Understanding Cybercrime: Philomena Faia ’17

Philomena Faia

Philomena Faia

“Today’s fast-growing business world functions because of instant connectivity,” says summer scholar and rising senior Philomena Faia. “However, its that same connectivity that has allowed cybercrime to become the second most committed economic crime worldwide. (PricewaterhouseCoopers).”

According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey, published this past February,  54 percent of U.S. companies that responded to the survey have experienced some type of cybercrime, but close to half of those companies do not have or have not yet implemented a plan to respond to attacks.

Philomena is studying why businesses often downplay the threat of cybercrime, even as they lose millions of dollars and experience significant damage to their  reputations as a result of these incidents.

“My goal is to study how many businesses are affected by cyber-attacks each year and how much money they lose as a result,” she says

The vice president of SJU’s accounting society was turned on to this topic at a networking event where she had the opportunity to speak with forensic accountants about cybersecurity. She brought the topic to her now summer scholar mentor, accounting chair and professor Joseph Larkin, Ph.D., who encouraged her to run with it.

“Her research will grab the attention of the reader and hopefully raise society’s awareness of this important threat,” says Larkin. “The project will be to provide recommendations as to how we can manage this problem going forward.”

“I hope this research will give me a better understanding of how companies in the US globe deal with intelligence threats, as well as companies across the globe” says Philomena. “I want to see if there is one universal solution to help put a stop to this, or what level of collaboration between countries needs to take place.”

“Cybercrime should absolutely be a concern of not only the business world, but also for the entire world, as it impacts all of us,” adds Larkin.

In addition to her summer scholar work, Philomena is a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and an intern with Vigilant Compliance, LLC.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: Examining Cybercrime: Security Challenges for 21st Century Businesses

Mentors: Joseph Larkin, Ph.D., chair of the accounting department

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP