Increasing personal, financial and commercial dependence on Internet services has put more individuals and corporations around the country at risk and, in turn, broadened the need for more agencies to be prepared to investigate such cybercrimes as identity theft, cyberbullying or data breaches.
While the FBI and the Secret Service still lead the fight against large-scale cybercrime, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement agencies are increasingly called upon to investigate crimes that are perpetrated within the cyber realm or that use electronic devices such as a smartphone as part of a criminal scheme. Yet limited funding can prevent these smaller police departments or prosecutors from accessing the expertise and resources needed to investigate and prosecute such crimes.
To help them respond to this challenge, an online resource called the Law Enforcement Cyber Center has been created by RAND in concert with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executives Research Forum, under the sponsorship of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the U.S. government's Information Sharing Environment.
Launched in May 2015, the Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides vital information and resources relevant to four principal audiences — police chiefs, police officers, cybercrime investigators and prosecutors. In addition to current news stories and blogs about cybercrime, visitors will find information related to IT security, cybercrime investigations, digital evidence and cyber training. A growing body of information related to legal matters, incident reporting, and community partnerships and outreach is also available. Both RAND and its partners will continue to develop additional content and videos for the website.
Sasha Romanosky (Sasha_Romanosky@rand.org) is a cybersecurity expert and policy researcher, and Laura Patton (Laura_Patton@rand.org) is a legislative analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.