This comprehensive cybersecurity course is designed for students with an interest in the cybersecurity field. It is the first course in the cybersecurity pathway and will prepare students for an advanced cybersecurity course and/or cybersecurity certification(s). Students should have some exposure to computer science, but there are no specific course prerequisites. Students will learn cybersecurity topics including digital citizenship and cyber hygiene, software security, networking fundamentals, system administration and the basics of cryptography and programming, all through the CodeHS web-based platform.
By the Numbers
|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.|
|Programming Fundamentals: Students learn the fundamentals of programming including variables, arrays, and objects as well as the difference in interpreted and compiled languages. Students explore programming through block coding which includes conditional statements and control structures.|
|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: 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.|
|Final Exam: Students are assessed on topics learned throughout the course.|
|What's Next?: Students will explore the different pathways available to learn more about cybersecurity upon completing this course.|
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Social Media Cleanup
Password Hacking: Brute Force
Local Storage Exploration
Here are a few examples of teacher resources and materials to use in the Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course
Format of Course
The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the fundamentals 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 Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course is designed for complete beginners with no previous background in computer science. The course is highly visual, dynamic, and interactive. There are no prerequisites for this course, and the course is recommended for students in Grades 9-10.
CodeHS offers a Cybersecurity Level 1 Certification that aligns with the Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course. CodeHS Certifications provide industry-valued credentials to help students build necessary skills for the workplace.
Learn how to bring the Cybersecurity Level 1 Certification Exams to your school.
CodeHS offers an online professional development course that aligns with Fundamentals of Cybersecurity, Teaching Cybersecurity. In this course, teachers will gain the skills, pedagogical knowledge, resources, and confidence to lead a great cybersecurity class with CodeHS.
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Fundamentals of Cybersecurity is aligned with the following standards