What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the increasingly interconnected digital landscape. Breaches in cybersecurity can lead to serious consequences for consumers, patients and companies. These breaches can also impact municipal, state and federal government agencies. There is a high demand for fully trained cybersecurity specialists in all areas of the country and global community. To meet this rising demand, Grand Canyon University has developed a Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. This is offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
Students in the MS in Cybersecurity program develop a keen understanding of the many factors that influence and jeopardize cybersecurity. This comprehensive program trains candidates to safeguard systems, data, processes and people through the use of white hat practices. Digital forensics, penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and exploitation techniques are examined. The modern curriculum includes the exploration of cyber-warfare and cyber-defense issues.
Earn an Online MS in Cybersecurity
As a modern university, GCU understands the need for flexible learning paths. You can earn your MS in Cybersecurity while continuing to meet your current obligations. Our dynamic online learning platform enables you to collaborate with and learn from your peers. The online Master’s in Cybersecurity requires a total of 34 credits for completion. Most of the online courses take eight weeks to complete.
During this program, candidates develop core competencies that enable them to serve as industry leaders. Students learn the advanced technical skills necessary to defend organizations from cyber-attacks. At the same time, they enhance their communication skills, critical thinking abilities and leadership qualities.
There is an emphasis on the Christian worldview and ethical decision-making in the digital sphere. This MS in Cybersecurity gives students a firm grasp on the Hackers with Halos™ methodology. Hackers with Halos™ is an approach that embraces Christian ethics and principles and applies them to white hat computer applications.
Career Opportunities with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity
GCU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity offers students intensive, hands-on learning experiences to thoroughly prepare them to pursue challenging, high-tech careers. The following learning objectives and core competencies are included:
- Risk assessment, countermeasures, security policies and frameworks
- Ideologies of cyber-crime, identification of attack vectors and impact analysis of failed security measures
- Policy perspectives on security design
- Protection of intellectual property through encryption, hardware security and layered security defense strategies
The degree culminates with a capstone course: Cybersecurity Program Development. Students are required to develop a full cybersecurity program, taking any ethical or legal challenges into consideration.
Some of the job opportunities in the cybersecurity career field may include:
- Corporate information security officer (CISO)
- Corporate security officer (CSO)
- Director of security
- Senior security engineer/architect
- Senior security application developer
- Information security analyst
It is recommended that individuals with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field of study consider applying for GCU’s Bridge (Master of Science in Cybersecurity) before applying for the MS in Cybersecurity degree. Students interested in changing careers can use the bridge program to acquire the necessary foundational knowledge, and to prepare for success in the MS program.
Program Core Courses
This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.
With a brief introduction to cybercrime and cybersecurity, this course will provide students with an overview of the various attacks and the countermeasures organizations can use to defend themselves. Exploring concepts such as defense-in-depth, layered security, vulnerability assessments, risk management, governance and compliance, and encryption; students will become familiar with prevention and protection theories, best practices, and strategies to securing corporate data (intellectual property). This course will conclude with an exploration of the various hacker psychologies and the differences between black-hat, grey-hat, and white-hat (Hackers with Halos) hackers. Prerequisite: UNV-504 or UNV-507.
This course introduces enterprise infrastructure design; including hardware, software, policies, and business processes. Emphasis is placed on integrating security solutions and theories in alignment with business objectives to achieve sustainability, reliability, and availability while deterring threats from cyber-attacks. This course also introduces students to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, providing a foundation to formulating a strategy for cybersecurity program design. Prerequisite: CYB-505.
This course examines the tools and technologies used to secure an organization’s intellectual property. Students will consider encryption, hardware security, software vulnerabilities, remote access technologies, and layered security defense strategies in the development of secure architectures. A technology-focused course, students will provide effective solutions around firewalls, networking, server security, database and website protocols, and VPN configurations. Prerequisite: CYB-505.
This course introduces a policy perspective on security design. Students will consider cyber security frameworks, policies, cyber law, regulations, and standards in the configuration, development, and design of an enterprise policy infrastructure. In addition, students will examine the impact of policy implementation on enterprise systems and personnel management.
This intensive hands-on course will provide with students the experience of working with various cybersecurity technologies and techniques that hackers and malicious actors use to scan, identify, and exploit vulnerabilities in an organization. Students will also formulate strategies of protection from such threats by identifying risks, countermeasures, security policies, frameworks, and best practices to align and enhance an organization’s security posture through the development of a risk management plan. Prerequisites: CYB-515 and CYB-525.
This course explores the human and enterprise aspects of cybersecurity management. From information security awareness to strategic planning; students will begin with the examination of the ideologies behind cybercrime, where attacks come from and why, followed by implementation techniques to best align cybersecurity applications with business objectives. This course provides a look at the strategies security professionals use to identify the attack vectors and plan accordingly to secure information systems using various industry compliances, regulations, and standards to design and implement cost effective controls, policies, and training to implement defense-in-depth techniques. This course ends with an impact analysis of when security measures fail, which includes legal elements and liability and ethical issues relating to forensic investigations. Prerequisite: CYB-535.
This course reinforces the significance, use, and deployment of security frameworks from a small-to-medium sized business (SMB) perspective to increase visibility, reduce risk from malicious activity, improve security posture, and enhance infrastructure to secure a company’s intellectual property. Using various controls, policies, best practices, and implementation guides, students will establish a security framework for an organization that secures and aligns with an appropriate regulation (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA). Prerequisite: CYB-630.
This course culminates the entire program by requiring students to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity program. Evaluating the legal and ethical challenges; incorporating the policies, frameworks, and methodologies; and identifying the hardware, software, and application requirements to secure an organization’s intellectual property, customer data, and resources. Students will apply managerial and leadership skills to develop and communicate an effective cybersecurity program. Prerequisite: CYB-650.