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Digital Forensics Program Prepares Students to Tackle Cybercrime

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 18, 2014) – The new digital forensics program at the University at Albany is designed to educate and prepare students to work in a fast-growing, billion-dollar market with high, long-term projected demand for trained professionals.

Similar to DNA forensic scientists in the physical world, digital forensic analysts understand how to follow digital “fingerprints” in the form of electronic data from computers, networks, the cloud, GPS systems, and smartphones to investigate incidents and track activities.

From identity theft to credit card skimming devices, cybercriminals are constantly developing new and ingenious ways to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting victims. Some estimates put the annual cost of global cybercrime at $113 billion, a 50 percent increase over previous years. Everyone from multinational corporations, private individuals and local, state and national governments is seeking effective ways to protect their data. UAlbany's School of Business is launching the undergraduate digital forensics program in fall 2014, with the goal of educating students to combat the mounting threat of cybercrime.

The program, which was recently approved by the New York State Education Department, will provide critical training in the protection, defense, and investigation of information and systems in industries such as public accounting, government, and not-for-profit environments. It will equip students with technology skills in network, hardware, software, and law applications, and build core competency in the areas of data preservation, examination, and discovery across criminal, accounting, and financial forensics.

The new degree program offers an academically rigorous preparation for students intending to pursue professional, scientific, or technical, careers in digital forensics related fields as well as graduate education in the areas of security, digital forensics, and law.

"You will be impacting people," said Rose Bautista, an undergraduate at UAlbany, discussing how the program will ultimately help protect individuals and their assets. "It's not easy at all, but it's worth it. You are making a difference. You are doing something to change someone's life."

The University also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a 'flipped classroom' model to support the program, while the new School of Business building will provide the state-of-the-art tools and facilities to foster student development. When students graduate, they will do so with the tools to help businesses, governments and individuals both recover stolen data and prevent future attacks.

Learn more about UAlbany's digital forensics program.

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