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JMU will offer a online graduate certificate focusing on cyber intelligence, pending approval by SCHEV. Admission applications will be available upon approval.

Why Cyber Intelligence?

Cyber intelligence involves the tactical and strategic analysis of cyber security threats (e.g., data breaches) and adversaries (e.g., cyber security criminals and nation state groups) to support decision making.  Students enhance their critical thinking, problem solving, networking, and analytical skills as they explore, categorize, and assess threats and adversaries in the cyber domain.  Cyber security has focused on technical security issues rather than the human-focused intelligence elements that are critical to effectively secure our digital and networked systems.  Industry and governmental entities are increasingly aware of the need for cyber analysts (e.g., cyber intelligence specialists) who are inquisitive, analytical, and technical, not just computer scientists and engineers who focus on purely technical security issues.

Who is it For?

The certificate program provides opportunities for persons with an undergraduate degree (e.g., marketing, healthcare, psychology, intelligence analysis, or education) to expand their competencies so they can pursue one of the growing number of analytical-oriented cyber positions. These positions include but are not limited to cyber intelligence specialist, cyber threat analyst, cyber security educator, and new positions as hybrid cyber specialists (e.g., marketing cyber specialists, healthcare cyber analysts).

Why JMU?

This will be one of the first academic programs of its kind in the field. It capitalizes on JMU’s highly respected undergraduate Intelligence Analysis Program, which has since its inception been known for extensive integration of technical elements into an analytic program.  JMU has the necessary expertise to lead higher education in the field of cyber intelligence, which promises to become even more important in the future.

What is the Curriculum?

The certificate includes a total of eighteen credit hours which has seven new courses that will be offered in a cohort model. Six of the seven courses are required. Students will have a choice between taking either IA 620 or IA 621. Students can take one course each eight weeks. Some students may prefer to take one course every sixteen weeks.

IA 600: Introduction to Cyber Intelligence: Analysis of the Cyber Threats (3 credits)

Cyber intelligence (CYI) can be viewed from Sun Tzu’s (Chinese Military General) perspective of knowing yourself, understanding your enemies, and exploiting information for decision making. Students use cyber threat frameworks to develop common vocabulary for technical and non-technical discussions of cyber security with management and technical staff. They identify and apply cyber analytical methodologies (e.g., NIST framework, CI tradecraft, SWOT, tiered threat matrix) to the organization and identify as well as categorize its cyber threat environment. Using the analysis, students design data gathering plans, harvest open source information, analyze diverse data and conduct basic technical as well as strategic analysis of cyber threats and adversaries. Using analytical approaches, students focus on behavioral, cultural, and geopolitical aspects of cyber security.

IA 603: Analytical Methodologies & Tools for Cyber Threats (3 credits)

Using case studies, this course provides an overview of cyber methodologies based on industry best practices for analyzing cyber threats, assessing an organization’s cyber posture, and conducting proactive analysis of cyber adversaries to support network defense and decision making. By applying these cyber methodologies, students will have a systematic threat-driven approach for dealing with the complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguous cyber domain. With the increasing volume of diverse, ambiguous, and contradictory data sources, students must systematically consider a range of alternative hypotheses and outcomes. These methodologies, developed in the business and intelligence communities, will allow students to explore problems from different perspectives. Methodologies are organized into categories based on their purposes: diagnostic, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.

IA 605: Networking & Cyber Threats (3 credits)

This course enables students to develop broad technical competencies of the current and future technology applications associated with networking, cyber security, databases, and mobility. It supports the cyber intelligence course which involves information gathering and analysis of open source information about cyber threats and adversaries to support managerial decision making. It provides networking foundation for understanding the internetwork environment and functioning as part of a cyber security team. Using lab-based exercises and case studies, the course emphasizes internetworking, security vulnerabilities, ethical cyber security issues, and the hacker’s lifecycle including major components: reconnaissance, scanning & probing, exploitation and post-exploitation.

IA 610: Ethical, Legal, & Policy Issues in Cybersecurity (3 credits) 

This provides an introduction to major ethical, legal, and policy issues as well as privacy challenges (e.g., consumers have lost control over how their personal information is collected and used) in responding to cyber threat landscape. The course explores the relationship of the issues and provides the opportunity for vigorous discussion and exploration of them. It uses case studies, demonstrations, and guest speakers to explore ethics and the Federal, state, and local legislations and how they influence cybersecurity. It provides the foundation for comparing issues associated with ethics in deciding on a course of action, legislative approaches (e.g., federal and international), and policies. Particular focus is given to ethical and privacy challenges as well as the need for enhanced federal and international collaboration and information sharing.

IA 615: Social Media & Big Data for Global Security (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of big data analytics with applications in social media and emphasizes social, legal and ethical issues. Social media are big data that can help an organization to connect with their client base, increase productivity, and improve proactive decision making. The course covers characteristics, transparency, ethical/legal issues, and methodologies such as diagnostic, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive social media analytics. The course provides the foundation for students to become sensitive to their biases, conducts social media analytics at different levels (e.g., diagnostic and predictive), and generates alternative analysis to support data-driven decision making.

IA 620: Advanced Cyber Intelligence (3 credits)

This course involves conceptualization, identification, and analysis of an engaging topic about social, technical, or behavioral issues associated with cyber threats and adversaries. It provides an opportunity to conduct analysis of a contemporary topic and explore cyber threats in a specific domain (e.g., finance, education, national security, healthcare). This involves working with domain experts to create a cyber intelligence project that integrates concepts covered in this program. The project demonstrates competencies in connecting the dots, conducting open source analysis, thinking critically, and trying to identify adversaries’ actions based on their motivations, capabilities, activities, and geopolitical interests. All cyber attacks are associated with a human(s).

IA 621: Financial Crimes in Cyber Space (3 credits)

This course takes a holistic look at financial crimes from a definitional standpoint according to type, the laws in place that govern monetary transactions and property crimes in the United States, global agreements and cooperation in combating financial theft in cyber space, and a thorough examination of the domestic and international law enforcement agencies who investigate and prosecute criminals.

Tuition Rates

Current tuition rates for 2018-19; rate in future academic year may differ.

Applicant Type Rate Total Cost
In-state $800 per credit $14,400 for 18 credits/certificate
Out-of-state $810 per credit $14,580 for 18 credits/certificate
K-12 educator in Commonwealth of VA $500 per credit $9,000 for 18 credits/certificate
5 or more from same organization Contact Program Coordinator
Learn More

This certificate is open to those with a bachelor’s degree in any field: no specialized technical knowledge is required for admission.  For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Edna Reid or Dr. Kathleen Moore.

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