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Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering

The MS-CSE program provides knowledge and skill in architecting, developing, and fielding secure network solutions against advanced persistent threat.  It explores the role assurance plays in security, particularly in the development and deployment of software products, and how one must account for this in security planning.

Students in the Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program learn the design, evaluation and certification and accreditation of trusted systems. Students will subsequently understand how to take the design of trusted systems and develop/engineer these into secure systems, with a focus on hands-on experiences in laboratory settings.

The curriculum covers digital and network forensics, and the technical considerations for incident response and continuity planning.  It places students in simulated contested cyber environments where they will perform system assessments, potentially on solutions they have engineered, and understand the various types of penetrations an adversary might attempt on an information system.  The goal being a real-world experience in which the application of cyber security engineering can be applied in dynamic settings where innovation and problem solving are required.

Program Goals

Developing an engineering knowledge and skill base that will allow mitigation of advanced persistent threats toward the goal of increased cyber security

Paramount in the mitigation of advanced persistent threat (APT), such as the headline-grabbing type that have caused extensive disruption to United States business, immeasurable loss of intellectual property, and tremendous harm to personal privacy, is the engineering of systems and system components that are trusted and verifiably secure. Only with a basis of high assurance against risk built into the technical architecture and deployment of hardware, software and networks can an organization hope to achieve real cyber security. This discipline is unique from the standpoint that it deviates greatly from so called best practices and commercial off the shelf products, and traditionally what is taught by most universities in Engineering and Computer Science degrees. The MS-CSE program is founded on principles that have been proven computationally and empirically to defeat the type of threats APT pose, and will focus on utilizing proven methodologies and the strongest possible technology in designing, architecting, engineering and deploying of secure systems and components. In addition to this, a successful cyber security engineer must have applied experience within the environments for which they will engineer defenses. Therefore, the design of the program is for extensive immersive experiences in the various topic domains. A student emerging from our curriculum should be well prepared to take on modern cyber security engineering challenges and contribute positively to their organization and community.

Developing individuals capable of cutting-edge innovation, creating the next generation of cyber tools and solutions, and becoming thought leaders in the domain

The ability to innovate will be a deciding factor for the future of cyber security in the United States. Engineers must be able to take steps in creating architectures and tools that create evolutionary gains on adversaries and attack technology/methodology. They must be able to creatively integrate solutions into existing complex infrastructures that rely on several interdependencies and unsecure components. Engineers will also be looked upon as subject matter experts, providing clarity to all levels of organizations as to the current state of technical assurance against risk, and methods to decrease risk and enforce policy through sound engineering and technology development/deployment. In these roles, it is necessary for engineers to be change agents, promoting the science of cyber security, pushing the bounds of the state-of-the-art, and providing technical guidance in a domain fraught with misinformation.

Engaging in a strategy of integration with the local and national stakeholders, and contributing positively toward the City of San Diego’s missions regarding cyber security

USD’s MS in Cyber Security Engineering strives to integrate with local and national stakeholders in cyber security to both provide excellence via graduates, and to have these organizations look to how we might work together to improve education, operations, outreach, and research. Cyber security is a national priority and requires a team approach to education, meaning that close collaboration with the cyber security community is necessary for an effective program. This will not only keep curriculum relevant, but also augment the placement of graduates. The goal is to build a national reputation and presence, and to be a thought leader in the domain. In conjunction, the objective is to positively contribute to the mission of the City of San Diego to become a hub for cyber security industry, innovation, engineering, education, and leadership.

To advance the science and practice of cyber security engineering and education for the nation

The United States is at a crucial juncture, with cyber threats and successful attacks ever increasing, and academic institutions struggling to produce students that can be effective in the fight. The USD MS in Cyber Security Engineering has been designed with inputs from a diverse multitude of subject matter experts that specifically address the gaps in current cyber security education, and present knowledge and skill that can lead to a meaningful workforce. The goal of the program is to change the way cyber education is taught, and invigorate and inspire more institutions to engage in this type of development that is iterative with stakeholders and provides immersive experiences for students. As a result of this activity, the hope is that the science of cyber security engineering will grow in areas that can contribute toward real-world, applied solutions. Through improvement in the education domain’s understanding of how to teach cyber, the expectation is that research and innovation (traditionally the domain of academia) will benefit, and start to create evolutionary tools to mitigate threat.

Position yourself for the future and contribute to the mitigation of modern threats.

Download the eBook:
Building in Security from the Start: Why Cyber Security Engineers Will Soon be in High Demand
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About the Program