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Curriculum

The GW Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics offers a comprehensive curriculum which covers the foundational concepts of information security while making in-depth progression regarding the practical application of cybersecurity techniques and tools — including intrusion detection, cyber forensics, network defense and cloud security — along with management and applied security analytics coursework.

In addition to the comprehensive scope of the curriculum, the cybersecurity analytics master’s program offers students the opportunity to learn from industry practitioners. Our faculty have decades of experience working in a variety of cybersecurity functions themselves, where they share their experience from government, non-profit and private sector cybersecurity in their course delivery.

M.Eng Cybersecurity Analytics Required Courses

CSCI 6015 Cyber Forensics

Covers basic and advanced concepts in the field of cyber forensics, which is concerned with acquiring, preserving and analyzing digitally stored information while ensuring that this information is admissible as evidence in a court of law. Principles and techniques for cyber forensics investigations are explored using industry-standard forensic tools, techniques and procedures in the digital forensic process. Addresses the societal and legal impact of computer activities including computer crime, intellectual property theft, privacy issues and legal ramifications. Covers special rules of evidence that apply to cybercrime investigations including chain of custody, search and seizure, forensic imaging. In addition to the incident-handling process, relevant state, federal, and/or regulatory frameworks governing such activities within different industry sectors are explored in detail. Methods and standards for extraction and preservation of legal evidence, uncovering illicit activities, recovering information left on hard drives and extracting files from intentionally damaged media are also addressed.

CSCI 6016 Applied Network Defense

Apply theory and practice of computer security, focusing specifically on the protection aspects of the Internet. It reviews cryptographic tools to provide security, such as shared key encryption (DES, 3DES, RC and more), public key encryption, key exchange and digital signature (Diffie-Hellmann, RSA, DSS and more). It then reviews how these tools are utilized within the internet protocols and applications like SSL/TLS, IPSEC, Kerberos and more (including wireless). By leveraging case studies and reading seminal research papers, students will learn about network attacks and vulnerabilities as well as current defenses. Topics covered include cryptography, confidentiality and authentication protocols, botnets, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and communication privacy and anonymity. This course also covers offensive and defensive information warfare operations, simulation of various attacks on and defenses of computer systems, laws related to information warfare and history and literature related to information warfare attacks. Prerequisite: SEAS 6014.

EMSE 6132 Secure Cloud Computing

Security and privacy issues in cloud computing systems. Confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and computations. Examination of cloud computing models, threat models, outsourcing and security issues. Practical applications of secure cloud computing.

EMSE 6540 Information Security

Development and management of effective security systems. Includes information, personnel and physical security. Emphasis on risk analysis for information protection.

EMSE 6544 Auditing, Monitoring and Intrusion Detection for Information Security Managers

Methods for detecting problems with unauthorized activity in information systems and management challenges associated with those activities. Prerequisite: EMSE 6540

EMSE 6547 Cyber Resilience

Resilience planning for cybersecurity; assessment and modeling approaches to limit system failure toward creating a cyber-resilient organization; recognition, resistance, recovery, reinstatement from the perspectives of information technologists and engineering managers; existing cybersecurity reliance frameworks; potential policies to sustain a healthy and robust security posture.

EMSE 6560 Open-Source Intelligence Analysis

Analyzing social media and other publicly available data sources can provide a wealth of data that can be used to identify and evaluate threats to an organization’s information assets. The challenge of using social media and other public sources is filtering the useful information from the noise. Students will use data analytics tools and develop decision support frameworks to identify threats, evaluate capability of actors to exploit vulnerabilities and evaluate the risk of damage those actors can do to an organization. While each individual data source may not provide actionable intelligence, compiling data across multiple sources can reveal critical indications of intent and capability of potential threats. This course provides an overview of publicly available data sources and strategies for mining and aggregating data across multiple sources to build a comprehensive profile of threat sources and develop an action plan to defend against these threats.

EMSE 6767 Applied Data Analytics

Applied and practical data analytics. High-level theory, with primary focus on practical application of a broad set of statistical techniques needed to support an empirical foundation for systems engineering and engineering management. A variety of practical visualization and statistical analysis techniques. Leveraging Minitab and Excel to examine raw data to arrive at insightful conclusions.

SEAS 6014 Introduction to Software and Hardware Security

Students will learn the fundamental principles of designing secure software and hardware systems and the range of attacks that seek to compromise them. The course will provide an overview of computer architecture and present attacks targeting the hardware, operating system and application layers. Students will learn how decisions in computer architecture design can lead to vulnerabilities such as cache exploits or side channels; how operating systems seek to provide secure isolation between applications; how applications can be compromised through malicious attacks; and include case studies showing how mobile devices and the Internet of Things pose new security challenges.

SEAS 6410 Security Data Visualization

The main goal of this course is to help students learn, understand and practice the visualization aspect of security data, which includes the study of data analytics and scaling up information security, security metrics and security monitoring techniques focusing on industry applications. It also covers the fundamentals of security data visualization and exploratory data analysis and provides guidelines on information security data visualization and insights with data dashboards. Furthermore, it introduces valuable tools to empower students to create an effective visual image of security data and prepare security data for using the latest techniques in Information Technology (IT) data analytics fields and extracting features from security data sets. Prerequisite: EMSE 6767


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