. It will also facilitate students to locate potential internships, co-operative work opportunities and jobs in the areas of computer forensics and digital evidence.
Choo said the cybersecurity program offers “an interdisciplinary approach while providing in-depth computer forensics and cybercrime investigation training that are both informative and pragmatic to future law enforcement officers.”
UC’s cybersecurity program has been nationally recognized and is one of the 15 National Centers for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence designated by the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center.
“The goal of the proposed educational opportunities program will be to develop effective cybercrime investigation training, test the best practice reflecting the needs of all levels of law enforcement,” Choo said. “And establish a training guideline in computer forensics and digital evidence.”