From personal passwords to massive government or institutional databases, cyber security impacts us in countless ways. And while notable breaches, such as the 2017 Equifax breach, or WikiLeaks revelations likely spring to mind when thinking about the term “cyber security,” in reality, this field has an impact much closer to home. Cyber security keeps your financial information safe, ensures your workplace network can’t be compromised, and protects your personal computer from malware or viruses.
If you’re interested in how security breaches happen—and how to prevent them—you may be interested in a Bachelor of Science in cyber security. The curriculum for this type of degree strives to prepare students for future careers as cyber security professionals.
Skills, Concepts, and Opportunities Gained with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security
A typical bachelor’s in cyber security curriculum consists of courses that can give students in-depth knowledge and skills in several aspects of cyber security. Many of these cyber security courses will cover the following skills and concepts.
- Digital forensics, incident response, and malware analysis. Cyber security professionals possess investigative and analytical skills. When a data leak or other cyber attack occurs, those working in cyber security apply those skills to determine what took place, how it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again.
- Cyber law, policy, and compliance. If a government or organization doesn’t have the proper safeguards in place to protect data, it can risk a number of consequences, including revenue loss, a lack of public or consumer trust, or even regulatory fines and punishments. Students who want to enter the field of cyber security should have a handle on the types of laws and policies with which they’ll need to comply once they enter the field.
- Advanced ethical hacking principles. Ethical hacking is the practice of attempting to penetrate a computer system or network with the objective of finding any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious hackers. Students will learn about the ethical hacking of networks, computers, and mobile devices.
- The value of cyber security to business processes. Increasingly, businesses are treating cyber security as a core element of their processes. As such, cyber security students need to understand how businesses work. Students will benefit from likely acquiring general business acumen in areas such as accounting, management, business law, and finance.
Common Courses for Undergraduate Degree in Cyber Security Students
These are some of the common courses offered for a cyber security degree. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many cyber security programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts.
Ethical Hacking. Students will learn how to approach networks, computers, and mobile devices with the intent of discovering vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious hackers.
Digital Forensics. Digital forensics encompasess the collection and analysis of electronic evidence on network, client, and mobile devices. Students will also learn how this evidence is introduced in court.
Incident Response and Malware Analysis. Malware targets and infects Windows computer systems. In order to defend a network against malware, students learn how to recognize threats, respond to information security incidents, and establish defenses.
Cyber Law, Policy, and Compliance. Information leaks can lead to serious consequences for a business or organization. Students will learn about the policies and laws related to privacy, incident response, computer crime, and intellectual property.
Business Processes and Information Systems. Students learn about business processes, such as finance or compliance, as well as how information systems are used to automate these processes across desktop, mobile, and web platforms.