To help prepare students to combat cyber-crime, Siena will offer a new graduate level advanced certificate in fraud and digital forensics with cybersecurity. 

State approval for the program was just received and students can enroll for this fall, according to Chester Brearey, Ph.D., C.P.A, associate professor of accountancy and director of the M.S. in accountancy and data with analytics programs. 

Four three-credit 500-level courses – two in data analytics and two in fraud forensics – will be required to earn the certificate. Students will learn forensic analysis policy and procedures, forensic analytic tools, data recovery, investigation, and related topics. A bachelor’s degree – in any major – is required to enroll. 

“There are fast-growing career opportunities in any number of fields for graduates with a background in this subject,” said Brearey. “Identity theft, cyber-attacks, information security breaches, industrial espionage and other crimes all leave behind digital fingerprints in the form of electronic data. Like DNA forensic scientists in the physical world, digital forensic analysts understand how to follow these fingerprints to investigate incidents and track activity in the electronic domain.”

He said Siena plans to partner with international, regional and local accountancy firms as well as federal and state agencies to help combat cyber-crime. 

The certificate will qualify students to sit for the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exam offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Siena will be the only college in the Capital Region to offer a graduate level certificate in digital forensics. The four courses, which are also offered in Siena’s M.S.A. program, will be taught by current faculty.