Program Overview

Cybersecurity is defined as the activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and their contents are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation. Metropolitan State's Cybersecurity Minor is a 24 semester credit program primarily intended for students majoring in Computer Science (CS), Computer Information Technology (CIT), Computer Application Development (CApp), or Computer Forensics (CFS). The minor consists of course work designed to develop analytical and problem-solving skills and provide students with both the theoretical and technical backgrounds along with the necessary practical experiences to secure challenging jobs in the field of cybersecurity.

The major goal of the minor is to prepare students with the necessary skills to enter into the cybersecurity workforce by demonstrating an in-depth understanding of contemporary technological and societal issues related to cybersecurity and to be able to contribute to the community at large in a responsible and ethical manner.

Potential cybersecurity careers include Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Security Auditor/Manager, Security Administrator, Security Analyst/Architect/Engineer, Penetration Tester, Vulnerability Assessor, Incident Responder, and Secure Software Developer.

Metropolitan State University is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CAE-CD institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation’s information systems.

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Requirements

Program Outcomes

A student graduating with the cybersecurity minor will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of cybersecurity concepts, tools and technologies to prevent, detect, react, and recover from cyber-attacks.
  2. Understand cybersecurity risks, threats, and related countermeasures and apply this understanding to develop cyber defense strategies.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to design cybersecurity systems to meet organizational needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, and ethical expectations.
  4. Identify, analyze, and synthesize scholarly and professional literature relating to the fields of cybersecurity, information security, or information assurance to help solve specific problems and to stay current with the rapidly changing security context.
  5. Participate as an active and effective member of a project team engaged in achieving solutions to specific cybersecurity related problems.
  6. Demonstrate sensitivity to and sound judgment on ethical issues as they arise in information security and cyber defense and adhere to accepted norms of professional responsibility.

Prerequisite

Student must successfully complete the necessary course pre-requisites or equivalents for all coursework in the minor.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 24 total credits)

Core Courses (16 credits)

This program requires a core of 16 credits and 8 cybersecurity-related elective credits. Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  • ICS 382 Computer Security
    4 credits

    This course introduces principles of computer security with integrated hands-on labs. The course prepares students to effectively protect information assets by providing fundamental details about security threats, vulnerabilities, and their countermeasures ranging from a simple computer to enterprise computing. Topics include broad range of today¿s security challenges, common security threats and countermeasures, security management, access control mechanisms, applied cryptography, privacy issues, computer ethics, file system security, and network security.

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  • ICS 460 Networks and Security
    4 credits

    Principles and practices of the OSI and TCP/IP models of computer networks, with special emphasis on the security of these networks. Coverage of general issues of computer and data security. Introduction to the various layers of network protocols, including physical, data link, network, and transport layers, flow control, error checking, and congestion control. Computer system strengths and vulnerabilities, and protection techniques: Topics include applied cryptography, security threats, security management, operating systems, network firewall and security measures. Focus on secure programming techniques. Programming projects.

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  • ICS 482 Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing
    4 credits

    To properly secure any organization's information infrastructure and assets, a periodic assessment of its security posture at various levels of the organization is essential. One key area is the direct assessment of vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure, systems and applications, followed by targeting and exploitation of the same. This course covers the theoretical bases for cyber threats and vulnerabilities, and delves into selection and application of penetration testing methodologies ranging from reconnaissance to the exploitation of vulnerabilities by probing infrastructure, services and applications. The course places a strong emphasis on the use of these methodologies to demonstrate, document, report on, and provide a clear roadmap for remediation of exposed security issues.

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  • ICS 484 Cyber Operations
    4 credits

    Information is an asset that must be protected. Without adequate protection or network security, many individuals, businesses, and governments are at risk of losing that asset. It is imperative that all networks be protected from threats and vulnerabilities so that a business can achieve its fullest potential. Security risks cannot be eliminated or prevented completely; however, effective risk management and assessment can significantly minimize the existing security risks. In order to provide effective protection to the organization¿s critical infrastructure and services, continuous monitoring as well as various processes, procedures, and technology is required to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, breaches, and security violations. In addition, existence of a comprehensive incident response plan is vitally connected to the survivability of an organization after a severe security breach or compromise of critical business operations. This course focuses on the operational aspect of managing challenges inherent in protecting a corporate network infrastructure and business information systems. The student will develop situational awareness of an organization¿s network and learn to manage, and maintain a defensive infrastructure that comprises of log servers, network firewalls, web application firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. Additional topics include information security operations, access control, risk management, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, and ethics.

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Electives (8 credits)

Program note: Courses taken to fulfill major requirements may also be used to fulfill requirements for the cybersecurity minor. ICS 485 Malware Reverse Engineering is also an elective course which are under development.

  • CFS 380 Digital Evidence Analysis
    4 credits

    In this course, students continue not only to learn how to identify and collect digital evidence through forensics search tools, but also to study the emerging data mining techniques. The topics include how to design a plan for a computer crime investigation; how to select a computer software tool to perform the investigation; how to articulate the laws applying to the appropriation of computers for forensics analysis; how to verify the integrity of the evidence being obtained; how to prepare the evidence collected for the use in the court; and how to present the evidence as an expert eyewitness in court. Some hypothetical and real cases are also discussed in class.

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  • CFS 484 Computer Laws
    4 credits

    In this course, students will learn the law relating to computer software, hardware, and the Internet. The areas of the law include intellectual property, cyberspace privacy, copyright, software licensing, hardware patent, and antitrust laws. Legislation and public policies on cyberspace technology, cryptographic method export controls, essential infrastructure protection and economic development are also discussed in class.

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  • ICS 325 Internet Application Development
    4 credits

    This course focuses on how to design and establish information services over the Internet from the server side. Topics include advanced concepts and issues on Internet architecture, server-side design strategies, current technologies and Internet security. Through labs and programming projects, students learn how to use current scripting and markup languages to build nontrivial state-of-the-art applications.

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  • ICS 490 Special Topics in Information and Computer Sciences
    0 credits

    This course is an in-depth study of some aspect of computer science or computer information systems that is not part of a regular course. Special topics courses of current interest are offered on an occasional basis. Students may repeat ICS 490 under different topics for additional credit. Some topics may have prerequisites. See the Class Schedule for additional information.

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  • MIS 450 MIS Auditing and Security Controls
    4 credits

    This course is designed to present the elements of an integrated security compliance platform from a technical and legal perspective. Issues such as provide risk assessment, legal compliance, identity management, provisioning, access management, and monitoring and audit activities will be discussed.

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  • MIS 412 Administration of the Management Information Systems Function
    4 credits

    This is an alternate capstone course for MIS majors that emphasizes both the technical and strategic planning and as well as organization frameworks necessary to successfully select, deploy and manage information systems. Other areas of study include the roles of executive and staff, administrative structures, outsourcing decisions & outsourcing frameworks. Several IT management methodologies will be examined,including ITIL and COBIT. This course was formerly numbered MIS 312.

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