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NDSU Institute, USMC Work Together to Prepare Next Generation of Cyber Warriors

NDSU students learn to be ethical hackers

FARGO, N.D. - March 29, 2018 - (

​The North Dakota State University Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research, the NDSU Department of Computer Science and the United States Marine Corps will be working together this fall to prepare NDSU students to secure America. These students won’t be going to boot camp – instead they’ll be learning to secure cyberspace as part of a collaborative effort to prepare the students to become Certified Ethical Hackers.

The Certified Ethical Hacker credential, issued by the Tampa, Florida-based EC Council, indicates that recipients have both the skills to conduct cyberwarfare and knowledge of how to use them legally and ethically. The NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research and the NDSU Department of Computer Science is offering a course running from January to May 2018 that prepares students to serve in numerous roles, ranging from working for startups to Fortune 100 companies to the U.S. military to intelligence agencies. USMC Maj. Terry Traylor and NDSU Asst. Prof. Jeremy Straub are working together to produce the course. Traylor is an information warfare-qualified officer with cyber/electronic warfare/information operations experience and Straub is the associate director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research.

Terry brings a reality to the course that is exciting to our students,” commented Straub. “He’s been there and done that. This isn’t a high-level theoretical course, though vulnerability science theory will be covered.  Students are learning real-world, practical and directly applicable skills that have immediate career potential.”

As part of the course, the students will participate in labs where they learn how to attack simulated systems. By learning how an attacker thinks, students learn how to test systems for vulnerabilities and defend them. They also learn the skills needed to serve in cyberwarfare roles for U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

“This course is a first-of-its-kind course that blends open-source information-warfare lessons learned and classroom instruction to produce penetration testers, analysts and operators,” said Traylor. “Students enrolled in this course will learn how the bad guys target friendly IT systems and organizations in order to enhance friendly IT security postures. The students who graduate from this class will master the skills required to test, deploy and defend systems with an offensive security mindset.”

The course is part of a broader effort at NDSU to prepare the state and region to combat ever-growing cyberthreats. As part of these efforts, NDSU has offered public outreach presentations at libraries and on campus and sponsors several cybersecurity teams.

The NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research is leading North Dakota’s academic pursuits in the dynamic field of cybersecurity. Headquartered in NDSU’s Department of Computer Science, the institute has 11 faculty members from computer science, emergency management and electrical and computer engineering, as well as the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. It aims to meet the public need for leading-edge cybersecurity software development and information technology practices. It serves the information technology and computing professionals, practitioners and endpoint users who operate the public and private enterprises of the state.

Related Links
NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research
NDSU Computer Science

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Original Source: NDSU Institute, USMC Work Together to Prepare Next Generation of Cyber Warriors
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