Utica College Awarded Federal Grant for Development of Cybercrime Investigation Training

Kyung-Seok Choo teaching with students 0339

Department of Justice Awards Grant for Cybersecurity at UC

Utica College was awarded a grant for more than $214,000 from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to develop an educational opportunities program in cybersecurity.

Utica College will split the two-year, $450,000 grant with a research team from Boston University. UC’s portion is being administered by Kyung-Seok Choo, associate professor of criminal justice and economic crime and director of the financial crime and compliance management master’s programs, and Joseph Giordano, professor and director of cybersecurity programs.

Utica College will work to develop effective cybercrime investigation training, test the best practice reflecting the needs of all levels of law enforcement, and establish a training guideline in computer forensics and digital evidence. 

“We’re developing a template to train future law enforcement officers as computer forensic examiners,” Giordano said.

UC’s Computer Forensics Undergraduate Program and BU’s Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity Graduate Program share a long-standing commitment to practical cybercrime investigation education for students. Utica College's undergraduate computer forensics program is one of the 15 National Centers for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) designated by the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center.

“This computer forensics and cybercrime investigation program will take an interdisciplinary approach while providing in-depth computer forensics and cybercrime investigation training, that are both informative and pragmatic, to future law enforcement officers,” said Giordano. “Nearly all crimes can be traced digitally. Law enforcement agencies need personnel with these investigative skills,” he said. 

 Most class projects will consist of practical labs and hands-on exercises that strongly tie into in the areas of computer forensics and cybercrime investigation and directly connect to internship projects. The program will also facilitate students to locate potential internships, co-operative work opportunities, and jobs in the areas of computer forensics and digital evidence. This program will serve as a facilitator and guide to enhance current capacities of other institutions of higher education to better serve undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of computer forensics and digital evidence. 

“Utica College has received grants from BJA in the past,” Choo said, “but they were specifically for research. This is the first time that the college has been awarded a grant from BJA to develop programs.”

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