Cyber Security and Programming (Grade 12)

by Brock McCorkle

This is a Capstone course that is designed to prepare students for entry into a community college Cyber Security Pathway. It provides an in-depth look at Cyber Security and Programming with a focus on the following: Introduction to Cyber Security, History of Computing and Programming, Computer Architecture, Digital Data & Information, Introduction to Programming using Algorithms, Python and JAVA, Overview of Operating Systems, Hardware Overview, Principles of Security, Introduction to Cryptography, Physical Security, Web Security, Malicious Software and Attacks, Vulnerabilities and How to Defend Them, Interdisciplinary Applications and Careers in Cyber Security and Computer Science.

Students enrolled in this pathway will be working toward careers such as: Computer Programmers, Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers, Computer and Information Systems Managers, Computer Systems Analysts, Web Developers, Computer Support Specialists, Network and Computer Systems Administrators and Computer Security Specialists.

Program Information
Course Certification Elements
Course Standards
California's 2013 CTE Standards (29)
Course Competencies / Outcomes

Computer Programmers:  

  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.

Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers:

  • Design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.
  • Document software defects, using a bug tracking system, and report defects to software developers.
  • Identify, analyze, and document problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.
  • Develop testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.
  • Participate in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.

Computer and Information Systems Managers:

  • Direct daily operations of department, analyzing workflow, establishing priorities, developing standards and setting deadlines.
  • Meet with department heads, managers, supervisors, vendors, and others, to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.
  • Review project plans to plan and coordinate project activity.
  • Assign and review the work of systems analysts, programmers, and other computer-related workers.
  • Provide users with technical support for computer problems.

Computer Systems Analysts:

  • Test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems.
  • Troubleshoot program and system malfunctions to restore normal functioning.
  • Expand or modify system to serve new purposes or improve work flow.
  • Use the computer in the analysis and solution of business problems, such as development of integrated production and inventory control and cost analysis systems.
  • Consult with management to ensure agreement on system principles.

Web Developers:

  • Write supporting code for Web applications or Web sites.
  • Design, build, or maintain Web sites, using authoring or scripting languages, content creation tools, management tools, and digital media.
  • Back up files from Web sites to local directories for instant recovery in case of problems.
  • Write, design, or edit Web page content, or direct others producing content.
  • Select programming languages, design tools, or applications.

Computer Support Specialists:

  • Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
  • Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
  • Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
  • Set up equipment for employee use, performing or ensuring proper installation of cables, operating systems, or appropriate software.
  • Develop training materials and procedures, or train users in the proper use of hardware or software.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators:

  • Maintain and administer computer networks and related computing environments including computer hardware, systems software, applications software, and all configurations.
  • Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve hardware, software, or other network and system problems, and replace defective components when necessary.
  • Configure, monitor, and maintain email applications or virus protection software.
  • Operate master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks, and to coordinate computer network access and use.

Computer Security Specialists:

  • Encrypt data transmissions and erect firewalls to conceal confidential information as it is being transmitted and to keep out tainted digital transfers.
  • Develop plans to safeguard computer files against accidental or unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure and to meet emergency data processing needs.
  • Review violations of computer security procedures and discuss procedures with violators to ensure violations are not repeated.
  • Monitor use of data files and regulate access to safeguard information in computer files.
  • Monitor current reports of computer viruses to determine when to update virus protection systems.
Course Work Based Learning Activities

Guest Speakers - Students will be exposed to a variety of guest speakers from various industry areas.

Virtual Speakers (Video) - Students will be shown numerous videos from YouTube and other sources that will highlight key areas of study.

Field Trips - Students will be given multiple opportunities to visit industry-relevant locations and gain exposure to real-world application of computer science and cyber-security.

Internships - (As available) Students will partner with various industry groups to observe, learn and be mentored by established professionals.

Course Materials

Instructors and students will need access to the following:

Textbook - Principles of Computer Security, Fourth Edition (Conklin, White, Williams, Davis and Cothren)  ISBN-13: 978-0071835978

Technology - Use of a Mac or PC with internet access

Course Units (180 hour course)

Unit 1 - Introduction to Cyber Security

Unit Length (Hours):  10

Unit Description:  This unit describes basic security principles such as:  Threats, Attacks, Controls and Policies.  Students will learn about network attacks such as:  Sniffing, Spoofing and Denial of Service.  Main forms of malware attacks and symptoms of malware infection will be addressed.  Students will learn the basics of encryption and secure hashing techniques.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn about basic security principles:  Threats, Attacks, Controls and Policies (group discussion)
  • Students will learn about network attacks:  Sniffing, Spoofing and Denial of Service
  • Students will gain exposure to the main forms of malware attacks as well as symptoms of malware infection (group project)
  • Students will gain an introduction to the basics of encryption and secure hashing techniques

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Basic Security Principles
  • Group Work
    • Malware Attacks Group Project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Basic Security Principles
    • Network Attacks
    • Malware Attacks
    • Encryption Basics
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 2 - History of Computing & Programming

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit gives a general overview of the history of computers as well as a brief history of programming languages.  Students will learn about the need for computers, the infancy of computing and where we are today.  This unit will give students an introduction to many programming languages that are commonly used today.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn about the history of computers (discussion)
  • Students will learn about the impact of computing on day-to-day life (discussion)
  • Students will gain exposure to the many commonly used programming languages (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • History of Computers
    • Impact of computers
  • Group Work
    • Common programming languages assignment
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • History of computers
    • Impact of computers
    • Common programming languages
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 3 - Computer/Cyber Security Architecture

Unit Length (Hours):  8

Unit Description:  This unit will give students an introduction to computer and cyber security architecture.  Students will learn about architecture solutions that are being built with new technology and existing skills.  Students will gain insight into the integration of security into architectures which will include cloud computing and new applications.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the basics of computer and cyber security architecture (discussion)
  • Students will learn about new architecture solutions that are being used in industry right now (discussion)
  • Students will learn about security integration into architectures:  including cloud and new applications (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Computer and cyber security architecture basics
    • Industry architecture solutions
  • Group Work
    • Security integration (group project)
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Computer and cyber security architecture basics
    • Architecture solutions
    • Security integration
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 4 - Digital Data & Information

Unit Length (Hours):  12

Unit Description:  This unit defines "Digital Data" and introduces students to the foundations of data storage.  Students will gain a grasp of the binary system of storing information.  Students will explore the use of a binary system to store audio, video or text information as a series of binary characters (i.e. zeros and ones).

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the definition of "Digital Data" (discussion)
  • Students will learn the fundamentals of data storage (discussion)
  • Students will gain an introduction to the binary storage system (discussion)
  • Students will explore how audio, video and text information is stored  (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Digital data
    • Data storage
    • Binary storage system
  • Group Work
    • Binary Storage - How audio, video and text is stored (group project)
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Digital data
    • Data storage
    • Binary storage system
    • How data is stored
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 5 - Introduction to Programming: Algorithms, Python, Java

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit will give students an introduction to programming.  Students will gain exposure to basic algorithms and the ways in which they are useful.  Students will also learn the basics of both Python and Java.  

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the basic principles of using a programming language (discussion)
  • Students will learn the definition of an algorithm (discussion)
  • Students will use Python to explore the algorithm-oriented language (group work)
  • Students will use Java to explore a static-typed and platform-independent language (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Basic programming principles
    • Algorithms:  What are they?
  • Group Work
    • Exploring Python
    • Exploring Java
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Programming Basics
    • Algorithms
    • Python
    • Java
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 6 - Operating Systems: Windows OS, Linux OS

Unit Length (Hours):  10

Unit Description:  This unit introduces students to operating systems.  Students will learn the definition of an operating system. They will be exposed to the main components of both Windows and Linux operating systems, and will explore their strengths, weaknesses and differences.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn what an operating system is (discussion)
  • Students will learn the main components of a Windows OS (discussion)
  • Students will learn the main components of a Linux OS (discussion)
  • Students will examine the strengths, weaknesses and differences of Windows and Linux operating systems (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Operating System overview
    • Windows OS
    • Linux OS
  • Group Work
    • OS strengths, weaknesses and differences project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Operating Systems
    • Windows OS
    • Linux OS
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 7 - Hardware: CPUs, Motherboards, Storage (RAM, ROM and Hard Drives)

Unit Length (Hours):  20

Unit Description:  This unit will give students exposure to computer hardware.  Students will learn the definition of computer hardware and be taught about key components such as:  motherboards, CPUs, RAM, ROM, hard drives, graphic processing units and the power supply unit.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the definition of computer hardware (discussion)
  • Students will learn what a motherboard is (discussion)
  • Students will learn what a CPU is (discussion)
  • Students will learn the difference between RAM and ROM (discussion)
  • Students will learn what a hard drive is (discussion)
  • Students will learn the functions of graphic processing units (discussion)
  • Students will learn what a power supply unit does (discussion)
  • Students will complete a hands-on lab that will require them to find and label the different pieces of computer hardware discussed in this unit (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Computer hardware overview
    • Motherboards
    • CPUs
    • RAM vs. ROM
    • Hard drives
    • Graphic processing units
    • Power supply units
  • Group Work
    • Computer hardware lab project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Computer hardware overview
    • Motherboards
    • CPUs
    • RAM vs. ROM
    • Hard drives
    • Graphic processing units
    • Power supply units
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 8 - Principles of Security

Unit Length (Hours):  10

Unit Description:  This unit will introduce students to the three main principles of IT security:  make information available to authorized users, block unauthorized users from making any changes and keep information confidential.  Students will learn common IT security practices used in industry today. 

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the three main principles of IT security (discussion)
  • Availability of information (discussion)
  • Integrity of data (discussion)
  • Confidentiality of information (discussion)
  • Students will learn IT security best practices:  finding a balance between protecting and usability, assigning limits based on organizational structure, assigning of privileges, establishing authentication protocols, implementing backup systems, track/record data transactions and run tests and risk assessments (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Three principles of IT security
    • Availability of information
    • Integrity of data
    • Confidentiality of information
  • Group Work
    • IT security best practices project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom
    • Principles of IT security
    • Availability of information
    • Integrity of data
    • Confidentiality of information
    • IT security best practices 
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 9 - Introduction to Cryptography

Unit Length (Hours):  10

Unit Description:  Students will learn the definition of cryptography, what a cipher is, and the difference between the types of ciphers.  They will learn about message integrity, collision resistant hashing and authenticated encryption.  Students will gain insight into public key encryption and digital signatures.  Finally, students will complete a group project on identification protocols.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the definition of cryptography and how it has developed over time (discussion)
  • Students will learn about ciphers:  pad, stream and block (discussion)
  • Students will learn about message integrity, collision resistant hashing and authenticated encryption techniques (discussion)
  • Students will learn more about public key encryption and digital signatures (discussion)
  • Students will complete a group project regarding identification protocols (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Cryptography
    • Ciphers
    • Encryption techniques
    • Public key encryption
  • Group Work
    • Identification protocols project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Cryptography
    • Ciphers
    • Encryption
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 10 - Physical Security

Unit Length (Hours):  5

Unit Description:  This unit introduces students to the realm of physical security and teaches them the importance of physical security for any organization.  Students will learn about the main areas to consider when implementing physical security, and the most common physical security countermeasures used currently by industry.  

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn about the many issues physical security breaches bring to an organization:  data loss, loss of system time (due to shutdown) and extended loss of availability due to a bomb or arson (discussion)
  • Students will learn about the growth of desktop and laptop security breaches and what that means for the future (discussion)
  • Students will learn about physical security protection (discussion)
  • Students will learn about server room protection (discussion)
  • Students will learn about desktop and laptop protection (discussion)
  • Students will learn the "Rings Approach" to physical security (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Physical security breaches
    • Growth of desktop and laptop breaches
    • Physical security protection
    • Server room protection
    • Desktop and laptop protection
  • Group Work
    • The "Rings Approach" to physical security
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Physical security
    • Physical security protection
    • Server room protection
    • Desktop and laptop protection
    • The Rings Approach
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 11 - Web Security

Unit Length (Hours):  5

Unit Description:  This unit gives an overview of the security risks of web sites.  Students will learn about both internal and public web security and the types of questions to ask when considering web security risks.  We will discuss web server security, talk about web site code and the many security breaches found there.  Students will learn about known and unknown vulnerabilities, as well as known and unknown security risks. Finally, we will discuss web site security audits and defense strategies.  

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Web site security risks (discussion)
  • Internal and public web security (discussion)
  • Questions to ask when considering security risks (group work)
  • Web server security (discussion)
  • Web site code (discussion)
  • Known and unknown vulnerabilities (discussion)
  • Known and unknown security risks (discussion)
  • Web site defense strategies and security audits (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Site security risks
    • Internal and public security
    • Web server security
    • Web site code
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Security risks
  • Group Work
    • Security risk questions to consider
    • Defense strategies and audits project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Security risks
    • Internal and public security
    • Web server security
    • Web site code
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Security risks
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 12 - Malicious Software and Attacks

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit will give students an understanding of malicious software and the attacks associated with it.  Students will learn about the different categories of malware and about the damage that can be done by malware.  Students will learn what to do to protect their systems from malware, and about some of the main anti-malware software programs available.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the definition of malware (discussion)
  • Students will learn the malware categories:  viruses, worms, trojans and backdoors (discussion)
  • Students will learn about adware and spyware (discussion)
  • Students will learn about root kits (discussion)
  • Students will learn about the damage that malware can do, ranging from simple document changes, to full control of a machine (discussion)
  • Students will learn ways to protect their systems from malware (group work)
  • Students will be exposed to the most popular anti-malware software programs on the market today (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Malware definition
    • Malware categories
    • Adware and spyware
    • Root kits
    • Malware damage
  • Group Work
    • Malware Protection Project
    • Anti-malware Software Project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Malware
    • Adware and spyware
    • Root kits
    • Malware damage
    • Malware protection
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 13 - Vulnerabilities and How to Defend Them

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit exposes students to the most common vulnerabilities.  It also gives students the opportunity to explore the damage that can be done if vulnerabilities are exploited.  Students will learn the basics of vulnerability assessment and defense.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn the most common vulnerabilities found today (discussion)
  • Students will learn the importance of identification of devices and systems to ensure they are protected (group work)
  • Students will learn about basic vulnerability assessment tools and scanners (discussion)
  • Students will learn the importance of vulnerability review and how to best use that data (discussion)
  • Students will learn about vulnerability remediation:  manual remediation, patch deployment tools and automated remediation tools (discussion)
  • Students will discuss the need for ongoing vulnerability management (discussion)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Common vulnerabilities
    • Vulnerability assessment tools and scanners
    • Vulnerability review
    • Vulnerability remediation
    • Ongoing vulnerability management
  • Group Work
    • Identification of devices and systems
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Assessment tools and scanners
    • Review and Remediation
    • Vulnerability management
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 14 - Interdisciplinary Applications

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit allows students to consider the many areas cyber security influences.  From critical infrastructure to e-commerce and enterprise, students will learn the demand for highly skilled leaders in information security.  Students will examine how to provide secure information systems for networks and databases in both the public and private sectors.  

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will explore the extending influence of cyber security (discussion)
  • Students will learn about the demand for highly skilled leaders in IT (discussion)
  • Students will explore critical infrastructure, e-commerce and enterprise (discussion)
  • Students will examine how to provide secure information systems (group work)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Cyber security influence
    • Demand for skilled IT leaders
    • Infrastructure, e-commerce and enterprise
  • Group Work
    • Secure Information Systems Project
  • Quizzes - online quizzes in Google Classroom 
    • Cyber security influence
    • Infrastructure, e-commerce and enterprise
  • Unit Test - Comprehensive test over all material presented

Unit 15 - Careers In Computer Science and Cyber Security

Unit Length (Hours):  15

Unit Description:  This unit allows students to explore careers in the computer science and cyber security industries.  It focuses on: careers, job outlooks, training/education, salary and job requirements.  

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  • Students will learn about the importance of job outlooks when choosing a career path (group discussion)
  • Students will learn how to determine the training and education necessary for a specific career
  • Students will learn about job requirements and their importance in getting hired for the career they choose
  • Students will create a business profile on a website such as LinkedIn in order to begin networking and preparing for a career in their chosen field
  • Students will explore careers in computer science and cyber security using sites such as:  careerbuilder.com, monster.com, indeed.com and simplyhired.com (individual project)

Unit Assessment

  • In-class discussions to confirm retention of the content
    • Job Outlooks
  • Individual Project
    • Career Exploration
Course Summative Assessment

Students will complete an End of Year Project with the following requirements:

  • Create a multimedia presentation (PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
    • Slide 1:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 1 - Introduction to Cyber Security
    • Slide 2:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 2 - History of Computing & Programming
    • Slide 3:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 3 - Computer/Cyber Security Architecture
    • Slide 4:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 4 - Digital Data & Information
    • Slide 5:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 5 - Introduction to Programming:  Algorithms, Python & Java
    • Slide 6:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 6 - Operating Systems:  Windows OS & Linux OS
    • Slide 7:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 7 - Hardware:  CPUs, Motherboards, Storage (RAM, ROM and Hard Drives)
    • Slide 8:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 8 - Principles of Security
    • Slide 9:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 9 - Introduction to Cryptography
    • Slide 10:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 10 - Physical Security
    • Slide 11:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 11 - Web Security
    • Slide 12:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 12 - Malicious Software and Attacks
    • Slide 13:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 13 - Vulnerabilities and How to Defend Them
    • Slide 14:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 14 - Interdisciplinary Applications
    • Slide 15:  Indicate key elements learned from Unit 15 - Careers In Computer Science and Cyber Security

Students will present their projects to the class as a final representation of their learning for the academic year.