Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

Course Abstract: Cyber attacks are an increasing threat to the daily operations of both government and business. The substantive content that follows provides the core information necessary for local government and small-to-medium business leaders to appreciate and mitigate common cyber risks. This curriculum presumes little to no information technology knowledge on the part of those leaders. After alerting participants to the nature and gravity of the risks, the curriculum addresses the basic and critical topics of access control, data protection, and common threats and mitigation.

The curriculum content should be distinguished from how the content should be delivered. Ultimately, this material ought to be used to create online instruction with video and computer graphics support focused on each of the two addressed groups. However, it is easily usable by instructors who wish to teach in-person or remotely. The creation of online instruction and preparation of ancillary electronic instructional materials for synchronous instruction is not part of the current project. 

Each content section includes two interactive Cyber Hygiene Check quizzes, one located at the mid-point of the section, and one at the end. Quizzes will present a hypothetical situation that reflects common cybersecurity issues faced by organizations. Discussion of the Cyber Hygiene Check answer will reinforce core concepts and highlight potential real-life scenarios that participant leaders may face within their organizations. At the conclusion of each section, participants will be given a list of external resources to explore further the section’s topic. 

Leaders are encouraged through these materials to integrate cybersecurity knowledge into everyday decision-making processes that promote and sustain strong cyber and information security within their organizations. The goal of each section is to help those leaders to contribute to and participate in a healthy cyber aware work environment governed by both security and operational functionality.

Daniel Shin, Esq., College of William & Mary.

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