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Anatomy of a Trojan: TrojWare.Win32.TrojanSpy.Volisk.a

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As part of Comodo Labs’ ongoing analysis of “Digital Signature” (confirming software author and guaranteeing computer program code hasn’t been altered or corrupted since being signed) ”malware” (software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to computer systems), we recently discovered a new sample which uses an interesting and potentially devastating combination of techniques to deliver its “payload” (cargo of a data transmission).

Starting with a digitally signed “dropper” (installation program), the malware was able to successfully inject itself into Windows “processes” (instances of computer programs being executed); bypass “firewall” (protects against threats from the public Internet) and “host intrusion protection mechanisms” (monitor a single computer for suspicious activity by analyzing events occurring within that computer); send user details to a control “server” (computer hardware dedicated to run one or more services); download additional “configuration files” (configure initial settings for some computer programs) and finally to direct its victims to “phishing” websites (designed to look like other websites in an attempt to steal users’ personal information) which request the user’s banking usernames/passwords. This document contains a detailed description of our observations.

The dropper (installer) component of the malware was digitally signed by a trusted Certificate Authority. Because the installer was ‘trusted’, it was then able to evade detection by the heuristic and Host Intrusion Protection Systems (HIPSs) of many popular best antivirus and Internet Security programs.

Digital Signature

Upon execution, the dropper first determines the architecture of the Windows operating system (32-bit or 64-bit) then extracts the appropriate main module from “PE” (Portable Executable) file resources.

DLL

The file name of this main module is generated by concatenating two named fragments from two random “*.exe” (Windows Executable) files in the Windows system folder. For example “diskpart.exe” (Windows text-mode command interpreter) and “eventvwr.exe” (Microsoft Event Viewer) generates the file name “disktvwr.dll”.

The main module is the PE “DLL” (Dynamic Link Library of functions and other information that can be accessed by a Windows program) which is placed in the Windows system folder under this generated name. It is then injected into the operating system process “explorer.exe” (Windows Explorer).

DLL
Dynamic Link Library

It is configured for automatic injection into most operating system processes and user applications via a randomly named value of an obscure Windows Registry key (similar to a folder):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerAppCertDlls] "ddeskeys"="C:Windowssystem32disktvwr.dll"

As a result, the function “CreateProcessNotify”, exported by the malware “module” (portion of the program that carries out a specific function and may be used alone or combined with other modules of the same program), is requested at the creation of each new process. This causes the malware DLL to be injected in most operating system processes and user applications.

After this operation, the dropper removes itself via the execution of a simple “DOS” (Disk Operating System) “BAT” (batch) script file:

Dynamic Link Library
1342562.bat:
attrib -s -r -h%1
:hkiflg
del %1
if exist %1 goto hkiflg
del %0

The main module is injected into the “explorer.exe” process and acts as a server application. It opens a “pipe” (named temporary software connection between two programs or commands) as a 128-bit Unique ID (UID), for example “\.pipe{b2459e76-035d-2d18-0a97-debbcce1c0a5}”, and waits for incoming messages. Modules injected into other system processes and user applications act as “clients” (applications or systems that access a service made available by a server) and communicate with the server via the named pipe.

Hexa DLL

Modules injected into “iexplore.exe” (Microsoft Internet Explorer) and “firefox.exe” (Mozilla Firefox) web browser applications are used for communication with the remote control server. This tricks any firewall and HIPS technology by making network activity generated by the malware appear to have been initiated by the user. The current version of the malware does not support other browsers like “chrome.exe” (Google Chrome), “opera.exe” (Opera), and “safari.exe” (Apple Safari). To circumnavigate this issue, it prevents these browsers from opening and forces the user to use one of the supported browsers instead. The malware communicates with its remote control server by imitating access to a forum topic. Initially it sends an “HTTP” (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) “POST” (request method to request that the web server accepts the data enclosed in the request message’s body) for storage using a “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator global address of a web page on the World Wide Web) of following format:

http://*.*.*.*/viewtopic.php?f=159&t=17216&sid5=c0dcd0254daef45e27b86c3b5995a14c

…with the request body containing basic information about the user’s system and the installed malware module:

“user_id=1110380395&version_id=42&socks=0&build=32940&crc=50838475&
win=Microsoft+Windows+XP+Professional+Service+Pack+3+(build:+2600)&arch=x86+32bit&user=Admin”

It will then receive an updated configuration file from the remote server. The malware stores the configuration and version information in a Windows Registry key named using a 128-bit UID in a similar way that has been used for the named pipe:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAppDataLow{21414dba-01d1-50fc-8e2b-a28ff0952499}] "k1"=dword:b12564d0 "k2"=dword:473d87bb "Version"=dword:0000002a "Data"=hex:ca,2b,09,00,1b,e1,80,02,41,4c,3a,45,42,43,61,5f,09,31,39,36,cd,2f,
...

The primary purpose of this malware is to steal personal information such as bank information or credit card accounts. This is a list of URLs monitored by the malware according to a recent configuration file:

bankofamerica.com/accounts-overview/accounts-overview.go
bankofamerica.com/login/sign-in/signOnScreen.go
bankofamerica.com/login/sign-in/validatePassword.go
bankofamerica.com/myaccounts/
barclaycardus.com/app/ccsite/logon/loginUserDyn.jsp
billmelater.com/login/challenge.xhtml
billmelater.com/your-account/home.xhtml
bofa.com
chaseonline.chase.com/gw/secure/ena
chaseonline.chase.com/MyAccounts.aspx
chaseonline.chase.com/secure/Profile/UpdateContactInfo/UpdateContact.aspx
client.schwab.com/Accounts/
client.schwab.com/Accounts/Summary/Summary.aspx
client.schwab.com/Service/MyProfile/MailingAddress.aspx
consumercenter.gogecapital.com/consumercenter/homeaction.do
discovercard.com/cardmembersvcs/achome/homepage
mbwebexpress.blilk.com/Core/Authentication/MFAPassword.aspx
mfasa.chase.com/auth/auth-stoken-osl.html
online.americanexpress.com/myca/acctmgmt/
online.citibank.com
online.wellsfargo.com/das/cgi-bin/session.cgi
onlinebanking.pnc.com/
onlinebanking.tdbank.com/login.asp
paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_account
paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_login-done
safe.bankofamerica.com/myaccounts/accounts-overview/accounts-overview.go
safe.bankofamerica.com/myaccounts/brain/redirect.go
safe.bankofamerica.com/myaccounts/signin/signIn.go?isSecureMobil
servicing.capitalone.com/C1/Accounts/Summary.aspx
shop.aafes.com/shop/Login.aspx
shopmyexchange.com
sitekey.bankofamerica.com/sas/signon.do
sitekey.bankofamerica.com/sas/signonSetup.do
sitekey.bankofamerica.com/sas/verifyImage.do
ss2.experian.com/securecontrol/reset/ssphome
suntrust.com/portal/server.pt
us.etrade.com/e/t/accounts/accountsCombo
us.hsbc.com/1/2/!ut/
wwws.ameritrade.com/cgi-bin/apps/SecurityChallenge

Once a user accesses one of the monitored URLs, the malware generates a phishing page which asks the user to enter their account details (including user-name, password and credit card number) under the pretense of either recovering their account password or to enable additional security measures:

Security System

File information:

Dropper EXE:
Size: 285264
SHA-1: b9f07c2eec5277bfc91d4bb9b8bac4e8d4cc8632
Signature: TrojWare.Win32.TrojanSpy.Volisk.a x86 DLL:
Size: 88576
SHA-1: ba7f13855e7ad9c32917188281c4420cef8a830e
Signature: TrojWare.Win32.TrojanSpy.Volisk.a x64 DLL:
Size: 98304
SHA-1: 372c2eafd39b317e6a94e84d673d394b2afd4b3f
Signature: TrojWare.Win32.TrojanSpy.Volisk.a

Diagnosis, Removal & Protection Instructions

If your computer doesn’t have an Antivirus or Internet Security program installed and you believe it may have been infected by “malware” (malicious software):

1. Download Comodo Antivirus and perform a full scan with up-to-date antivirus database.
2. Remove Malware Found by choosing from recommended options and stay protected.

TEST YOUR EMAIL SECURITY GET YOUR INSTANT SECURITY SCORECARD FOR FREE Source: https://blog.comodo.com/malware/trojware-win32-trojanspy-volisk-a/

Cyber Security

Riverside buys into Cryptomathic as second software deal in a week, eyeing fast-growing security demand

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Lower-mid-market focused buyout house The Riverside Company has bought into Danish crypto-based cybersecurity software p

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/deal-news/riverside-buys-into-cryptomathic-as-second-software-deal-in-a-week-eyeing-fast-growing-security-demand.html

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Top 7 Cybersecurity Threat Response Gaps

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On the 28th of March 2021, Australian broadcaster Channel Nine was hit by a rather insidious cyber attack. The channel was rendered inoperable — unable to air its Sunday news bulletin and several key shows. The attack also ended up affecting the channels’ Sydney headquarters, interrupting critical operation in the networks’ publishing division. Cybercrimes have been on the rise during the last couple of years and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic only served to fuel the activity and the proliferation of hackers. That attack on Channel Nine ended up costing the company millions of dollars and created a PR nightmare that to this day they still feel. What’s even more daunting concerning that case study is the fact that the attack could have been prevented had they had a SOC team as a service provider.

H2: Why is cybercrime on the rise?

2020, due to the pandemic, the lockdown, and the way the world changed, created the perfect environment for cybercriminals to proliferate. It was a perfect storm of opportunities that the digital hooligans took advantage of.

  • E-commerce became a major global trend. Most businesses had to implement e-commerce protocols overnight to survive. Molding those platforms on the fly with little to no protection.
  • 70% of workers had to start doing their jobs remotely. Suddenly, staff had unlimited access to a company’s mainframe without the protection of an onsite SOC team. 
  • Millions of individuals in emerging nations were laid off. Most pivoting into new side hustles — like cybercrime. 
  • Technological advances, like G5 networks, hit the world — disrupting security measures and established protocols. 
  • The emotional state of the world, the rage, unease, frustrations, led to a rise of antisocial behavior.

2020 became a before and after in the world’s war against cybercrime. It was a turning point, one that benefited the hackers and had SOC teams around the world on the defensive, scrambling to stay current with the crimewave.

H2: Security gaps

Cybercriminals mostly work on identifying your company’s weaknesses and exploding them. They hardly, if ever, attack a company in an innovative way that couldn’t be shored up. When after-action reports are filed by SOC security services, 9 times out of 10, the breach could have been prevented. These are called “Gaps”; Achilles’ heels your company has that a cybercriminal can spot a mile away. 

Most SOC as service provider teams audit your company for these gaps and try to give you curated responses to them. 

H2: Top-7 Cybersecurity threat response gaps.

H3: Unpreparedness for cyber incidents

Most companies, particularly small businesses, are simply oblivious to how cyberattacks can damage their brand and their revenue. Most small businesses have an erroneous concept of what cyberattacks are. They are under the false impression that hackers only target HUGE multinational conglomerates. Why would a digital mastermind attack my small downtown boutique? If you’re operating with personal data and financial information then you’re a target. 

H3: Lack of Monitoring and vulnerability reporting

Businesses simply don’t have analysis capabilities nor do they have the hindsight to plan for it. SOC teams not only audit your company but also update security measures based on reports and constant monitoring.

H3: No mobile/Home/Travel security 

Your worker goes home, or they’re traveling, or they are on their smartphone — How sure are you that they are implementing security measures on these devices? Have you even told them? Do they know how vulnerable they are to unprotected WiFi? Or are they simply abroad, on vacation with their families, desperate to check their emails, and hopping on the first free network that pops up on their cell phone? How much data does your employee take with them outside the office? How much access do they have to your company from their home?

H3: Inconsistency in cybersecurity enforcement

Unless you’re dealing with an expert team, most security measures against cybercrime are either inconsistent or outdated. Enforcement is based on bad intel and even worse strategies. 

H3: Inflexibility in adaptation after a breach

Most teams that aren’t professional SOC service providers have little to no wiggle room. They work off a template and guidebook. When breaches occur – which they always do – they don’t adapt properly to them, let alone update their schemes and practices to the newest attacks. 

H3: Fails in the application of key cybercrime prevention techniques

A SOC team, most of the time, works on the offensive plays — Techniques that prevent cybercrime. techniques that attack hackers and criminals before they even make their grand play. Most amateur teams work on a defensive posture, reacting to a breach.

H3: Slow threat detection and response

Every minute counts. When you detect a breath, every second that passes has a dollar amount. Every minute can be weighed in gold. Slow threat detection and response mean your company is hemorrhaging money with every passing second your team is scrambling and trying to figure out what to do. A professional SOC as service team has plays ready for the moment breaches occur — they are never caught with their pants down. 

H2: How does SOC as a Service provider minimize gaps?

Professional teams that provide security as service work on the premise that your company, no matter how atoned, how tech-heavy, or modern, is a mess. That’s how they come in — with the idea that your security needs an overhaul and that half your team is at home, checking their cloud services while passing bank data to that fine Nigerian Prince willing to give us 10% of their vast fortune just for a helping hand. They are on their phones clinking on every ad and downloading pirated music and movies on the same laptop they use for work. A security service provider audits your company under that optic, they expect the worst. It’s in this supervision and investigation that all those gaps criminals will exploit pop out. They minimize gaps by taking a long detailed look at your business, by understanding your needs, by shoring up your infrastructure, by thinking ahead, and keeping their nose on the ground on what new threats are just around the corner.

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Cybersecurity Degrees in South Dakota

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Cybersecurity Degrees in South Dakota
Cybersecurity Degrees in South Dakota

Cybersecurity Degrees in South Dakota- This guide is about cybersecurity degree programs in South Dakota. Also included in the guide are some of the economic conditions that are supporting the growth of the cybersecurity industry in the state.

In South Dakota, agriculture is major business. Agriculture contributes around $7 billion to the state’s economy each year. Many people assume that farming is the most important industry in South Dakota because of its location and history.

In reality, the state’s most important industry is finance, which few people would expect.

About $1 trillion was deposited in commercial and savings bank accounts in New York state institutions in 2018. California had $800 billion in its coffers. According to FDIC data, South Dakota had an astonishing $3.1 trillion deposited in its banks.

Thousands of finance employment have resulted from all of the money put in South Dakota. These professions include typical finance jobs such as bankers and investors, as well as jobs that support economic activity such as a boost in the building industry as financial companies establish new headquarters.

Citibank, for example, just constructed a building in Sioux Falls that will serve as the bank’s new headquarters in South Dakota. A total of 1,300 people will work in the building.

Why did you pick South Dakota? “Location,” Citibank CEO Michael Corbat explained. A labour force that is competitive. All of those components come together beautifully. Obviously, we think it’s a fantastic place to work and conduct business.”

Citibank isn’t the only bank with a presence in the state of South Dakota. The state is also home to Wells Fargo and TCF Bank. In total, the financial sector accounts for around 15% of the state’s GDP.

Because of all of this cash, fraudsters see the state as a valuable target. As a result of its awareness of the situation, South Dakota takes cybersecurity seriously.

Table of Contents

Cybersecurity Degrees in South Dakota

A squad of North Korean hackers has been attempting to break into government systems in South Dakota, according to ABC. There were 142 hacking attempts, but just one was successful.

Given that North Korea has a sophisticated hacking network, far more proficient than the country’s current situation would suggest, South Dakota’s ability to safeguard its networks is amazing.

South Dakota hosts the yearly DakotaCon conference for those interested in learning more about cybersecurity. Guests can participate in hands-on workshops aimed to teach specific cybersecurity skills in addition to listening to keynote speakers.

Given that the conference has been going on for a decade, it’s safe to infer that it’s benefiting the South Dakota cybersecurity community.

When it comes to education, South Dakota offers a diverse range of great cybersecurity degrees. Dakota State University is home to one of the National Security Agency’s 13 approved Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.

Dakota State University was also named a “Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations” by the National Security Agency.

South Dakota has a lot going for it in terms of cybersecurity education and they offer a number of educational options, from an associate’s degree all the way up to a Ph.D.

ASSOCIATE’S DEGREES

Many cybersecurity professions, unfortunately, demand a bachelor’s degree or higher; nevertheless, an associate’s degree has some advantages.

It can lead to a respectable entry-level job, and credits gained through an associate’s degree may transfer to a bachelor’s degree. This makes it an excellent option for someone who plans to continue their studies in the future.

Campus-based cybersecurity associate’s degrees in South Dakota

South Dakota students can apply for one of two campus-based associate’s degrees. Both are available through a technical institute.

  • An Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems – Security Specialist is available at Lake Area Technical Institute.
  • An Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Security is available from Southeast Technical Institute.

Online cybersecurity associate’s degrees in South Dakota

  • South Dakota currently offers only one online associate’s degree.
  • Dakota State University provides a Network and Security Administration Associate of Science degree.

BACHELOR’S DEGREES

A bachelor’s degree will be the greatest option for many pupils. A four-year degree is still reasonably priced and can be obtained on campus or through online classes.

Because most careers in cybersecurity necessitate a bachelor’s degree or higher, this is an excellent option for anyone contemplating a career in the field.

Campus-based cybersecurity bachelor’s degree in South Dakota

In South Dakota, there is currently only one campus-based bachelor’s degree programme.

  • Dakota State University offers a Cyber Operations (BS) Bachelors

Online cybersecurity bachelor’s degree in South Dakota

South Dakota’s online programmes make up for the state’s lack of campus-based education. Students can work while obtaining their degree in an online programme because it is more flexible than a campus-based programme.

There are various outstanding online programmes available in South Dakota. For more information, please see the list below.

MASTER’S DEGREE

While a master’s degree requires two or three more years of study, graduates may discover that their lifetime earnings more than compensate for the cost of the school. On average, master’s degree holders earn more than bachelor’s degree holders.

Online cybersecurity master’s degrees in South Dakota

There are currently no campus-based cybersecurity master’s degrees available in South Dakota. However, they do provide an online option.

  • Dakota State University offers a Master of Science in Cyber Defense

PH.D. DEGREE

In the realm of cybersecurity, a Ph.D. is the highest level of study available. Because Ph.D. graduates are in high demand, a degree holder with this level of education can expect to pick and choose where they want to work.

Online Ph.D. degrees in South Dakota

South Dakota offers a single Ph.D. programme.

  • Dakota State University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification programmes in cybersecurity are meant to educate a certain skill. Before a candidate may be considered for some positions, they may need to have a specialist certification.

Online certification programmes

There are various online certification programmes available in South Dakota.

  • A Graduate Certificate in Banking Security is available from Dakota State University.
  • A Graduate Certificate in Ethical Hacking is available from Dakota State University.

Cybersecurity Jobs in South Dakota

According to CyberSeek, a cybersecurity job aggregator, there are now 740 cybersecurity jobs available in South Dakota. The Sioux Falls area is home to the majority of the available jobs. Not surprisingly, many of the aforementioned banks have their headquarters here.

According to CyberSeek, the present supply of cybersecurity technicians in South Dakota is extremely limited. South Dakota has seen a 212 percent rise in cybersecurity technicians in the last five years, indicating that the scarcity is unlikely to change in the near future. That makes it the United States’ fastest-growing cybersecurity job market!

This upward tendency means that students will have a wide range of work options after graduation. Today, there is a cybersecurity labour deficit, which is only expected to worsen as the world gets more computerised.

Cybersecurity in South Dakota

South Dakota has a responsibility to take cybersecurity seriously since it has $3 trillion in bank accounts across the state. North Korea’s attempted infiltration of state networks demonstrates that foreign actors are aware of South Dakota’s significance as a financial centre and want to destabilise it.

Thankfully, South Dakota is aware of the issue and is taking appropriate measures to address it. DakotaCon is free on the first day, which encourages community participation. The state’s cybersecurity instructional initiatives are likewise well regarded, with the National Security Agency (NSA) praising them.

Overall, South Dakota has proved that it is a security-conscious state. Aspiring cybersecurity experts should consider studying here because the above-average salary combined with the low cost of living in South Dakota make this an attractive spot to settle down after graduation.

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Source: https://cybersguards.com/cybersecurity-degrees-in-south-dakota/

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A Complete Guide to a Computer Science Degree with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity

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Computer Science Degrees

A Complete Guide to a Computer Science Degree with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity- Cybersecurity is a relatively young branch of computer science, which is a vast topic that includes the study of computers and computing. To investigate and neutralise attacks, monitor systems, and design protective solutions, cybersecurity experts need a comprehensive grasp of computers and networks, regardless of their degree.

A degree in computer science with a cybersecurity concentration is one method to start an academic career in cybersecurity. A rising number of educational institutions are offering cybersecurity-focused bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This teaches students to approach cybersecurity from a computer science standpoint rather than from a standard cybersecurity fundamentals perspective. The final goal of both systems is to keep cyberspace, networks, data, and end users safe, but the tactics used are vastly different.

Computer science degree programmes might include emphases in app development, product and programme support, enterprise systems and cloud, and network and system administration in addition to a cybersecurity concentration. These schools stress the significance of having a solid understanding of computer science as a basis for their specialty sector.

The ideal candidate for a computer science degree with a cybersecurity specialisation is someone who wants to work in the cybersecurity area and has a wide understanding of computer science principles. Most cybersecurity workers earned a computer science degree with additional coursework meant to provide a deeper knowledge of security principles before a focus or specialty in cybersecurity became commonly available. The newest cybersecurity degree programmes have changed the balance away from a focus or emphasis inside a regular computer science programme and toward a specialist degree.

Table of Contents

Computer Science Degree with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity

A degree concentration, often known as a focus, refers to a specialised field of study within a major. The concentration, unlike a degree minor, must be in the same field. Cybersecurity, for example, is a complementary focus within computer science. Within the subject of computer science, cybersecurity is a distinct topic of research. A minor, on the other hand, is a secondary academic specialisation achieved in any field of study. As an example, a student could declare a major in computer science and a minor in history.

A student usually does not need to complete any additional courses to acquire a specialisation within a degree. Specialization coursework credit toward the major requirements if their preferred academic institution provides a cybersecurity concentration as part of a computer science degree.

A computer science undergraduate degree will involve a variety of courses. Many of these, especially in the first years of an undergraduate programme, are designed to prepare students for advanced coursework in the major’s advanced sections. Aside from beginning computer science courses like introduction to computer science, basic computer applications, discrete mathematics, calculus, and algorithms are frequently covered in the curriculum.

Programming languages, information technology, web and application development, and popular operating systems are all examples of computer science classes. A student with a cybersecurity emphasis would be obliged to take a certain number of security-related courses.

Computer Science Degree vs. Cybersecurity Degree

The main distinction between a cybersecurity degree and a computer science degree with a cybersecurity emphasis is the amount of computer science coursework relative to the number and difficulty of security-related classes. While a cybersecurity degree will include the fundamentals of computer science such as programming, software engineering, and data mining, it will concentrate on security-related issues. A computer science degree, on the other hand, will include some security-related coursework but will be primarily focused on computer scientific principles.

Cybersecurity degrees, more more than computer science degrees, frequently provide a wide range of specialties. A university’s cybersecurity degree programme may provide traditional cybersecurity, forensic cybersecurity, and operational cybersecurity degrees. The traditional version of the degree offers a well-rounded cybersecurity education, while the forensic version focuses on investigating computer crimes, and the operations version is for those interested in working in a security operations centre (SOC) or another operational function. There are fewer academic norms to which cybersecurity degree programmes comply because they were formed relatively recently.

Those pursuing a cybersecurity concentration may only be required to take 9 to 12 credit hours of cybersecurity classes out of the 120–126 credit hours typically necessary for a Bachelor of Science in computer science. Computer science and liberal studies classes, as well as other electives, make up the remaining credits.

Computer science and cybersecurity are two careers with similar income possibilities. Due to a nationwide dearth of cybersecurity skills, cybersecurity jobs frequently pay more than computer science occupations.

Because these professions are closely related and computer science degrees are more well-established, many security-related jobs can be performed by graduates of either subject. In general, these two fields’ career ambitions are aligned as follows:

Computer science Degree

  • Computer and information research scientists
  • Chief technology officer
  • Computer programmer
  • Web developers
  • Database administrator

Cybersecurity Degree

A Computer Science Approach to Security

Students who complete a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science programme gain a foundational understanding of information technology hardware and software, networks, programming, analysis, and security.

From a computer science standpoint, security is less detailed and more basic. It is less practical and more theoretical. A computer scientist is concerned with the security implications of the design and implementation of programmes, devices, applications, and networks.

While both computer science and cybersecurity are highly technical computer-related degrees, the fundamental distinction between the two is the primary employment tasks that these degrees equip students to fill. Auditing security systems, putting up firewalls, evaluating networks, and reporting data breaches are some of the day-to-day responsibilities of a cybersecurity expert. A computer science professional, on the other hand, might specialise in developing software features, network management, or web development.

Writing secure code, establishing secure networks, and developing online applications and mobile apps that protect a user’s data and infrastructure are all aspects of security from a computer science standpoint. Implementing perimeter security, enforcing access limits, addressing vulnerabilities, and finding exploits are less important.

Many companies seek programmers, system administrators, and computer scientists with a thorough understanding of the industry and expertise in security issues. These businesses want to be sure they’re designing, building, and deploying digital assets in accordance with the most recent security standards. Depending on their danger profile, they may or may not have a distinct cybersecurity department. Students with a computer science degree with a focus on cybersecurity are likely to be recruited by these companies.

How Common are Computer Science Degrees with a Cybersecurity Concentration?

Over the last few decades, security-related degree programmes have been increasingly popular. By far, computer science degree programmes outnumber cybersecurity degree programmes. The number of computer science degrees with a cybersecurity specialisation is rapidly increasing. Some credit this to colleges that choose to enhance their existing computer science programmes to include cybersecurity themes rather than creating new cybersecurity degrees from the bottom up.

This tactic — expanding the existing computer science programme to incorporate extra security courses — is a good stopgap measure. Nonetheless, a rising percentage of cybersecurity jobs necessitate the specialised security training that a cybersecurity degree provides. There will be natural pressure on other universities to follow suit as the number of cybersecurity degree programmes grows.

How to Choose the Right Degree Programme

Students must consider their interests, educational background, and ability when selecting a degree programme. A computer science degree should be considered by students who are primarily interested in programming languages, artificial intelligence, or robots. Furthermore, in today’s threat-laden world, a computer science degree with a cybersecurity emphasis will make a graduate more appealing to employers than a computer science degree without a cybersecurity emphasis. A cybersecurity degree, on the other hand, may be the greatest option for individuals who are interested in data protection issues, digital forensics, or cyber compliance.

A bachelor’s degree is required for many entry-level security professions. A student’s job aspirations and available resources typically impact whether they pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree. A master’s degree in cybersecurity or computer science, however, would pay more than a bachelor’s degree and may be a better fit for some individuals.

Master’s degree holders are frequently well-suited for management positions such as information technology manager or lead software designer. Graduates with a master’s degree in cybersecurity management are more prepared to identify risks and threats, enhance preventive measures, and create security controls. Analysts, supervisors, and consultants can all benefit from graduate-level training.

Clifford Neuman, the Director of the USC Center for Computer Systems Security, discussed the degree possibilities available at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in a recent interview with Cybersecurity Guide. He went over the potential in the computer science department and the data science programme in particular. He stated, ”

“The main [degree] for security practitioners is our Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering. That’s a two-year program that can be completed in about a year and a half if you’re motivated to do so. And it teaches both the fundamental theory of computer security for high assurance systems and the practical application of security techniques in today’s more common networked mobile and cloud environments.”

“That programme focuses on more of the fundamentals of computer science, including AI [and] is supplemented through several classes that students take specifically in the area of security,” Neuman said of another masters degree option — USC’s master of science in computer science with an emphasis in cybersecurity. When compared to the MS in cybersecurity engineering degree, individuals take less security-related classes if they enrol in [the Computer Science] programme. They do gain a better knowledge of how security relates to other branches of computer science.”

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Several kinds of financial aid for security-related degrees are available, with several of them focusing exclusively on the cybersecurity industry. The following are some examples of these:

  • Information Assurance Scholarship Program – This program is designed to increase the number of qualified personnel entering the information assurance (IA) and information technology fields within the Department of the Navy.
  • Scholarship for Service – the National Science Foundation, in association with the National Security Agency, provides grants for cybersecurity students. Recipients must work after graduation for a federal, state, local or tribal government agency or approved SFS institution for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.
  • Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) – is a partnership of Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and CRA-WP.  Its long-term goal is to contribute to increasing the representation of women in the information security workforce
  • Snort Scholarship – Cisco sponsored for information assurance majors
  • Department of Homeland Security – The Department of Homeland Security offers a variety of prestigious scholarships, fellowships, internships, and training opportunities to expose talented students to the broad national security mission.

Individual schools may also have scholarships and grants available. To learn about all of your choices, contact the college’s financial aid office.

Conclusion

A computer science degree with a focus in cybersecurity or a cybersecurity degree will be beneficial to a student interested in understanding how to protect data, networks, applications, devices, and infrastructure. For both of these closely linked areas, there are master’s and bachelor’s degree programmes available.

Degree programmes in cybersecurity are newer and, in some ways, more relevant to contemporary security problems. Computer science programmes are more established and, in some ways, more comprehensive. Each of them approaches security from a unique standpoint.

A computer science degree with a cybersecurity emphasis will provide a broader computer education, covering topics such as statistics and boolean logic, as well as programming and web development. On the other side, cybersecurity will deliver the most security-focused education accessible.

Both offer equivalent pay, with cybersecurity edging out the competition due to a skills gap in the field. The limits and opportunities for tuition and scholarships will be quite similar across the board.

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Source: https://cybersguards.com/a-complete-guide-to-a-computer-science-degree-with-an-emphasis-in-cybersecurity/

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