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Understand the Different Types of Economic Crime With an M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics Program

Emerging technology and digital transformation are creating benefits and challenges for the global economy. According to TLT, enterprises are finding new ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) as a defense against economic crime. Conversely, “it can also be exploited by criminals to perpetrate sophisticated and elusive offences.”

Global cybercrime syndicates are demonstrating their AI expertise. While the complexity and rapid evolution put AI beyond the reach of individuals, employees bent on committing insider fraud and economic crimes are not shy about trying to enlist technology professionals in their conspiracies.

Four out of 10 cybersecurity professionals in one study said a malicious actor tried recruiting them. Those at companies that are more likely to be approached have recently laid off staff because of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

In an era of technology-driven financial crime, businesses are placing a premium on professionals with expertise in economic crimes forensics and leadership abilities to design and deploy IT and cybersecurity policies. La Salle University’s online Master of Science (M.S.) in Economic Crime Forensics with a Specialization in IT and Cybersecurity Policy program equips graduates to fill the demand for these skilled professionals.

What Types of Economic Crimes Impact Businesses?

There are many economic crimes that leave businesses open to financial loss, criminal and civil penalties, reputational damage and bankruptcy. Types range from internal fraud and embezzlement to money laundering, bribery and stock manipulation.

For instance, occupational fraud and abuse is distinct from other forms of economic crimes against business because it’s usually directed from within the organization, and the financial impact is contained within it. Methods for perpetrating insider fraud include abuse of authority to access internal information, processes, operations and controls to steal from the victim company.

“An estimated 75% of all employees steal from their employer at least once, and another half of that percentage is repeatedly stealing. Plus, over 50% of embezzlers are managers,” according to statistics compiled by Zippia.

Unlike insider theft contained within the organization, financial statement fraud deceives external stakeholders. By intentionally manipulating the company’s key financial metrics — revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities — criminals deceive shareholders, investors, creditors, analysts and regulators in order to boost stock prices.

A case study published in the Journal of Financial Crime found that occupational fraud represented the smallest portion of all fraud cases studied. It notes that occupational fraud “resulted in the greatest aggregate loss of $800,000 per case, compared to $250,000 and $114,000 per case for corruption and asset misappropriation.”

Perhaps the most widely known form of economic crime against businesses is computer and internet-related offenses, commonly called “cybercrime” or simply “hacking.” Cybercrime’s singular distinction is its global reach. Technically skilled cybercriminals can launch from anywhere at any time using techniques ranging from social engineering to supply chain attacks. The Solar Winds hack is an example in which malicious code was inserted into a software vendor’s system and spread to 330,000 organizations worldwide.

Even as organizations design and deploy machine learning and AI to protect networks and data, cybercriminals are using the same technology to effectively commit some type of breach. “Generative AI models have revolutionized the field of cyberattacks, empowering malicious actors to craft convincing and personalized” exploits, according to research published by International Journal of Scientific Research in Computer Science Engineering and Information Technology.

Why Earn a Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics?

The La Salle M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics with a Specialization in IT and Cybersecurity Policy online program equips graduates with the skills and insights to lead corporate initiatives that detect, combat and reduce economic crime. It prepares graduates with high-demand expertise to evaluate and support accounting and auditing concepts related to the causation of corporate economic crime through a unique curriculum. Topics in the curriculum include:

  • Financial statement fraud explores motives and pressures to achieve desired financial results instead of accurate ones.
  • Occupational fraud and abuse looks at documented case studies to examine weaknesses and specific schemes to exploit them.
  • Computer and internet fraud develops an understanding of cybercrime, how malicious actors attack and security measures to stop them.

This unique program focusing on IT and cybersecurity combines business, information science and criminal justice, prepares graduates with distinct advantages compared to the competition for future-proof careers.

What Cybercrime Careers Are in High Demand?

Difficulty finding cybersecurity professionals leaves corporations vulnerable to economic crimes from within and outside, according to the Financial Times. It also notes that “competition to hire cyber security workers is still fierce — keeping salaries high.” For instance, take these positions and their average annual salaries:

As the world grows more digitized and technology-reliant, companies will continue to seek professionals with expertise in economic crime, IT and cybersecurity. La Salle’s advanced degree in economic crime helps professionals understand the different types of crime and tackle these head-on.

Learn more about La Salle University’s online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics with a Specialization in IT and Cybersecurity Policy program.

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