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The Cyber Academy


The Cyber Academy is a progression of three courses designed to impart a strong foundation of defensive and offensive cyber security skills in 29 weeks of full-time study. Funded by the Department of Defense and designed in conjunction with DoD-recommended experts, this program enables students to learn and practice the skills essential for success in all areas of information security.

Cyber attacks are considered to be one of the top five risks to businesses globally.

The level of threats from script kiddies, cyber criminals, and even nation-state actors is increasing daily. Businesses experience literally thousands of cyber attacks per day.

In The Cyber Academy, students work through 19 tasks (spending 1-2 weeks per task) online in a private cloud environment with help, advice, and feedback from a knowledgeable mentor and extensive online learning resources. The tasks are embedded in the realistic, but fictional, context of work as an entry-level employee of a government cyber operations agency.

computer with a red screen leaking data, physically chained and padlocked

What students will learn

Given the constantly changing nature of cyber security, an implicit curriculum runs through the program, via which students learn essential cognitive skills that are arguably of equal or greater importance than the lessons related to any given task.

Defend

Students will learn key defensive skills including:

  • Thinking like an attacker
  • Network traffic analysis
  • Network and system log analysis
  • Static and dynamic analysis of malicious binaries to identify indicators of compromise
  • Memory forensics
  • Disk forensics
  • Compiling and reporting a comprehensive timeline of a cyber attack

Attack

And key reverse engineering and exploitation skills including:

  • Reverse engineering unknown binary (executable) files
  • Conducting open source intelligence
  • Exploiting server, database, and application software
  • Developing custom exploits
  • Evading antivirus software
  • Spearphishing
  • Planning and conducting a complex attack

Think

In addition to technical skills, students will learn and practice the cognitive skills essential for success in all areas of information security, including:

  • Understanding complex, novel problems
  • Effectively researching solutions
  • Designing and testing solutions
  • Self-directed learning
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Cyber Security:
Immediate Immersion

Cyber attacks are considered to be one of the top five risks to businesses globally, and the level of threats from script kiddies, cyber criminals, and even nation-state actors is increasing daily. Businesses experience literally thousands of cyber attacks per day. Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion is designed to impart initial cyber security skills in three intense weeks of study at 25 hours per week to help students determine if careers in cyber security are right for them.

Students work through two online real-life tasks (spending 1-2 weeks per task). Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion includes the following tasks:

  • Exploit a website (and fix its vulnerabilities)
  • Analyze malicious network traffic

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who wish to explore a career in cyber security to determine if it is right for them.

Prerequisites

The ideal student is intensely curious, unwilling to give up on a problem no matter how difficult it is, and predisposed towards self-directed learning. Only basic computer skills are required, but basic knowledge of computer networks, protocols, and the fundamentals of operating systems is strongly recommended. (We will supply self-study tutorial materials to registered students before the program begins.)

What's next?

Students must successfully complete Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion to be permitted to enroll in the next course in this program, The Cyber Academy: Defense. Success will be assessed by a student's mentors whose decision is final.

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The Cyber Academy: Defense

The Cyber Academy: Defense builds on the defensive skills and experience students gained in Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion. The course is designed to impart a strong foundation of defensive cyber security skills in 11 weeks of study at 25 hours per week, preparing students for entry-level careers as security operations center analysts and digital forensics analysts.

Students work through 8 online real-life tasks (spending 1-2 weeks per task).

The Cyber Academy: Defense includes the following tasks:

  • Analyze a remote intrusion attempt
  • Investigate an incident using a SIEM (security information and event managmeent)
  • Compile indicators of compromise to guide forensic analysis
  • Examine the memory of a compromised host
  • Conduct a forensic disk examination
  • Close your investigation

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who have successfully completed Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion and who aspire to professional careers in defensive cyber security.

Prerequisites

Successful completion of Cyber Security: Immediate Immersion.

What's next?

Students who successfully complete The Cyber Academy: Defense are qualified to seek entry-level employment, and those who are US citizens or green card holders can enroll in The Cyber Academy: Attack

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The Cyber Academy: Attack

The Cyber Academy: Attack focuses on key offensive skills. This 15-week program, requiring 25 hours of work per week, will start students on the path to becoming penetration testers or offensive cyber operations professionals.

Students work through 11 real-life tasks (spending 1-2 weeks per task).

  • Reverse engineer a suspicious file
  • Reverse Engineer a complex suspicious file
  • Reverse Engineer a still more complex suspicious file
  • Investigate hacker group
  • Exploit a server
  • Exploit a better protected computer
  • Improve off-the-shelf malware
  • Write your own shellcode payload
  • Spearphish a company
  • Hack a database and exfiltrate data
  • Hack a foreign intelligence service

At a glance

Who should enroll?

Students who have successfully completed the Cyber Academy: Defense as determined by their mentor and who want to learn more about the "attack side" of cyber security and cyber operations.

Prerequisites

Successful completion of The Cyber Academy: Defense.

Additional Info

Registration in this course is currently only available to US citizens and green card holders.