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Cyber Security Classes for NSA Employees

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The Naval Postgraduate School, Computer Science Department, offers three different certificates to NSA employees; Cyber Security Fundamentals, Cybersecurity Defense, and Cybersecurity Adversarial Techniques.  These certificates are graduate level programs, and provide a unique perspective on DoD and U.S. Government concerns.  The Center for Cybersecurity and Cyber Operations (C3O) department encourages NSA participation in earning one of these Security Certificates.  Employees may also chose to take one or two classes without committing to a certificate program. 

 

Students are limited to no more than 12 credit hours via the single course enrollment process.  Enrolling in Curriculum #179 will allow NSA students to take limitless classes.  Enrolling in 179 is a simplified admissions process; no transcripts are required, and no review of qualifications are needed.  Given the 12 credit hour limit, all NSA students should enroll in the 179 curriculum after taking their first class via single course enrollment forms.  No certificate will be obtained through 179, but it will facilitate an easier system for the students in the future, and also eliminate the 12 credit hour limit.

 

Taking classes via the single course enrollment forms sidesteps the university's admissions and acceptance process, and does not automatically result in a NPS certificate.  To gain a certificate, students must apply, and be accepted to the Naval Postgraduate School as a student.  Enrollment and acceptance must be one full quarter prior to beginning their final certificate class.  Students cannot ask for a certificate after completing all three classes.  The NPS admissions office does not make exceptions for late applications.

 

Below is some information that helps explain the difference between being admitted at the Naval Postgraduate School, and taking individual classes via a single enrollment process.

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Taking classes at NPS via submitting a Single Course Enrollment (SCE) form is acceptable for NSA employees who are only taking one class.  However, the student should be aware of the following issues:

  • There will be no certificates or degress awarded using SCE forms.  If a student takes all required classes for a certificate by submitting SCE forms, the student will NOT receive a certificate.
  • Students are limited to no more than twelve credits (about three classes).
  • Students are encouraged switch from SCE forms over to the 179 curriculum as soon as possible.
  • As many as two classes can be transferred into a certificate program for up to three years.

 

 

This is a simplified enrollment process that allows students to take more than twelve credit hours. 

 

Students can easily apply to the 179 curriculum here.  This simplified process means:

  • There are no requirements to submit official transcripts.
  • The standard process for a accredited university to review and accept students application is waived. 
  • The 179 curriculum does NOT qualify students for a certificate or degree.  It only allows students to take computer science classes without a limit to the credit hours.

 

If a student decides that they want to enroll in a certificate program, they must reapply to NPS and be accepted before beginning their third class.  The application and acceptance process can take more than three months.  Students must plan ahead.

The Cyber Security Fundamentals graduate certificate is intended to provide a technically rigorous foundation upon which to build knowledge and skills in computer network defense, attack and exploitation. Each course is comprised of both instruction and laboratory exercises involving cyber security aspects of computers and networks. These synergistic activities allow students to internalize key concepts in cyber security. The courses and material covered in the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate satisfy prerequisite requirements for advanced courses in cyber security offered in the Computer Science Department of the Naval Postgraduate School.

 

Required Courses

1) CS3600 or CS4600

2) CS3670

3) CS3690

 

  • This certificate program requires the full university application process, including submission of college transcripts, review, and a NPS determination of acceptance.  The application process can take more than three months before the student can be enrolled into the certificate program.
  • Students must be enrolled before they take their third class.
  • Students need to apply the the NPS Admissions office here

 

Using the foundation established through the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate, students enrolled in Cyber Security Defense graduate certificate, will obtain a detailed understanding of and ability to construct systems and function in real operational situations involving cyber security. They will gain the technical depth required to actively prepare for and respond to attacks. Students will learn to analyze network traffic to extract the observable characteristics of networks and network devices, thus providing a basis for defensive strategies. They will learn to build tools and how to configure systems and networks to permit systems to foster resiliency and continuity of operations, perhaps with reduced capacity, through attacks. Students will learn how to construct systems and tools to mitigate the impact of malicious software. Students will learn forensic techniques to retrieve and analyze stored information that may be corrupted or hidden. Considerable programming and hands-on work with systems and networks will be required.

 

Required Courses

1) CS4600 or CS4684

2) CS4677

3) CS4558

 

  • This certificate program requires the full university application process, including submission of college transcripts, review, and a NPS determination of acceptance.  The application process can take more than three months before the student can be enrolled into the certificate program.
  • Students must be enrolled before they take their third class.
  • Students need to apply the the NPS Admissions office here

Using the foundation established through the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate, students enrolled in Cyber Security Adversarial Techniques graduate certificate, will obtain a detailed understanding of and ability to function in real operational situations in which adversarial techniques are being used. An understanding of overarching principles, computer and network architectural concepts, and exemplar cases will allow students to analyze current and future malware. Students will learn how to use network traffic analysis to extract the characteristics of ongoing attacks and to identify exploitable vulnerabilities. They will learn how to decipher subtle, clandestine host-based attack mechanisms and how these mechanisms are inserted into target systems. They will learn, in detail, how attack and exploitation software mechanisms are built and deployed, including the distributed command and control techniques used to manage large-scale malware networks. Considerable programming and hands-on work with systems and networks will be required.

 

Required Courses

1) CS4558 or CS4648

2) CS4678

3) CS4679

 

  • This certificate program requires the full university application process, including submission of college transcripts, review, and a NPS determination of acceptance.  The application process can take more than three months before the student can be enrolled into the certificate program.
  • Students must be enrolled before they take their third class.
  • Students need to apply the the NPS Admissions office here

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NPS application instructions can be found here:  NPS - OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS.  

 

Please remember to select the correct curriculum number.  

 

Costs:

FY19 program costs are based upon a cohort mode.  The minimum cohort size is 20 DoD Civilians and US military officers at a cost of $2,650.00 per course per quarter  

Books can be provided by the NPS program, but result in additional costs.

*NPS tuition rates are subject to change.