The increasing pervasiveness and convenience of computers make them vital to our everyday lives. Computers are the backbone of our infrastructure, and anyone with malicious intent can cause irreparable harm by crippling these systems. Our dependence on computers leaves us vulnerable to exploitation and all stages of computer operations or transactions are susceptible. Criminals are finding more and more ways to take advantage of this: from identity and corporate theft to credit card fraud, they are not only targeting our computers but using computers to commit these crimes. Most crimes leave some clues behind and computer crime is no exception. You have to know what, how and where to find them.
This proliferation of crime involving computers has led to a need for specialists trained in the field of computer forensics and cybersecurity, the scientific analysis of communications and data on computer storage devices. Specialists in computer forensics unite technical expertise with investigative skills and legal knowledge, a combination that is essential for computer crime investigations.
Some applications of computer forensics are:
- Investigating and uncovering evidence of illegal activities conducted via computer
- 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
- Hacking legally, that is, working for corporations to find and close computer system security holes
Training in computer forensics is extremely important in order to understand how to handle the delicate information in storage devices. Technical people may think they know how to extract data; however, they may inadvertently alter or delete important information. Computer forensics practitioners know how to handle information extraction, as well as how to identify information that is useful in a legal case and how to explain and present it in court. Primary responsibilities of computer forensic investigators include:
- Preserving, identifying, extracting, and documenting evidence stored in computers
- Searching through documents on a computer for information that will help detectives build their cases, often spending much of their time recovering deleted emails and files
- Compiling computer evidence for legal cases and working on programs that help recover computer evidence
- Giving expert testimony when a case comes to trial
Graduates from the Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity Option will gain additional skills and knowledge that professionals require to work successfully in the prevention and investigation of commercial crime and computer crime. There is a growing requirement for professionals in both the private and public sectors. Some position titles include:
- Police detective
- Provincial investigator
- Manager, corporate security
- Network security manager
- Risk manager
- Securities investigator
- Private security/investigations practitioner
- Information systems auditor
Graduates will be able to function both as professionals in their own right and as members of multi-disciplinary teams composed of financial and investigative professionals.
Raymond Yu, Program Head
Raymond has been working in the Forensic Science and Technology area since 2004. As Program Head of BCIT Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity, Raymond appreciates being involved in helping create a more secure future. He also enjoys helping students with their course and career planning, and supporting their search for co-op/internship placements. He works with employers closely to assist them with recruiting potential employees from his pool of both full-time and part-time students. Raymond received his MBA (major: Management Information System) from City University and his EdD (major: Leadership) from SFU.
Ryan Johnson, Faculty
Ryan Johnson is a criminal defence lawyer. He graduated from SFU with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and then from UVic law school with a Juris Doctor degree. Ryan has a great deal of experience representing clients charged with a variety of criminal allegations and has run numerous trials, including lengthy proceedings dealing with developing areas of the criminal law.
Ilia Lvovski, Faculty
Digital forensics and data recovery specialist with over 16 years of experience in private and federal sectors, including the criminal investigations division of the Canada Revenue Agency. Took part in large-scale investigations and joint operations in and outside of Canada. President of HTCIA (High Technology Criminal Investigations Association), West Canada chapter. Specializes in civil and criminal digital forensics investigations, data recovery, cloud analytics and cryptocurrency. Digital forensics instructor with BCIT since 2017.
- Lisa Lapointe – Chief Coroner Province of BC
- Jagjit Sumra – Director of Investigative Services, Canada Post
- Andy Mendel – Manager of OHS Investigations
- Scott Kramer – Director of Information Security, CLIO
- Tara Wilkie – RN, BSN, Forensic Nurse Examiner, SANE-A Co-Coordinator – Forensic Nursing Service, Surrey Memorial Hospital
- Jason Yap – Snr. Manager, Information Security & Network, Raymond James Ltd.
- Christine Martin – RCMP DNA Lab
- Hardeep Mehrotara – Director, Information Security, Concert Properties
- Ryland Wellwood – Manager, Strategic Partnerships & Special Projects, RCMP-GRC
- Michelle Prokop – Intelligence Analyst Supervisor, RCMP – Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit BC
- Clint Baker – Ops NCO, E Division Digital Forensics Services, RCMP
Raymond Yu, Program Head
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