WHAT IS CYBER SECURITY?
Cyber security is the practice of how to protect systems, networks and
programs from cyber attacks. The goal of these attacks are often aimed at
trying to gain access to, change or destroy sensitive info. Having the proper
cyber security measures in place is key as there are more devices now than
people and hackers are getting more creative. The best cyber security approach
has many layers of protection that can be spread across all of the computers,
networks or data that it intends to keep safe. If this sounds like a field
you’d have an interest in, then an online cyber security degree or
certification may be pathways that you can take in order to pursue a career in
With cyber attacks real and imminent, pursuing a cyber security degree online may be a worth while goal for you. You can see in the reports that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million cyber security jobs. Thus, you are wise to be prepared to meet this trend by studying Info Sec. Your trained eye and computer savvy skill set will be in demand to employers.
WHY IS CYBER SECURITY IMPORTANT?
In today’s connected world, everyone can benefit from proper cyber defense programs. An attack like this can result in identity theft, extortion attempts, or even the loss of important data. Many places like hospitals, power plants and finance companies rely on cyber security.
CYBER SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAMS
Have you thought about going into an online cyber security degree program? Here are a few things you should know: Most people that work in Cyber Security have a four year bachelor’s degree. In fact, about 53% of those employed in this field hold a BA. The thing is, it does not matter how they go about getting that degree. There are a few routes to a BA or BS degree. Both a Bachelor of the Arts or Bachelor of Sciences have equal value. It makes no difference which one a student gets to graduate.
The same goes for the degree along the way. For instance, community college is a way to save money while in school. These schools tend to cost a lot less than traditional campus schools. In fact, tuition for 2016 averaged less than 4K a year. These are often geared toward AS degrees. An associate degree can take about two years. After those first few years taking courses, you can then transfer into a bachelor’s. That could be online or on campus. Both work well these days.
Many BA and BS degree holders move forward and get a master’s degree as well. Others get a post grad certificate. Both of these choices can boost your resume. That’s because Info Sec employers like to see post grad work on your resume. Any Cyber Security degree path that you choose can create your perfect future, though. One reason is that there is much potential in the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports this job market growth is at a rate of 28%. They say this is “much faster than average” for all occupations.
CYBER SECURITY CERTIFICATIONS
The training for these certs can tie into online cyber security degree programs as well. But it’s fine to get a cert without a degree. In fact, this kind of training can help you with more than a certificate if that is of interest to you. You may want to feel out how much interest you have. The commitment and cost for this is small compared to a degree program. Also, you will get a useful certificate out of it. That’s tangible proof of your skill. There’s not much to lose in this scenario. Meanwhile degree programs are at least a two year commitment and thousands of dollars.
So why don’t most people start out with certification? Although there’s much to be gained from a cert, it’s not likely to lead to a job in itself. Most Cyber Security pros hold at least a bachelor’s degree. But a cert can help boost that degree in the eyes of potential employers. They like the proof of skills a cert brings. And it’s a shortcut to show that you are well prepped.
Cyber Security Majors
There are many possible Cyber Security majors to study in college. Each as distinction. But they also have lots in common. The first year or so of college will likely have lots of overlap classes among them. That’s because the core curriculum requirements take time to fulfill first. But when it’s time to specialize, there are differences among these majors.
IT Security protects all the info in a company. So, a degree in IT Security is sometimes also called Information Security or Info Sec. These degrees often start in Comp Sci, Criminal Justice, or Business. They differ only in origin, though. The program won’t vary much among them. That’s because they all lead to the same goal, a knowledge and skill to enforce IT Security at work.
The program will vary by school, but some classes are across the board at all schools. They cover the basics to prep you for the day to day work of Info Sec. Here are some of the courses in IT Sec programs:
- Systems Analysis
- Database Design
- History of IT
- Computer Programming in Java
- Electronic Commerce
- Intro to Ethical Hacking & Pen Testing
- IT Control and Audit
- Consulting and Design of Online Systems
- Cyber Law
There’s not a lot of difference between IT Security and Cyber Security. But the small distinctions between them are real and key. Cyber Security only covers info sec that pertains to cyber space. So, it’s a crucial subset of Info Sec. This segment covers all the networks, applications, and data that cross the Internet.
Hence, the degree programs will be a lot like those for Info Sec. In later years Cyber Security degree programs may dig deeper into Internet issues. For instance, as a Cyber Security student, you might delve in to malware and virus challenges more. They also will likely focus more on issues like phishing.
Phishing involves harmful email attacks under the guise of a company. These can harm the brand and reputation when clients associate them such emails. Cyber Security pros protect against this with email list protocols and methods. Such work is for cyberspace and thus special to their purview.
Information reigns king in companies these days. So, security matters more than ever. Thus, Info Sec, Cyber, and Network Security are key.
These security categories have a lot in common because they share the same goals. All three protect and secure information to keep a business running. However they each have their own nuances.
Info Sec protects information. That means physical data such as what you find in a filing cabinet. It also means digital data.
A subset of Cyber Security, Network Security hones in on the communication byways. These behind the scenes passages are where it all happens. So, a lot can go wrong with the info passing through. Network Security Degree programs start out with the Info Sec basics. A Cyber Security program serves these students. Of course, they may also have a field of study like a Network focus.
That means courses designed with Networks in mind. So, classes these goals in mind:
- Build reliable and secure code in a network’s system
- Prevent of network security gaps and vulnerabilities
- Create protective measures for data passage on a network
These are core for Network Security. The bottom line is to keep a Network safe while always working. One of the paradigms of Info Sec is that it is accessible. It’s not only about how to keep info safe. But also to make sure it’s available to those who need it. After all, info is a key factor in every company.
Cyber Security is more needed than ever in health care. After all, our medical info can pass through cyber space. What’s more private than that? This segment of Cyber Security may seem niche. But it gets to the heart of what matters. We all go to the doctor and want that info kept secure. A degree in Health care Security can help make this a safer world for this crucial, personal info.
Health care Security sometimes starts in a business or master’s degree program. A student with a BA or BS in Cyber Security can then specialize in Health care for grad school. It could be by combining it with a Health care Admin Master’s degree. Other partner programs are Business and Auditing. Because Health care info remains critical and vulnerable, apps for it are expanding.
Computer Forensics solves cases that involve computer data. So, these degrees are ideal for you if you love computers and solving cases. They’re like detectives of the digital world. Degree programs have many routes. You could start out in either Comp Sci or Criminal Justice. Both paths may lead to Computer Forensics. Once a student decides to take this route the program gets a focus.
The course work will survey both computers and investigations. Here are some types of classes:
- Criminal Investigation
- Foundations of Cyber Security
- Malware Forensics
- Digital Forensic Analysis
These degrees may prepare you to work with either law enforcement or organizations. In fact, law enforcement entities now hold Cyber Security departments for this purpose. These are much like an organization’s IT department. Both are places that may hire Computer Forensics Analysts to help their team.
20 BEST SCHOOLS WITH Online CYBER SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAMS
Colorado Technical University
Online B.S. in Cyber Security – Information Assurance
CTU’s 186 credit program is made to help you prepare and work to gain the knowledge and skills to apply the methods, techniques and tools needed to secure the public and private sectors’ critical assets and info.
- Skill to examine and take measures against hacking, spam, worms, malware and computer viruses through cyber sleuthing and evidence gathering
- Skill to work with both technical experts and management to evaluate business systems and procedures and make suggestions on how to secure key business info.
University of Maryland – University College
Online Bachelor’s Degree: Computer Networks and Cyber Security
In this B.S. program, you’ll learn the procedures and tech to design, implement, secure, and trouble shoot networks. This program requires 120 credits to complete.
- Design, implement, and secure local area (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN) to satisfy business goals
- Resolve IT system problems and meet the needs of end users by being able to use methods to trouble shoot
- Apply relevant policies and methods to secure and monitor IT systems
Capitol Technology Unviersity
M.S. in Cyber Cecurity Online
This online M.S. degree provides the advanced, up to date knowledge to protect companies and gov’t agencies from today’s threats. Also, this degree program preps you for the CISSP exam in the field of IT security. 36 to 39 credits are required to complete.
- Skill to evaluate diverse points of view and integrate their knowledge in Cyber Security across various tech applications.
- Skill to consider ethical principles and evaluate solutions and practices for Cyber Security.
- Knowledge to use security principles and practices to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats.
Strayer University – Global Region
Online B.S. in Information Technology – Cyber Security
This online B.S. program will teach you to think like a hacker, understand how these black hat programmers breach network systems; and will train you on how to implement defense systems that protect data.
- Learn how to maintain the security of networks and data in a range of environments
- Understand the different types of hacking (both ethical and unethical)
- Ability to perform penetration tests on communication and wireless networks
- Master the functions and impacts of harmful programs – and their counter measures.
Online Doctor of Information Technology – Cyber Security Focus (Track 1)
In Walden’s online DIT program, you will gain knowledge in the field of IT and acquire the leadership skills needed to guide companies through IT related issues. This degree program requires 52 credit hours to complete.
- Suggest IT strategies that support enterprise mission and objectives that follow tenets of social, and ethical responsibility.
- Demonstrate the skill to formulate project management, compliance, and sourcing of IT within a company.
- Conduct research that can contribute to professional and actionable knowledge in an applied environment.
B.S. in Cyber Security
Aligned with the academic requirements for cyber security set by the NSA and DHS, this 120 credit online B.S. program give you the skill to enhance your technical knowledge in cyber security.
- Describe defensive network architecture that use many layers of protection.
- Analyze tech and processes that monitor, maintain, and protect the data of a company.
- Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments of existing and proposed security systems.
American Public University System
Online B.S. in Cyber Security
This degree program provides you with both theory and know how needed to assess, plan, design, and implement cyber security defenses in the public and private sectors. It requires 120 credits with a maximum of 90 transfer credits. The program is online.
- Demonstrate a knowledge of the processes and goals of cyber forensics investigations.
- Compare and contrast the various aspects of cyber security like the relationship between cyber defense, cyber crime, and cyber law within federal and state laws.
Arizona State University
Online MCS Computer Science (Cyber Security)
This MCS program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills in science and engineering for cyber security, including computer and network security, software security, data and info sec, and computer forensics. The program is online. This program requires 30 credit hours and a portfolio.
- Demonstrate a knowledge of the processes and skills in science and engineering for cyber security, like computer and network security, software security, data and info sec, and computer forensics.
- Ability to provide restoration of info systems by incorporating protection, detection and reaction capabilities.
Indiana University – Bloomington
Online M.S. in Cyber Security Risk Management
This 30 credit hour, M.S. program is the first in the nation to bring together three top ranked schools to offer tech, business, and law view points on cyber security. And you can earn your degree online or choose to take some classes at the IU Bloomington campus—it’s up to you.
- Skill to protect privacy and intellectual property
- Promote information and systems security
- Address cyber threats to national and global security
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity & Policy Online
The MSCMP is a 30 credit online degree program for IT and non IT pros who want to move into a leadership role. Grads will emerge from the program with a knowledge of cyber security and its impacts across the company, along with improved critical thinking and management skills.
- Skill to recognize the relationship between cyber security and your company’s goals
- Realize the long term impact of a security breach on successful completion of your mission
George Mason University
Online Bachelor of Applied Science, Cyber Security Focus
Mason’s B.A.S. Degree is a unique program made for those who have earned an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree. B.A.S students develop skills that are recognized by the NIST and NICE as vital to the field. This program requires 120 to 126 credit hours to complete.
- Understand the role of IT as a tool of war fare and civil defense
- Skill to analyze, organize and evaluate info systems
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Online M.S. Cyber & Homeland Security Administration
The online master’s is designed to help you become a leader in the security field. As you work your way through the 36 credit program, you will have the chance to choose from one of three distinct tracks: terrorism and security studies, emergency management, and leadership.
- Skill to work strategically, research well, and apply critical thinking skills to positions of leadership in the field.
- Skill to conduct effective risk analysis.
- Proficient in how to manage responses to emergencies and threats.
Purdue University Global – Davenport
Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
This online degree program will give you advanced technical knowledge and skills and prep you for industry certifications to propel your career in the fast moving field of cyber security. Program requires 180 quarter credit hours to complete.
- Skill to analyze complex computing problems to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions
- Proficient in how to design, implement, and evaluate computing based solutions to meet a given set of computing needs.
Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
Looking for an online degree that combines your talent for tech with a desire to serve and protect? Regent’s B.S. program will prep you to begin or advance your tech and network security career in gov’t, military, private, public and non profit sectors. This program requires 120+ credit hours to complete.
- Analyze cyber security threats, trends and strategies.
- Identify cyber security principles, methods and tools that aid in the defense of cyber attacks.
- Decrease system vulnerabilities through integrated security tech.
Western Governors University
Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance
WGU’s online B.S. degree program requires 120+credits to complete. It was designed with input from cyber security experts and leading IT employers to meet the most recent DHS and NSA guide lines.
- Identify and implement strategies to classify, control access, set permission, configure, optimize, and upgrade basic system security.
- Identify how confidentiality, integrity, and availability define security needs for a business.
- Use security principles and cyber defense concepts to overcome common security failures.
Online B.S. in IT, Information Assurance and Cyber Security
This B.S. in IT degree helps you learn to evaluate security policies, social engineering, access control, authentication, perimeter security, disaster recovery, and more. 180 program credits required for this program.
- Balance risk and benefits associated with information assets.
- Validate accuracy and integrity of info assets through audit, management, and models.
- Learn how to conduct business impact analyses and disaster recovery plans.
University of Phoenix – Arizona
Online B.S. in IT with an Advanced Cyber Security Certificate
This online degree is a 120 credit BS in IT with advanced cert in Cyber Security will help you gain the technical basics to pursue a role in the fast growing field of IT security while you take courses that align with the CISSP® and EC-CSCU cert exams.
- Skill to implement cyber security solutions that comply with global governance best practices.
- Skill to describe and explain fundamentals of security in a networked environment
- Apply the key principles of systems analysis and design to business processes within the company in order to implement effective info systems.
Florida Insititute of Technology – Online
M.S. in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Online
With this online degree, you will gain expert knowledge on how to protect and secure info from cyber intruders, and will be able to recognize threats and vulnerabilities by studying complex attack models. 33 credits required to complete.
- Recognize threats, vulnerabilities and security structures
- Analyze attack models, forensics, operation processes and bio metric tech
- Explore communications encryption, and apply data mining and machine learning methods to cyber security scenarios
Columbia Southern University
B.S. in Information Systems and Cyber Security
This 120 credit program is made for those who want to expand their knowledge in systems security analysis and identify the skills needed to detect intrusions and apply the correct counter measures.
- Skill to able to apply business theory and practices to solve info systems security problems
- Proficient in how to evaluate the application of security practices to optimize info systems assurance
B.S. in Cyber Security
Through this online degree, you can learn methods to help identify potential risks and thwart breaches by cyber criminals. This online B.S. degree can also help you learn about software updates, security programs and personal methods to protect computer information systems from cyber attacks. 120 credit hours to complete.
- Analyze a system, and identify and define the security risks and requirements for secure operation
- Design, implement and evaluate a computer based system, process, component or program to meet security needs
- Address professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities