B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Areas of Study

To meet an increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (BSCSIA) degree program prepares IT professionals to apply knowledge and experience in risk management and digital forensics to safeguard infrastructure and secure data through continuity planning and disaster recovery operations. Courses deliver proven methods for information security using software analysis techniques, web engineering, cloud management, and networking strategies to prevent, detect, and mitigate cyberattacks. This program features nationally recognized, high demand certifications in the field of cybersecurity.

Information Technology Fundamentals

Introduction to IT
This course introduces students to information technology as a discipline and the various roles and functions of the IT department as business support. Students are presented with various IT disciplines including systems and services, network and security, scripting and programming, data management, and business of IT, with a survey of technologies in every area and how they relate to each other and to the business.

IT Foundations
IT Foundations is the first course in a two-part series preparatory for the CompTIA A+ exam, Part I. Students will gain an understanding of personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system, as well as computer data storage and retrieval; classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security; recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system; strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental/human accidents in a technological environments; and effective communication with colleagues and clients as well as job-related professional behavior.

IT Applications
IT Applications is a continuation of the IT Foundations course preparatory for the CompTIA A+ exam, Part II. Students will gain an understanding of personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system, as well as computer data storage and retrieval; classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security; recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system; strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental/human accidents in a technological environments; and effective communication with colleagues and clients as well as job-related professional behavior.

General Education

Critical Thinking and Logic
Reasoning and Problem Solving helps students internalize a systematic process for exploring issues that takes them beyond an unexamined point of view and encourages them to become more self-aware thinkers by applying principles of problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.

Introduction to Geography
This course will discuss geographic concepts, places and regions, physical and human systems and the environment.

Integrated Physical Sciences
This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical and everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.

Natural Science Lab
This course gives you an introduction to using the scientific method and engaging in scientific research to reach conclusions about the natural world. You will design and carry out an experiment to investigate a hypothesis by gathering quantitative data.

Intermediate Algebra
This course provides an introduction of algebraic concepts and the development of the essential groundwork for College Algebra. Topics include: A review of basic mathematical skills, the real number system, algebraic expressions, linear equations, graphing, exponents and polynomials.

English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments. The course contains supporting media, articles, and excerpts to support a focus on one of five disciplinary threads (covering the topics of nursing, business, information technology, teaching, and literature, art, and culture) designed to engage students and welcome them into discussion about contemporary issues. The course supports peer review activities, though it may be completed asynchronously as well. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. This course includes full access to the MindEdge Writing Pad to support student writing and coaching sessions.

Introduction to Communication
This introductory communication course allows students to become familiar with the fundamental communication theories and practices necessary to engage in healthy professional and personal relationships. Students will survey human communication on multiple levels and critically apply the theoretical grounding of the course to interpersonal, intercultural, small group, and public presentational contexts. The course also encourages students to consider the influence of language, perception, culture, and media on their daily communicative interactions. In addition to theory, students will engage in the application of effective communication skills through systematically preparing and delivering an oral presentation. By practicing these fundamental skills in human communication, students become more competent communicators as they develop more flexible, useful, and discriminatory communicative practices in a variety of contexts.

College Algebra
This course provides further application and analysis of algebraic concepts and functions through mathematical modeling of real-world situations. Topics include: real numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, graphs and functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and systems of linear equations.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics
In this course, students demonstrate competency in the basic concepts, logic, and issues involved in statistical reasoning. Topics include summarizing and analyzing data, sampling and study design, and probability.

English Composition II
English Composition II introduces learners to research writing and thinking that are valued in college and beyond. The Composition II course at WGU should be seen as a foundational course designed to help undergraduate students build fundamental skills for ongoing development in writing and research. Students will complete an academic research paper.

Secure Systems Analysis & Design

Fundamentals of Information Security
This course lays the foundation for understanding terminology, principles, processes and best practices of information security at local and global levels. It further provides an overview of basic security vulnerabilities and countermeasures for protecting information assets through planning and administrative controls within an organization.

Information Systems Security
IT security professionals must be prepared for the operational demands and responsibilities of security practitioners, including authentication, security testing, intrusion detection and prevention, incident response and recovery, attacks and countermeasures, cryptography, and malicious code countermeasures. This course provides a comprehensive, up-to-date global body of knowledge that ensures students have the right information security knowledge and skills to be successful in IT operational roles to mitigate security concerns and guard against the impact of malicious activity. Students demonstrate how to manage and restrict access control systems; administer policies, procedures, and guidelines that are ethical and compliant with laws and regulations; implement risk management and incident handling processes; execute cryptographic systems to protect data; manage network security; and analyze common attack vectors and countermeasures to assure information integrity and confidentiality in various systems. This course prepares students for the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (ISC2 SSCP) certification exam.

Business of IT

Business of IT – Applications
Business of IT – Applications examines Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) terminology, structure, policies, and concepts. Focusing on the management of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations, students will explore the core principles of ITIL practices for service management to prepare them for careers as IT professionals, business managers, and business process owners. This course has no prerequisites.

Business of IT – Project Management
This course introduces the student to the project management & business analysis process within the context of an IT project. Fundamental concepts of project management will be covered including all phase of project management during a system life cycle including business analysis, requirements capturing, issue tracking, and release planning. Additional topics to include: development environments (dev, integration, QA, production), help desk and support, IT planning for business continuity. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Project+.

Web Development

Web Development Foundations
This course prepares students for the CIW Site Development Associate certification. The course introduces students to web design and development by presenting them with HTML5 and CSS, the foundational languages of the web, by reviewing media strategies, and by using tools and techniques commonly employed in web development.

Network and Security

Network and Security – Foundations
This course introduces students to the components of a computer network and the concept and role of communication protocols. The course will cover widely used categorical classifications of networks (i.e CAN, LAN, MAN, WAN) as well as network topologies, physical devices, and layered abstraction. The course will also introduce students to basic concepts of security, covering vulnerabilities of networks and mitigation techniques, security of physical media, and security policies and procedures.

Networks for undergraduates focuses on the general concepts and applications of computer operating systems and network topologies. The fundamental knowledge and skills gained in this course prepares students for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) certification exam.

Network and Security – Applications
This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Security+.

Scripting and Programming

Scripting and Programming - Foundations
This course provides an introduction to programming covering data structures, algorithms, and programming paradigms. The course presents the student with the concept of an object as well as the object-oriented paradigm and its importance. A survey of languages is covered and the distinction between interpreted and compiled languages is introduced.

Web and Cloud Security

Managing Web Security
Almost all businesses and organizations require a web presence. The security needs, demands, and defenses for these online environments differ from those of an isolated single computer or intranet. This course introduces best practices for preventing security breaches by applying web security protocols, firewalls, and system configurations. This course prepares students for the Web Security Associate (CIW WSA) certification exam.

Managing Cloud Security
Many of today’s companies and organizations have outsourced data management, availability, and operational processes through cloud computing. In this course, students design solutions for cloud-based platforms and operations that maintain data availability while protecting the confidentiality and integrity of information. This includes security controls, disaster recovery plans, and continuity management plans that address physical, logical, and human factors. This course prepares students for the Certified Cloud Security Professional (ISC2 CCSP) certification exam.

Data Management

Data Management - Foundations
This course introduces students to the concepts and terminology used in the field of data management. They will be introduced to Structured Query Language (SQL) and will learn how to use Data Definition Language (DDL) and Data Manipulation Language (DML) commands to define, retrieve, and manipulate data. This course covers differentiations of data—structured vs. unstructured and quasi-structured (relational, hierarchical, XML, textual, visual, etc); it also covers aspects of data management (quality, policy, storage methodologies). Foundational concepts of data security are included.

Data Management - Applications
This course covers conceptual data modeling and provides an introduction to MySQL. Students will learn how to create simple to complex SELECT queries including subqueries and joins, and will also learn how to use SQL to update and delete data. Topics covered in this course include exposure to MySQL; developing physical schemas; creating and modifying databases, tables, views, foreign keys/primary keys (FKs/PKs), and indexes; populating tables; and developing simple Select-From-Where (SFW) queries to complex 3+ table join queries.

Information Assurance

Introduction to Cryptography
This course provides students with knowledge of cryptographic algorithms, protocols, and their uses in the protection of information in various states. This course prepares students for the Certified Encryption Specialist (EC-Council ECES) certification exam.

Technical Writing

Technical Communication
This course covers basic elements of technical communication, including professional written communication proficiency; the ability to strategize approaches for differing audiences; and technical style, grammar, and syntax proficiency.

Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Digital Forensics in Cybersecurity
Digital forensics, the science of investigating cybercrimes, seeks evidence that reveals who, what, when, where, and how threats compromise information. This course examines the relationships between incident categories, evidence handling, and incident management. Students identify consequences associated with cyber threats and security laws using a variety of tools to recognize and recover from unauthorized, malicious activities. Students conduct physical and logical vulnerability assessments.

Ethics & Cyber Law

Legal Issues in Information Security
Security information professionals have the role and responsibility for knowing and applying ethical and legal principles and processes that define specific needs and demands to assure data integrity within an organization. This course addresses the laws, regulations, authorities, and directives that inform the development of operational policies, best practices, and training to assure legal compliance and to minimize internal and external threats. Students analyze legal constraints and liability concerns that threaten information security within an organization and develop disaster recovery plans to assure business continuity.

Hacking Countermeasures and Techniques

Cyber Defense and Countermeasures
Traditional defenses such as firewalls, security protocols, and encryption sometimes fail to stop attackers determined to access and compromise data. This course provides the fundamental skills to handle and respond to the computer security incidents in an information system. The course addresses various underlying principles and techniques for detecting and responding to current and emerging computer security threats. Students learn how to handle various types of incidents, risk assessment methodologies, and various laws and policy related to incident handling. This course prepares students for the Certified Incident Handler (EC-Council ECIH) certification exam.

Risk Management

Managing Information Security
This course expands on fundamentals of information security by providing an in-depth analysis of the relationship between an information security program and broader business goals and objectives. Students develop knowledge and experience in the development and management of an information security program essential to ongoing education, career progression, and value delivery to enterprises. Students apply best practices to develop an information security governance framework, analyze mitigation in the context of compliance requirements, align security programs with security strategies and best practices, and recommend procedures for managing security strategies that minimize risk to an organization.

Wireless & Mobile Technologies

Emerging Technologies in Cybersecurity
The continual evolution of technology means that cybersecurity professionals must be able to analyze and evaluate new technologies in information security such as wireless, mobile, and internet technologies. Students review the adoption process which prepares an organization for the risks and challenges of implementing new technologies. This course focuses on comparison of evolving technologies to address the security requirements of an organization. Students learn underlying principles critical to the operation of secure networks and adoption of new technologies.

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