Exposure on the Internet is not about to take a step back and neither is the criminal element. As a matter of fact, a 2008 report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership organization between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the FBI, reveals a trending increase in online crime complaints.
According to the data collected, there was a 33 percent jump in the number of complaints from 2007 to 2008 with financial losses reaching $265 million up from $239.09 million. Breaking this down equates to an average loss of about $931 per person.
Further, according to the FBI Cyber Division, as financial data continues to migrate to the Internet so will more sophisticated computer fraud schemes. While this makes it harder for consumers to be able to distinguish between what is fraudulent and legitimate, the implications to the global economy represent a significant threat; one that is going to rely on Computer Forensics. What This All Means in Terms of an Information Systems DegreeComputer Forensics
, while still a new and fast-growing field of opportunity requires sufficient knowledge in expediting such actions as:
- Investigation of computer systems
- Presenting data and information in legal proceedings
- Data mining as it may pertain to cyber crime
- Providing the evidence from systems that could support in the termination of an employee
In the course of performing these and other tasks, the Cyber Forensics examiner may have to:
- Protect computer systems from hacking, corruption, identity theft, or industrial espionage
- Recover data, even that which may have been erased
- Analyze the data contained on a variety of disks
- Provide feedback, reports or testimony, as required
The Information Systems Degree
available through Robert Morris University (RMU) based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides for a B.S. in Cyber Forensics and Information Security. Ideally suited to those with experience in the field of forensics, such as law enforcement or the military, the combined instruction covering computers and their technologies prepares candidates to manage information systems and their security to protect against cyber crime. The Escalation of Threats
Once the arena of entertainment for nuisance hackers, the need for Cyber Forensics has grown beyond the threat to private citizens and now involves both NGOs and government agencies. Private interests, industry and authorities are all beginning to recognize the Computer Forensics examiner as a critical asset to conducting business safely. A Solid Accomplishment
For the students who obtain their B.S. in Cyber Forensics
and Information Security, they will be able to properly investigate and report, both orally and in writing, their findings of a cyber forensic investigation. The ability to use the proper vernacular, reference the correct citations and present the appropriate writing style for official purposes is what makes this a field that can range from an entry level salary of between $50,000 to $70,000 per year to earning within the six figure range.
The Information Systems Degree is not just limited to familiar territory as it has strong global appeal and the potential to see demand climbing to 20 percent in coming years.