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Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity

In the Foundations of Cybersecurity course, students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to explore fundamental concepts related to the ethics, laws, and operations of cybersecurity. Students will examine trends and operations of cyberattacks, threats, and vulnerabilities. Students will review and explore security policies designed to mitigate risks. The skills obtained in this course prepare students for additional study in cybersecurity. A variety of courses are available to students interested in this field. Foundations of Cybersecurity may serve as an introductory course in this field of study.

Syllabus

Units: 20
Timeframe: Year
Contact Hours: 155

By the Numbers


Contact Hours 155
Lessons 122
Videos 104
Exercises 53
Challenges 2
Offline Handouts 136

Units

Unit Description
What is Cybersecurity? : Students explore the basics of cybersecurity. Students will learn about why cybersecurity is important, recent threats to cybersecurity, and different careers in the field.
Digital Citizenship and Cyber Hygiene: Students learn about Internet etiquette and how to stay safe on the world wide web. Students also look at the potential effects of our digital footprints, how to protect information from online risks, and the implications of cyberbullying. Finally, the module includes how to find and cite quality resources online.
Project: Public Service Announcement: For this project, students create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to teach their peers about digital citizenship and cyber hygiene. Students can select any of the topics covered so far.
The ABCs of Cryptography: Students dive into the history of cryptography systems, the motivation behind using encryption systems, and basic cryptography systems. Additionally, students explore topics on how to use cryptography, cryptology, and cryptanalysis to decode a message without the use of a key.
Project: Classic Cipher Newscast : In this project, students will get to create a newscast! This could be pre-recorded or presented live. Students will write, rehearse, and perform an approximately 5 – 10 minute newscast with their team. Each team will be given a different **classic cipher** (beyond Caesar and Vigenere) to research and address in their newscast.
System Administration: Students compare and contrast common operating systems (Windows, Linux, OS) and explain the importance of application security. Students investigate security options and implement user accounts to enforce authentication and authorization. Students also demonstrate how to work with basic and advanced command prompts.
Software Security: Students learn what happens when running a web application and how to look inside web apps using developer tools, source code, and more. Students learn basic SQL and common attacks like SQLi, and by the end of the module, students will be able to recommend solutions for flawed security systems.
Project: Security Assessment Report (SQLi): In this project, students work as a consultant to a (fake) reputable company. They are tasked with testing the company's website for SQL injection and writing a security assessment report based on your findings.
Networking Fundamentals: Students explore the structure and design of the internet and networks, and how this design affects the reliability of network communication, the security of data, and personal privacy. Students learn how the Internet connects computers all over the world by using networking protocols.
IT Infrastructure: Students learn about the physical elements of computers and networking, such as motherboards, RAM, routers, and the use of port numbers, ethernet, and wireless devices.
Project: Troubleshooting : In this project, students explore the troubleshooting methodology and utilize it to solve sample IT support issues.
Project: IT Professional: In this project, you will explore cybersecurity career pathways and build skills that will be needed within these fields such as communication.
Project: Digital Forensics: In this project, students will work through fictitious forensic cases to practice collecting, examining, analyzing and reporting on data that they have unveiled.
Cyber Defense: In this module, you will explore different types of network attacks and how to build up security walls to defend against them.
Project: Security Assessment Report (XSS): In this project, you will test a website for vulnerabilities and write a security assessment report based on your findings.
Risk Management : In this module, you will demonstrate skills in conducting vulnerability scans and recognizing vulnerabilities in security systems. You will conduct a security audit and examine port scanning, packet sniffing, and proxy servers to discover exploits in a system. You will also be able to recommend security measures to mitigate the vulnerabilities.
Project: The Game of Risk : In this project, you will design and create a board game or a card game that will help players to identify randomized security vulnerabilities and their appropriate defenses.
Final Exam : Students are assessed on topics learned throughout the course.
Introduction to Cybersecurity Pretest :
Introduction to Cybersecurity Posttest :

Demos

Click on a demo to test it out.

Phishing Simulator

Social Media Cleanup

Password Hacking: Brute Force

Improving Vigenere

Local Storage Exploration

Resources

Here are a few examples of teacher resources and materials to use in the Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity course

Format of Course

The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the foundations of cybersecurity. Each module is made up of short video tutorials, quizzes, real world connections, simulations, open response reflections, challenge problems, and unit tests. The course is designed for a year long class that meets 5 days per week, though schools implement it in a variety of ways.

Who is it for?

The Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity course is designed for students with some exposure to computer science, but there are no specific course prerequisites. Students will learn foundational cybersecurity topics including networking fundamentals, software security, system administration, and the basics of cryptography and risk management, all through the CodeHS web-based platform.

Cybersecurity Certifications

CodeHS offers a Cybersecurity Level 1 Certification that aligns with the Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity course. CodeHS Certifications provide industry-valued credentials to help students build necessary skills for the workplace.

Cybersecurity Certification Badge

Learn how to bring the Cybersecurity Level 1 Certification Exams to your school.

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Standards

Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity is aligned with the following standards

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