Digital forensics and cybersecurity
The pervasiveness and power of computers make them difficult to avoid in everyday life and they are increasingly utilized in criminal activity. From fraud to violent crime, computers are often found to play a significant role as a tool for planning and conducting a crime, and thus may contain relevant evidence pertaining to an offence. Additionally, the prevalence of computers and mobile devices as indispensable tools in our everyday life makes them a target for criminals wishing to steal personal or corporate information, money, and more. These factors have necessitated specialists trained in the field of computer crime.
Computer forensics is the scientific analysis of computer communications and data on computer storage devices. Specialists in computer forensics rely on an essential combination of technical expertise, investigative skills, and legal knowledge. Some applications of computer forensics are:
- Investigating and uncovering evidence of illegal activities conducted via computer. These computer crimes can include intellectual-property theft, credit card fraud, identity theft, computer system intrusion (hacking), pedophilia and terrorist activities.
- Investigating crimes by searching for evidence the accused may have stored on computers or data drives, although the crime itself may not have been committed via computer.
- Work for corporations to find and close computer system security holes. This is called legal or ethical hacking.
Crime and intelligence analysis
Crime and national security issues continue to be at the forefront of public attention. Professionals working in intelligence and analysis functions support the administration of justice and effective delivery of public safety programs. New policing models require a body of specialist analysts, appropriately trained in the tools and techniques of crime and intelligence analysis.
Students in this option develop knowledge of and skills in psychology, criminology, geography, urban planning, business administration, sociology, philosophy, critical thinking, computing, and research. As a Crime and Intelligence Analysis professional, they will be responsible for synthesizing information from disparate sources, mapping crime locations, and developing written and oral reports using qualitative and quantitative data for a variety of law enforcement and public safety agencies, and private sector organizations.
It wasn’t an easy road to become an award-winning intelligence analyst, but we’re safer because Jason Bakas took it.
Forensic health science
The field of forensic science in health care has been referred to as the “fastest-growing discipline of nursing for the 21st century” (Bell, 2000). The forensic-trained health care professional is pivotal to police investigations where there has been injury or trauma. The judicial system relies heavily on the medical-legal reports and testimony from health care professions when charges are brought to court.
BCIT Forensic Health Sciences has received accreditation from the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) for two courses as having met the training content of the IAFN Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) Education Guidelines. This accreditation recognizes BCIT as Canada’s only IAFN-approved provider of SANE.
The collection and analysis of evidence are vital to a successful investigation and conviction in a criminal case. In the Forensic Science Programs, students gain first-hand experience investigating simulated interior and exterior crime scenes and learn proper evidence collection techniques relevant to each type of crime scene. To augment this, they also learn about the biological, chemical, and physical aspects of forensic science from recognized forensic experts including pathologists, odontologists, anthropologists, and scientists (DNA, trace evidence, firearms/tool marks, imaging/videography, and more). Proper scientific methodology is emphasized as students learn the latest investigative techniques used by forensic analysts to collect, manage and examine evidence on-site, and in the lab.
“The Combined Honours in Biochemistry and Forensic Science program is awesome. We’re only with a small group, so it feels like a family, and it makes it very easy to have a personal relationship with the instructors. Apart from understanding the science, you also learn about business management and communicating the science. And the program prepares you for pretty much anything, even Medical school or Law school. That’s the unique thing about this program; you can do it all!”
Fraud and financial crime
The Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigation of Fraud and Financial Crime provides a comprehensive understanding of modern financial fraud and financial crime investigative techniques and tools. The program introduces students to an array of different types of fraud, along with profiles of the common fraud and economic crime incidents that we see in society today.
We sat down with Steve Wilson from BCIT Forensics, who leads the Graduate Certificate in Fraud and Financial Crime. This part-time, five-course program is now being offered both in-person or online. Steve told us more about why the program has opted for an online option, and what kinds of people are interested in this intriguing career.