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Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

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.

Overview & Highlights

High School
Contact Hours

Course Overview

To view the entire syllabus, click here or click to explore the full course.

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.

Offline Handouts

Demo Programs

Explore programs that your students will build throughout this course!


Fundamentals of Cybersecurity is aligned with the following standards

Standards Framework View Alignment
Alaska 6-8 View (56.9%)
Alaska 9-12 View (62.3%)
Alabama 6 View (75%)
Alabama 7 View (77.8%)
Alabama 8 View (71.4%)
Alabama 9-12 View (63.0%)
Arkansas 6-8 View (64.9%)
Arkansas 9-12 View (54.1%)
Arizona 6 View (69.6%)
Arizona 7 View (56.5%)
Arizona 8 View (60.9%)
Arizona 9-12 View (74.1%)
California 6-8 View (58.3%)
California 9-12 View (60%)
Colorado 9-12 View (53.0%)
CompTIA IT Fundamentals View (100%)
CSTA 2 View (60.9%)
CSTA 3A View (83.3%)
CSTA 3B View (64.3%)
Florida 6-8 View (64.4%)
Florida 9-12 View (48.4%)
Florida Computer Science Discoveries View (60.8%)
Georgia Introduction to Digital Technology View (75%)
Idaho 6-8 View (73.3%)
Idaho 9-10 View (45.5%)
Indiana Computer Science 1 View (77.4%)
Indiana Computer Science 2 View (63.9%)
Indiana Computer Science 3: Cybersecurity View (76.9%)
Indiana Introduction to Computer Science View (68.4%)
Kansas 6-8 View (53.8%)
Kansas 9-12 View (50%)
Kentucky 6-8 View (56.0%)
Kentucky 9-12 View (49.0%)
Massachusetts 6-8 View (61.2%)
Massachusetts 9-12 View (61.5%)
Maryland 6-8 View (66.7%)
Maryland 9-10 View (67.6%)
Missouri 11-12 View (51.7%)
Missouri 6-8 View (56.5%)
Missouri 9-10 View (58.3%)
Mississippi 11-12 View (42.9%)
Mississippi 6-8 View (56.5%)
Mississippi 9-10 View (60%)
North Carolina Computer Programming I View (48%)
North Carolina Foundations of Information Technology View (68.8%)
North Dakota 6-8 View (81.8%)
North Dakota 9-12 View (79.5%)
Nevada 6-8 View (62.5%)
Nevada 9-12 View (67.7%)
Nevada 9-12 CTE View (45.6%)
Nevada Computer Science and Applications View (64.1%)
Nevada Tech 6-8 View (73.3%)
Nevada Tech 9-12 View (59.4%)
Ohio 6 View (80%)
Ohio 7 View (71.0%)
Ohio 8 View (74.2%)
Ohio 9-12 Foundational View (55.9%)
Oklahoma 6-8 View (54.0%)
Oklahoma 9-10 View (65.5%)
Rhode Island 6-8 View (64.5%)
Rhode Island 9-12 View (64.7%)
South Carolina 6-8 View (72.1%)
South Carolina 9-12 View (52.8%)
South Carolina Fundamentals of Computing View (58.3%)
South Dakota Computer Programming 1 View (56.3%)
South Dakota Computer Programming 2 View (52.4%)
South Dakota Foundations of Technology View (45.9%)
Tennessee 6-8 View (66.7%)
Tennessee Coding I View (46.7%)
Texas Foundations of Cybersecurity View (70.6%)
Virginia 6 View (53.8%)
Virginia 7 View (73.3%)
Virginia 8 View (84.6%)
Virginia Cybersecurity Fundamentals View (81.7%)
Virginia Computer Science Foundations View (72%)
Virginia Computer Science Principles View (62.5%)
Virginia Computer Science Programming View (47.6%)
Wisconsin 6-8 View (56.5%)
West Virginia 6-8 View (62.5%)
West Virginia 9-12 View (50%)
West Virginia Discovering Computer Science View (55.0%)
West Virginia Computer Science and Mathematics View (56.8%)
West Virginia Computer Science in the Modern World View (52.1%)
Connecticut 2 View (65.2%)
Connecticut 3A View (90%)
Connecticut 3B View (64.3%)
Delaware 2 View (65.2%)
Delaware 3A View (86.7%)
Delaware 3B View (64.3%)
Wyoming 6-8 View (56.0%)
Virginia MS CS Elective View (50%)
Georgia Introduction to Cybersecurity View (54.7%)
New Jersey 6-8 Computer Science View (56.0%)
New Jersey 9-12 Computer Science View (61.5%)
Utah 6 View (71.4%)
Utah 7 View (50%)
Utah 8 View (50%)
Utah 9-10 View (60%)
Utah 11-12 View (50%)
Wyoming L1 View (48.6%)
NCMF Cyber Standards View (28.9%)

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