Cybersecurity Fundamentals

Cybersecurity Fundamentals

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology (edX)

Date: March 7, 2017 - May 15, 2017

Bio: The first of a five part MicroMasters in Cybersecurity offered through RIT and edX. This course is very much a Fundamental introduction that mostly focuses on the vocabulary of cybersecurity in a way that is approachable for even non technically experienced students.

The course is paced over eight units introducing concepts in Computing Security, Cryptography, Networking, System Administration, 'Detection and Prevention', and 'Malware and Forensics'. Each unit has 30-45 minutes worth of video describing the concepts followed by engagement questions and short quizzes that make up the assessment portion of the course.

While it is important to create a good baseline vocabulary before expanding on a specific discipline, some students may find this course a little bit too basic. Contrary to the courses description you will never learn about any 'essential techniques' or tools in the material. One of the most patronizing points in the course was when it bothered to define what a computer program is, during the final unit.

For some of the more complex material such as Networking, it does go into some examples to give students a summary overview of how things like TCP/IP protocols work. However it relies primary on outside resources to give students an understanding of the depth of the material. In the case of networking it basically ask you to read the entirety of The TCP/IP Guide, which is admittedly a good resource but is the equivalent of being asked to read a textbook to supplement the 25 minutes of video produced by the course.

Even so, there is a purpose for giving both technical and non technical students alike a common starting ground for the material regardless of their past experience. My hope is that this course is setting up for the more practical and usable courses in the series; Computer Forensics, Cybersecurity Risk Management, and Network Security.

Accomplishments: I completed the quizzes,  pursued the additional resources I was unfamiliar with, and finished the course with a 96.25%.

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