Cybersecurity (MS)

Program Directors: Jeffrey McConnell, PhD and Jeffrey Spaulding, PhD

The M.S. in Cybersecurity program is designed to train cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of business, industry, educational institutions, and government agencies locally and nation-wide. The program provides a cutting-edge curriculum that prepares graduates to succeed as a cybersecurity professional or researcher.

The Cybersecurity MS is designed as a full-time (with a part-time option), face-to-face program. Students without computer science background may take a set of courses as preparatory that would otherwise be waived for those with the applicable undergraduate courses. The program is in line with curricular recommendations from the ACM Cybersecurity Curricula and the NSA’s Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense.

Admissions Requirements

  • Students from any undergraduate major are welcome to apply, as long as they have acquired a bachelor's degree prior to the start of classes.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.
  • Successful completion of a college-level Calculus 1 course (comparable to MAT 111 or MAT 115 at Canisius).
  • Students may apply at any time. We have rolling admissions.
  • Student preparation and background are used to determine if some introductory courses may be waived.

Materials to be Submitted

  • Free Online Application, with essay
  • An official transcript from each college attended
  • Official GRE or GMAT score (optional)
  • Resumé (optional)
  • One or two Letters of Recommendations (optional)

Policies

Academic Standing

The Cybersecurity program follows the College of Arts and Sciences on students' academic standing.

Matriculation and Continued Program Enrollment

The Cybersecurity program follows the Canisius College policy for matriculated students that expects students to maintain a continuous program of academic work.

Registration and Credit Hours

Cybersecurity students mus t be registered for at least 4.5 credits per semester to maintain eligibility for financial aid (if they are eligible). A full load is at least 9 credit hours. No student may register for more than 12 credit hours in any semester.

Curriculum

Bridge Courses
CSC 501 & 501L "Introduction to Programming and Lab"3
CSC 502 & 502L "Data Structures and Algorithms and Lab"3
MAT 591 "Discrete Mathematics"3
Required Courses
CSC 530 & 530L "Operating System Design and Distributed Computing and Lab"3
CYB 500 & 500L "Cybersecurity Principles and Lab"3
CYB 510 "Cybersecurity Policies, Ethics, and Law"3
CYB 520 & 520L "Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing and Lab"3
CYB 540 & 540L "Network and Internet Security and Lab"3
CYB 600 & 600L "Secure Software Engineering and Lab"3
CYB 610 "Cybersecurity Project"3
CYB 620 & 620L "Applied Cryptography and Lab"3
DAT 513 & 513L "Database Management and Lab"3
Choose one of the following:3
CYB 599 & 599L "Cybersecurity Special Topics and Lab"
CYB 611 "Cybersecurity Thesis"
CYB 697 "Cybersecurity Internship"
Total Credits39

 For course descriptions, click on the "Courses" tab.

Courses

Computer Science (CSC), Cybersecurity (CYB), Data Analytics (DAT), Mathematics (MAT)

Computer Science (CSC)

CSC 501 Introduction to Programming for Data Analytics 3 Credits

This foundational course will teach you the basics of computer programming using the Python language. You will design, code, test, and debug computer programs for textual and graphical applications.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

CSC 501L Introduction to Programming for Data Analytics Lab 0 Credits

Required lab for CSC 501.

Corequisite: CSC 501.

Offered: Summer.

CSC 502 Data Structures and Algorithms 3 Credits

The primary focus of this course is data structures and their accompanying algorithms, including recursive algorithms. In order to judge between competing algorithms or alternative data structures, we will use analysis to discover the time and memory bounds of various approaches. We will also use object oriented programming as a useful way of constructing abstract data types and in general structuring complex programs. Several debugging tools and approaches will be explored, especially hand tracing of algorithms. The Python programming language will be our main vehicle.

Prerequisite: CSC 501 or CSC 111 as prerequisite. Corequisite: CSC 502L.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

CSC 502L Structures and Algorithms for Data Analytics Lab 0 Credits

Required lab for CSC 502.

Corequisite: CSC 502.

Offered: Summer.

-

CSC 530 Operating System Design and Distributed Computing3 Credits

The design of operating system software, distributed applications, client/server and other models, security issues, and parallel programming on a High Performance Computing Cluster.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C in CSC 502 & CSC 502L

Offered: every fall.

-

CSC 530L Operating System Design and Distributed Computing Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CSC 530.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C in CSC 502 & CSC 502L

Offered: every fall.

Cybersecurity (CYB)

CYB 500 Cybersecurity Principles 3 Credits

This course examines the landscape and the broad areas of cybersecurity which includes topics such as: Symmetric & Public-Key Encryption, Access Control, Database Security, Malware, DoS (Denial-of-Service) Attacks, Intrusion Detection & Firewalls, Software Security, Security Management & Policies, Internet Security, and Legal & Ethical Aspects of Cybercrime. Students will also complete hands-on labs and exercises to reinforce their working knowledge of computer, network and information security topics.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in DAT 513 & DAT 513L; may be taken concurrently.

Offered: every fall & spring.

-

CYB 500L Cybersecurity Principles Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 500.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in DAT 513 & DAT 513L; may be taken concurrently.

Offered: every fall & spring.

-

CYB 510 Cybersecurity Policies, Ethics, and Law3 Credits

This course focuses on the managerial aspects of information security and assurance. Topics covered include access control models, information security governance, and information security program assessment and metrics. Coverage on the foundational and technical components of information security is included to reinforce key concepts. The course includes up-to-date information on changes in the field, such as national and international laws and international standards like the ISO 27000 series.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in CYB 500.

Offered: every spring.

-

CYB 520 Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing3 Credits

This course provides an in-depth understanding of how to effectively protect computer networks. Students will learn the tools and penetration testing methodologies used by ethical hackers. In addition, the course provides a thorough discussion of what and who an ethical hacker is and how important they are in protecting corporate and government data from cyber attacks. Students will learn updated computer security resources that describe new vulnerabilities and innovative methods to protect networks. Also covered is a thorough update of federal and state computer crime laws, as well as changes in penalties for illegal computer hacking.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500 and CYB 500L.

Offered: every spring.

-

CYB 520L Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 520.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500 and CYB 500L.

Offered: every spring.

-

CYB 540 Network and Internet Security3 Credits

The purpose of this course is to provide a practical survey of network security applications and standards. The emphasis is on applications that are widely used on the Internet and for corporate networks, and on standards (especially Internet standards) that have been widely deployed. The first part of the course will cover a concise survey of the cryptographic algorithms and protocols underlying network security applications, including encryption, hash functions, message authentication, and digital signatures. The second part of the course will cover important network security tools and applications, including key distribution, Kerberos, X.509v3 certificates, Extensible Authentication Protocol, S/MIME, IP Security, SSL/TLS, IEEE 802.11i WiFi security, and cloud security. Finally, we will look at system-level security issues, including the threat of and countermeasures for malicious software and intruders, and the use of firewalls.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, CSC 502, and DAT 513.

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 540L Network and Internet Security Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 540.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, CSC 502, and DAT 513.

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 599 Cybersecurity Special Topics 3 Credits

Current topics in Cybersecurity of interested to faculty and students. Possible topics include: Malware Analysis & Reverse Engineering, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies, Machine Learning & Security, Computer Forensics, etc.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, and CSC 502.

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 599L Cybersecurity Special Topics Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 599.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, CSC 502, and DAT 513.

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 600 Secure Software Engineering3 Credits

The purpose of this course is to provide secure programming practices that are necessary to develop applications that withstand cyber-attacks and common software exploits. The first part of the course will cover the fundamentals of software security and implementing a continuous risk management framework throughout the software development lifecycle. The second part of the course will cover the Seven Touchpoints for software security as well as code reviews and software penetration testing. Finally, we will look at adopting a secure development lifecycle (SDL) in an enterprise setting.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, CSC 502, and DAT 513.

Offered: every spring.

-

CYB 600L Secure Software Engineering Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 600.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500, CSC 502, and DAT 513.

Offered: every spring.

-

CYB 610 Cybersecurity Project3 Credits

This course requires the culmination of knowledge and laboratory experience gained from the MS in Cybersecurity program as students will have the opportunity to design and implement a graduate capstone project. Students may complete this project for a real-world application or in a laboratory-setting that pertains to the greater field of cybersecurity. Students must defend their work in an open project defense and complete a written report of their work before a letter grade is awarded.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 520.

Offered: every fall, spring & summer.

-

CYB 611 Cybersecurity Thesis3 Credits

The purpose of the thesis course is to provide students the opportunity to work with a faculty advisor on a research problem in cybersecurity. Completion of the thesis will require scholarly research methods to produce a significant thesis document that is comparable to a peer-reviewed publication. This course should be taken during the last semester of the MS program and the final thesis and oral presentation (defense) will be evaluated by a faculty committee before a grade is awarded.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 610.

Offered: every fall, spring & summer.

-

CYB 620 Applied Cryptography3 Credits

This course will introduce the concepts of modern cryptography, including a combination of both theoretical foundations and practical applications of cryptography used in the real world. This course complements all of the CYB 5xx cybersecurity courses by taking a deeper look into cryptography to grasp a better understanding of cryptographic primitives, algorithms, attacks, and protocols. At the end of this course, students will have a proper foundation of modern cryptography and be able to apply cryptographic techniques in the design and analysis of secure computing systems.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CSC 502, CYB 520, and CYB 540 (CYB 540 can be taken concurrently).

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 620L Applied Cryptography Lab0 Credits

Required lab for CYB 620.

Offered: every fall.

-

CYB 697 Cybersecurity Internship3 Credits

The application of the knowledge and skills acquired from the MS in Cybersecurity program in a real-world professional setting. Students will be responsible for arranging a practicum/internship with a business or organization that is related to cybersecurity. The outline of work duties and evaluative methods are established by the student and the internship mentor/supervisor and approved by the faculty advisor prior to initiation of the course.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CYB 500.

Offered: every fall, spring & summer.

Data Analytics (DAT)

DAT 513 Database Management 3 Credits

This course presents an introduction to the design and use of database systems. Traditional databases will be the primary focus, centering on the relational model (SQL and related tools). There will be some discussion of large-scale information retrieval in the form of the NoSQL movement and data mining. Ethical, social and security issues will also be covered in an introductory fashion.

Prerequisites: CSC 501 and CSC 502, or equivalent. Corequisite: CSC 502.

Offered: every fall & spring.

DAT 513L Database Management Lab 0 Credits

Required lab for DAT 513.

Prerequisite: CSC 502L. Corequisite: DAT 513.

Offered: every fall.

Mathematics (MAT)

MAT 591 Discrete Mathematics3 Credits

Fundamental topics with computer science applications. Sets and logic, propositional and predicate calculus, elements of combinatorics and counting, elementary discrete probability, functions and relations, and graphs.

Offered: every fall.

Roadmap

Full-Time

First Year
FallSpringSummer
CYB 500 & 500LCYB 510 & 510LCYB 610
CSC 530 & 530LCYB 520 & 520L 
DAT 513
513L
CYB 600 & 600L 
Second Year
Fall  
CYB 540  
CYB 620  
One of the following:  
CYB 599
  
CYB 611
  
CYB 697
  

 Part-Time

First Year
FallSpring
CYB 500 & 500LCYB 510
DAT 513
513L
CYB 520 & 520L
Second Year
FallSpring
CYB 540 & 540LCYB 600 & 600L
CSC 530 & 530LCYB 610
Third Year
Fall 
CYB 620 & 620L 
One of the following: 
CYB 599
 
CYB 611
 
CYB 697
 

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Objectives. Upon completing the MS program, students will be able to:

  • Perform information security risk assessment, identify potential threats, and develop threat mitigation strategies.
  • Describe individual privacy rights, related laws and regulations, and the use of information assurance technologies to support the enforcement of these rights.
  • Describe the responsibilities of all levels of users related to the threats against information systems.
  • Describe security design principles and identify security mechanisms to implement desired security principles.
  • Implement security defense technologies.
  • Identify malicious activities and attacks, and recommend appropriate response capabilities.
  • Carry out incident response activities and support cyber-crime investigation.
  • Perform audit procedures, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the security mechanisms, and develop contingency plans.
  • Communicate information security concepts to individuals with diverse levels of computing skills.