The United States’ electrical-power grid, financial services, and other critical infrastructure are inextricably intertwined with cyber operations that depend on computer-enabled command-and-control systems. The threat to national security by the compromise of these systems’ integrity is well publicized. Therefore, it is insufficient for such systems to be merely secure; they must also be assured. A secure system exhibits the traditional properties of confidentiality, integrity, and availability through authentication, reference monitoring, and sound design and implementation. An assured system is a secure system whose properties are verified or proven.

Both Syracuse University and its College of Engineering and Computer Science have identified cyber security and assurance as important strengths and focus areas for their research and educational missions. Syracuse University has been designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.

Building on SU’s strengths to help meet the national need, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) has introduced the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Cybersecurity.

Program Requirements
The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Cybersecurity is a 12-credit program offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This program is available to persons who possess a Bachelor’s degree and meet the “incoming knowledge and abilities” requirements described below. It may also be of interest to people who already have a Master’s degree but are interested in additional certification in the area of cyber security.

Credits taken for the CAS may also be applied towards the M.S. in computer science or cybersecurity. To receive the CAS in Cybersecurity, students must complete the following four courses:

CIS/CSE 643: Computer Security
CIS/CSE 644: Internet Security
CIS/CSE 634: Foundations for Assurance
CIS/CSE 652: Building Assured Components

Required Incoming Knowledge and Abilities
Entering students are expected to possess the following incoming knowledge and abilities:

  • Basic systems knowledge
  • Fundamentals of traps, interrupts, and trap handling at the instruction-set architecture (ISA) level, not at the cycle-simulation level
  • Concurrency and coordination mechanisms (semaphores, locking, critical regions)
  • Access-control matrices, basics of access-control lists and capabilities
  • Systems programming basics: makefiles, C (including the care required by pointers and memory management), systems calls, shell scripting, pipes and filters, non-IDE programming
  • Data structures: stacks, queues, lists, hash tables, trees
  • Discrete mathematics: symbolic logic and formal proofs (i.e., use of inference rules), sets, relations
  • High-level programming experience