What Kind of Degree Do You Need for Cybersecurity?

Interested in computers, networks and cyber security? If you are looking for a challenging career and want to help defend computers, networks and mobile devices form malicious attacks, becoming a cyber security analyst may be the right career path for you. Are you wondering what kind of degree you need to become a cyber security analyst?
 

What Kind of Degree Do You Need for Cybersecurity?

 
Florida Technical College offers a Bachelor’s Degree In Information Technology with an Emphasis In Cybersecurity. Students in this degree program will learn about CompTIA A+, computer programming, programming for security in Python, computer hardware and software, networking, cloud management, Linux administration, cyber laws, compliance, cryptography, intrusion detection, digital forensics and ethical hacking, and more cyber security educational training.

CompTIA A+ Certification Preparation

CompTIA A+ is an entry level certification for cyber security analysts that covers PC hardware and peripherals, mobile device hardware, networking and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues. The certification exam confirms that cybersecurity analysts are able to comprehend the installation, maintenance, customization and operation of PCs.  

Computer Programming

In these classes, students will learn how to write code in different languages and interfaces including Python and Java. Python is easy to learn and requires minimal coding. Due to the short learning curve, cyber security analysts can get up to speed quickly. With an extensive library, many of the cyber security tools are already available. Python can help a cyber security analyst monitor and scan for malware and perform penetration testing. It can also be used for host discovery, the sending and decoding of packets, accessing servers, part scanning and network scanning.

Networking Fundamentals

Students will get an introduction into wireless networking technologies and designs. They will learn about wireless technology standards, governing bodies, hardware, security, troubleshooting and site server methodology. These fundamentals include IPX/SPX, routing protocols, LAN and WAN design, network topologies, Windows-based LAN, routing and switching.

Cloud Management

With an increased use of cloud management and the many entry points into a virtual server, students will learn about virtualization and the security implications of housing information and files on a remote server.

Linux Administration

Students will learn about the basic installation of a Linux operating system, managing files, networks and system administration and the configuration of network security in this open source operating system.

Cyber Laws & Compliance

Students will learn about cyber law, privacy and ethical usage of information, and the laws that govern privacy and compliance of an organization’s computers, services and Internet use.

Cryptography

During this degree program, students learn how cryptography is used for network security and the security of data and communications. Cyber security analyst use cryptography to design ciphers, and use hashing, and symmetric and asymmetric algorithms to secure networks. 

Intrusion Detection

This class focuses on Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) and how to monitor networks for intrusion, malicious activity or policy violations. An IDS will search for suspicious activity and known threats, alerting the cyber security analyst when a threat is detected.

Digital Forensics

Students will learn how to search, preserve and analyze information on computer systems, networks and servers to collect evidence of network intrusions and cybercrime.

Ethical Hacking

This class focuses on system penetration testing to find vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks that a cyber criminal can exploit. Students will learn the entire penetration testing process from planning and reconnaissance to post-exploitation and results reporting. 
 

What Cyber Attacks Will Be Discussed in this Degree Program?

 
During this degree program, students will learn about different cyber attacks and how to guard networks against these cyber criminals. Whether it is penetration testing through ethical hacking, intrusion detection, or cryptography, students will learn how to keep networks safe and abide by cyber law and compliance to safeguard system data and personal information.

Malicious Attacks

Students of the Information Technology degree program will learn how cybercriminals can create malicious software and install it on a computer system, cloud server or an organization’s network to access personal information or to damage the system. Different types of malware include viruses, spyware, ransomware and Trojan horses. Classes will focus on cyber law, compliance and cryptography in an effort to thwart cyber criminals from gaining personal data.

Viruses – a malicious program that enters a computer or network and attaches itself to a legitimate program that supports macros in order to execute its code. To infect the computer, the program with a virus must be run. Cyber security analysts use virus protection software to find viruses before they execute a malicious attack.

Spyware – used by cyber criminals to track and sell Internet usage data, capture personal information like credit cards and steal someone’s identity. Spyware monitors keystroke activity to track logins, passwords and sensitive information.

Ransomware – a recently popular malicious attack where cyber criminals inject malicious software in a computer system or network designed to deny access until a ransom is paid. Typically, ransomware is passed by phishing (email scam) or by a network user visiting an infected website.

Trojan Horses – this malware looks like a legitimate program but is a fake version that loads malware into a computer system or network to take control and perform a harmful action. 

Computer & Network Penetration

Cyber criminals use exploit kits in an effort to search for software vulnerabilities on computer systems and networks. When a vulnerability is found, the kit can inject malware. This is why it is important to run penetration testing on computer systems and networks to identify vulnerabilities before cyber criminals do.

Distribution Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

This is a malicious attack where cyber criminal flood a network with traffic until it can’t operate or work normally. A cyber security analyst will learn how to identify intrusions and throw 503 errors to a stop a DDoS attack. The 503 error will temporarily stop any devices that are pinging a server or network too many times in a short period. Websites also use 503 errors to stop users from scraping a website’s content.
 

Final Thoughts

 
As a cyber security analyst, you will never have a boring day. Whether you are thwarting cyber criminals, securing cloud networks or performing penetration testing, you will continue to learn and grow in this field. A degree in Information Technology with an emphasis in Cybersecurity is a career path that is in demand and will continue to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for information security analysts will grow 31 percent in the next decade. This is good for those that want a stable but challenging career in cyber security.
 

Want to Learn More?

 
Ready to start a rewarding career in the IT field? The Bachelor Degree program in Information Technology with Emphasis in Cybersecurity introduces students to a variety of topics, such as assessing the security vulnerability of computer and network systems, various computer and network safeguarding solutions, and managing the implementation and maintenance of security devices, systems, procedures and counter measures.  As graduates of the program, students will be prepared for an entry-level career as an information support analyst, junior ethical hacker, or network and security support analyst related jobs.

Ready to move from the classroom to a career? Florida Technical College is here to help. Contact us to learn more about completing the Bachelor Degree program in Information Technology with Emphasis in Cybersecurity at Florida Technical College.

These examples are intended to serve only as a general guide of possible employment opportunities. There are many factors that determine the job an individual may obtain and NUC University – Florida Technical College (NUC-FTC) cannot guarantee its graduates any particular job. Some positions may require a license or other certifications. We encourage you to research the requirements for the particular position you desire.*