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Last Saturday, I was surprised to see a news story that Homeland Security is recommending that all desktop users disable Java. We just went through this last August with Oracle and Java! I even checked the article dates to make sure they weren’t posted in error.
Sure enough, zero-day exploit vulnerabilities have been identified in compromised Java web sites. Oracle has rushed out a patch to deal with these problems, one of which is a bug that some analysts feel should have been fixed when the August exploits were revealed.
As the great Yogi Berra would say, “It’s Déjà vu all over again!”
These vulnerabilities are as serious as they can get. They can be used to trick your browser and operating system into downloading malicious software from a compromised web site and escalating the malware’s system rights. If it can do that, the hackers can do anything they want to harm or control your compute.
There are reports that criminal toolkits, available on the internet, have been updated to exploit these Java zero-day vulnerabilities. Sadly, there is a big market for these toolkits.
Perhaps you enjoy having a zombie computer that sends out junk email, commits click fraud or is part of denial of service attacks. Maybe you aren’t worried about someone stealing your personal information for financial fraud. And your hard drive might not be important enough to you that you care if somebody messes.
As for me, I opt out!
In response to the August Java zero-day exploits, I published an article titled, “Java Zero-day Exploits: Why I am Not Worried”. My reason then for being unconcerned is the same reason today I am STILL not worried.
My computers are protected by our Comodo Internet Security 2013 antivirus. Other Antivirus systems compare programs to a file of known viruses and malware, which requires constant updates to the file. There are thousands of new viruses introduced every day!
Comodo uses a “default deny” system that will run any program that it is not sure of in an isolated system area called a sandbox. The chances of any malware ever impacting your system are dramatically reduced, even when they haven’t been identified yet by the Internet security community.
How dramatic? Enough that Comodo provides a $500 guarantee that your computer will not be harmed from malware when protected with its antivirus.
So, no worries.
Not only that, Comodo Internet Security 2013 has new protections. If I want to make absolutely sure a Java application is safe, I can run it in our new Virtual Kiosk. The Kiosk is a virtual windows desktop complete with icons for running your favorite programs, as shown below:
Like our Auto Sandbox Technology, a malicious application running in the Virtual Kiosk can’t harm the rest of the computer. You can even use a virtual keyboard that protects you from spyware that record your keystrokes, as shown in the example .
You can also choose to run a program in the sandbox. For example, if you need to use a Java enabled web site and are concerned by the recent warnings, simply run the browser in the sandbox. The browser window will have a green shade around it to let you know that you are protected.
Comodo is great for the user who wants to “set it and forget it”, but for those want to go under the covers and manage at a lower level they provide tools like the Killswitch window, shown in the example below:
In this example, the programs shaded in gray are running “virtualized” in the sandboxed. The Killswitch includes a rating to help you know if a program can be trusted, and options to halt and delete a program if it can’t.
Comodo has a proactive approach to fighting malware. The sandbox and Virtual Kiosk protect you against any untrusted program, not just known threats like the new Java exploits. We provide solutions that will protect against malware not yet invented and exploits not yet found.
Online Cybersecurity Certification Programs
There are two reasons for online cybersecurity certification programmes. Certification programmes are excellent tools for advancing careers by keeping business awareness current for people who already have a degree or job experience in the field. Certification programmes may also help people who work in similar fields break into the cybersecurity sector.
There are significant distinctions between the types of credential programmes that professionals can pursue and the types of certifications that will be more beneficial to students and entry-level professionals.
Academic Certifications vs. Professional Certifications
Professional certifications are intended to supplement business professionals’ existing expertise and knowledge. Typically, they are aimed at advanced topics in cybersecurity, or at upgrading existing hands-on experience and technological expertise.
Current information security professionals use these certification programmes, as well as the tests that frequently follow, to improve their level of professionalism and advance their careers, as well as to stay current in an ever-changing industry.
Academic cybersecurity certifications are largely aimed at those looking to break into the information security field, whether from academia or another field. As a result, academic credential programmes are more broad in scope and introductory in nature. Some academic programmes, on the other hand, can be used as a more expedient and cost-effective short-term replacement for undergraduate and graduate college degrees.
These types of certification programmes can help aspiring cybersecurity professionals get a head start on their careers or simply provide a better understanding of what life is like in the information security sector. Academic cybersecurity certification programmes are plentiful and rising all the time, so do your homework and look at all of your choices.
Cybersecurity Certification Programmes Offered Online vs. On-Campus
Campus-based or real-world continuing education services necessitate a significant time commitment. Due to regional constraints, they can also necessitate compromises in terms of which schools and services are available. Some people learn better in a typical classroom setting, and campus-based formats are typically the best option for them.
Today, however, there are hundreds of excellent online educational options available. The primary goal of online courses is to provide students with more versatility. Though asynchronous online programmes are the most convenient, synchronous programmes often have benefits over campus-based programmes. Due to the absence of the commute associated with classroom-based classes, all forms of online qualification courses reduce the amount of time and effort spent avoiding traffic.
Since synchronous systems have fixed times for class instruction and, in many cases, student discussion, time and schedule flexibility is restricted. Asynchronous systems, on the other hand, are completely free of time constraints, allowing students to set their own schedules and advance at their own rate. Although online education has a tainted reputation in the past, high-quality courses from high-quality institutions are now widely accessible and rapidly expanding.
SANS Technology Institute is the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certifications in the world. SANS provides synchronous and asynchronous online instruction, with two different choices for each. Each student/professional will have different needs and barriers to training, so they must choose the type of online coursework that best fits them and their lives.
What to Look for in Online Cybersecurity Certification Programmes
Professionals in the field of information security must be continuously evolving, adjusting, and increasing. Since technology advances and security threats evolve at a rapid pace, the industry as a whole is constantly changing. The rule of thumb in every technology-related area is to develop or die.
As a result, cybersecurity practitioners must maintain a constant state of interest and knowledge throughout their careers. If professionals want to remain competitive in this field, they must continue to learn.
Keeping up with innovations and developments can be done by using a variety of methods. Industry associations are a great place to meet new people and share your experiences with those in your field. They often frequently host meetings, conferences, workshops, and other gatherings that provide unique educational opportunities. Standardized certification schemes, on the other hand, offer concrete evidence of unique educational achievements that anyone in the industry can understand and recognise.
Certifications and training can be extremely beneficial for students seeking to join the information security field as well as professionals seeking to advance their careers in cybersecurity. When looking for and selecting online cybersecurity certification programmes, keep the following requirements in mind:
- What is the difference between a synchronous and asynchronous formats, and how do they integrate into a professional’s life?
- The amount of time it takes to complete certification
- The qualification program’s price
- Employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement
- Exams for equivalency that can be taken before the course are available.
- Applicability of topic to desired entry point/career path
- Credits for degree programmes are available.
Professional Online Cybersecurity Certification Programmes
Technical cybersecurity certification programmes are designed to meet market demands for skilled professionals’ expertise and knowledge, as well as professionals’ desire to increase their value and employment in the field. Topics and curricula are deliberately chosen to have the greatest possible positive effects. Individuals in all types of specialties may find credential programmes, as well as general skills and knowledge certifications aimed at specialised, high-level professionals.
Keep in mind that, due to the constant evolution of technology and security threats, technical certifications must be updated on a regular basis to remain current and legitimate. Infosec professionals can find qualification programmes to upgrade and develop their expertise in any specialty within cybersecurity. There are several research and education organisations, as well as industry trade associations, that serve the certification needs of the industry.
The following are some of the most well-known and well-respected specialist cybersecurity certification providers on the internet:
Academic Online Cybersecurity Certification Programmes
The scope, intent, and effect of academic cybersecurity certification programmes vary greatly. Individual colleges deliver all of these programmes, and the programmes are as unique as the colleges themselves. Some, on the other hand, are provided by industry continuing education organisations and other stakeholders involved in raising cybersecurity awareness and expanding the workforce census. In university online credential programmes, there are a few categories to be aware of.
- Programs for introductory/training certification
- Certification services for undergraduates
- Certification services for graduates
Introductory/Training Certification Programmes
As the world starts to comprehend the full weight of making so many networks and information warehouses vulnerable through online connections, the emphasis on and interest in cybersecurity is rising daily. Every day, more people consider whether cybersecurity is the right career path for them. There are a variety of low-cost or even free solutions for those interested in learning more about information security. SANS Institute has a range of online courses that can help you do just that. SANS offers free introductory courses as well as more advanced courses through its Cyber Aces programme.
Introduction to IT and Cybersecurity is an online course offered by Cybrary, another provider of business training and certifications. This free course teaches the four primary principles of IT and cybersecurity to help beginners determine which career path within the industry is right for them.
For students and professionals interested in switching professions to cybersecurity, baseline awareness and skills certifications are a great place to start once the decision to move forward has been made. CompTIA Security+ is the most well-known and well-recognized of CompTIA’s entry-level cybersecurity certifications. CompTIA is an industry continuing education association. It’s tailored to those who are already involved in IT and want to move into cybersecurity. It’s available from CompTIA and a few other places online.
Some colleges have cybersecurity training programmes for new students. Each one is custom-made by the school that offers it. Essentials of Cybersecurity is a credential programme established by the University of Washington. This course gives aspiring information security professionals an overview of cybersecurity departments in the real world, including how they function and how they’re structured. It also introduces students to cybersecurity terms and definitions, as well as assisting them in determining how well their experience and skills relate to the field.
The Cybersecurity MicroMasters Program, established by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), is a certification training series. Starting with Cybersecurity Fundamentals, RIT gives students a glimpse into the field of information management, network and system administration, information assurance principles, and simple cryptography. After completing the course, there is a road to certification. There’s a lot more in the MicroMasters Program in terms of courses and certifications for more advanced training, such as network security, forensics, and risk management.
Undergraduate Certification Programmes
Students can, of course, earn a complete bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity online. However, we’re talking about training and qualification programmes that don’t lead to degrees. A benefit of the cybersecurity programmes is that the majority of credits received can be applied toward a degree if students wish to continue their education.
The following are some examples of online undergraduate cybersecurity certification programmes. There are a plethora of other online undergraduate degree programmes. A more comprehensive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
- Utica College Cyber Technologies Certificate
- CSU Global undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity
- American Military University undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity
- Thomas Edison State University undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity
- Champlain College online cybersecurity certificate
Graduate Certification Programmes
Graduate cybersecurity certification programmes, like undergraduate cybersecurity certification programmes, usually earn student points that can be applied toward a graduate degree. These programmes, like undergraduate options, differ greatly in emphasis, scope, time commitment, and cost.
Following are a few examples of graduate cybersecurity certification programmes offered online by some of the country’s most prestigious universities. There are plenty more to choose from. A more comprehensive list can be found below.
- George Washington University Master’s of Engineering in cybersecurity
- Boston University Certificate in Cybercrime Investigation Cybersecrity
- University of Maryland offers three graduate certificates in cybersecurity
- Purdue University graduate certificate in cybersecurity
A List of Online Academic Cybersecurity Certification Programmes
The information in the following list of certification programmes is current. It isn’t a rating in every sense of the word. Instead, it is provided to provide training and qualification opportunities to those who are interested, as well as a comparison point between the options.
|School||Location||Link to Program Website|
|Albany Law School||Albany, New York||Online Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy|
|Alexandria Technical and Community College||Alexandria, Minnesota||Cybersecurity Certificate|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Security|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in Cybercrime Essentials|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in Information Security Planning|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in Information Systems Security Essentials|
|American Public University System||Charles Town, West Virginia||Undergraduate Certificate in IT Infrastructure Security|
|Angelo State University||San Angelo, Texas||Online Cybersecurity Certificate|
|Bellevue University||Bellevue, Nebraska||Cybersecurity Certificate of Completion – Graduate|
|Bellevue University||Bellevue, Nebraska||Cybersecurity Certificate of Completion – Undergraduate|
|Boston University||Boston, Massachusetts||Online Graduate Certificate in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity|
|Boston University||Boston, Massachusetts||Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|Boston University||Boston, Massachusetts||Online Graduate Certificate in Information Security|
|Brookhaven College||Farmers Branch, Texas||Information Security Certificate|
|California State University-San Bernardino||San Bernardino, California||Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) Certificate|
|Central Michigan University||Mount Pleasant, Michigan||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Central Michigan University||Mount Pleasant, Michigan||Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Computer Forensics & Digital Investigation Certificate|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Cybersecurity Certificate|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Enterprise Security Fundamentals Certificate|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Information Security Graduate Certificate|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Security Fundamentals Certificate|
|Champlain College||Burlington, Vermont||Software Security Certificate|
|Colorado State University-Global Campus||Greenwood Village, Colorado||Online Certificate of Completion/Degree Specialization in Cyber Security|
|Craven Community College||New Bern, North Carolina||CTI-Cybersecurity Diploma|
|Dakota State University||Madison, South Dakota||Graduate Certificate in Banking Security|
|Dakota State University||Madison, South Dakota||Graduate Certificate in Ethical Hacking|
|DeSales University||Center Valley, Pennsylvania||Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Online Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance|
|Elmhurst University||Elmhurst, Illinois||Certificate in Cyber Security|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University||Madison, New Jersey||Computer Security and Forensic Administration|
|Fontbonne University||Saint Louis, Missouri||Cyber Security Certificate|
|Forsyth Technical Community College||Winston Salem, North Carolina||Certificate in IT- Systems Security|
|Forsyth Technical Community College||Winston Salem, North Carolina||Certificate in IT-Cyber Security|
|Forsyth Technical Community College||Winston Salem, North Carolina||Certificate in IT-Systems Security Cyber Defense|
|Georgetown University||Washington, District of Columbia||Certificate in Cybersecurity Strategy|
|Georgia Southern University||Statesboro, Georgia||Cybercrime Graduate Certificate|
|Grantham University||Kansas City, Missouri||Online Advanced Cyber Security Certificate|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, Massachusetts||Online Cybersecurity Certificate|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Honolulu, Hawaii||Professional Certificate in Telecommunications Security|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, Illinois||Certificate in Information Security and Assurance|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, Illinois||Master Certificate in Cyber Security Management|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, Illinois||Master Certificate in Cyber Security Technologies|
|Indiana Technology-Purdue University-Indianapolis||Indianapolis, Indiana||Medical Device Cyber Security|
|Indiana Wesleyan University||Marion, Indiana||Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis|
|Iowa State University||Ames, Iowa||Information Assurance Graduate Certificate Online|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis, Indiana||Digital Forensics Certificate|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis, Indiana||Network Penetration Certificate|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis, Indiana||Network Security Certificate|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis, Indiana||Technical Certificate in Cyber Security-Information Assurance|
|James Madison University||Harrisonburg, Virginia||Online Graduate Certificate in Cyber Intelligence|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, Maryland||Post-Master’s Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Keller Graduate School of Management||New York, New York||Graduate Certificate in Information Security|
|Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw, Georgia||Graduate Certificate Program in Information Security and Assurance|
|Kentucky Community and Technical College System||Versailles, Kentucky||AAS in Computer and Information Technologies – Information Security Track|
|Kentucky Community and Technical College System||Versailles, Kentucky||Security+ Certificate|
|La Salle University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Lake Superior College||Duluth, Minnesota||Certificate in Information Security Management|
|Linfield College||McMinnville, Oregon||Certificate in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics|
|Long Island University-Riverhead Campus||Riverhead, New York||Advanced Certificate in Cyber Security Policy|
|Lynchburg College||Lynchburg, Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Marshall University||Huntington, West Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Information Security|
|Massachusetts Bay Community College||Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts||Advanced Cyber Security Certificate|
|Metropolitan State University||Saint Paul, Massachusetts||Certificate in Information Assurance and Information Technology Security|
|Middle Georgia State University||Cochran, Georgia||Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Minnesota West Community and Technical College||Granite Falls, Minnesota||Certificate in Computer Information Security Management|
|Mississippi College||Clinton, Mississippi||Certificate in Cyber Security and Information Assurance|
|Missouri State University-Springfield||Springfield, Missouri||Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||Rolla, Missouri||Big Data Management and Security Graduate Certificate|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||Rolla, Missouri||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||Rolla, Missouri||Information Assurance & Security Officer Essentials Graduate Certificate|
|Mitchell Hamline School of Law||St. Paul, Minnesota||Certificate in Cybersecurity and Privacy Law|
|Moraine Park Technical College||Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin||Information Technology – Information Security Certificate|
|Naval Postgraduate School||Monterey, California||Certificate in Applied Cyber Operations|
|Naval Postgraduate School||Monterey, California||Certificate in Cyber Operations Infrastructure|
|Naval Postgraduate School||Monterey, California||Cyber Security Adversarial Techniques graduate certificate|
|Naval Postgraduate School||Monterey, California||Cyber Security Defense graduate certificate|
|Naval Postgraduate School||Monterey, California||Cyber Security Fundamentals graduate certificate|
|Northern Kentucky University||Highland Heights, Kentucky||Cybersecurity Certificate|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, Virginia||Cybersecurity Career Studies Certificate|
|Norwich University||Northfield, Vermont||Graduate Certificate in Computer Forensics Investigation|
|Norwich University||Northfield, Vermont||Graduate Certificate in Critical Infrastructure Protection & Cyber Crime|
|Norwich University||Northfield, Vermont||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Law & International Perspectives on Cyberspace|
|Norwich University||Northfield, Vermont||Graduate Certificate in Vulnerability Management|
|Oklahoma State University-Main Campus||Stillwater, Oklahoma||Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia||Cyber Security Certificate|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||University Park, Pennsylvania||Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity|
|Purdue Community Global||Indianapolis, Indiana||Computer Forensics Postbaccalaureate Certificate|
|Purdue Community Global||Indianapolis, Indiana||Information Security Postbaccalaureate Certificate|
|Quinsigamond Community College||Worcester, Massachusetts||Certificate in Computer Systems Engineering Technology – Cyber Security|
|Regent University||Virginia Beach, Virginia||Certificate of Graduate Studies in Cybersecurity|
|Regis University||Denver, Colorado||Graduate Cyber Security Certificate|
|Robert Morris University||Moon Township, Pennsylvania||Certificate in Mobile Forensics and Security|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester, New York||Online Advanced Certificate In Cybersecurity|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, Texas||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, Texas||Graduate Certificate in Data Assurance|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, Texas||Graduate Certificate in Digital Investigation|
|SANS Technology Institute||Bethesda, Maryland||Cyber Defense Operations Certificate|
|SANS Technology Institute||Bethesda, Maryland||Cybersecurity Engineering Certificate|
|SANS Technology Institute||Bethesda, Maryland||Incident Response Certificate|
|SANS Technology Institute||Bethesda, Maryland||Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking Certificate|
|SANS Technology Institute||Bethesda, Maryland||Undergraduate Certificate in Applied Cybersecurity|
|St Petersburg College||Clearwater, Florida||Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Stanford University||Stanford, California||Advanced Computer Security Certificate|
|Stanford University||Stanford, California||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security|
|St. Bonaventure University||St. Bonaventure, New York||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, New Jersey||Graduate Certificate in Systems Security Engineering|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, New Jersey||Secure Network Systems Design Graduate Certificate|
|Stevenson University||Stevenson, Maryland||Online Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|Sullivan University||Louisville, Kentucky||Certificate in Cybersecurity Administration|
|Sullivan University||Louisville, Kentucky||Certificate in Network Support Administration and Security|
|Sullivan University||Louisville, Kentucky||Cybersecurity Professional Certificate|
|SUNY Westchester Community College||Valhalla, New York||Cybersecurity Certificate|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, New York||Certificate of Advanced Study in Information Security Management|
|The University of Montana||Missoula, Montana||Cyber Security Professional Certificate|
|The University of West Florida||Pensacola, Florida||Certificate in Intelligence Analysis|
|Troy University||Troy, Alabama||Online Cyber Security Certificate Program|
|Tulane University||New Orleans, Louisiana||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Technology Fundamentals|
|Tulane University||New Orleans, Louisiana||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense|
|Tulane University||New Orleans, Louisiana||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Leadership|
|University of Alaska Southeast||Juneau, Alaska||Healthcare Privacy & Security Certificate|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, Arizona||MISonline – Enterprise Security Certificate|
|University of California-Irvine||Irvine, California||Information Systems Security Certificate Program|
|University of Dallas||Irving, Texas||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|University of Denver||Denver, Colorado||Information System Security Certificate|
|University Of Fairfax||Roanoke, Virginia||Cybersecurity Best Practices (CBP) – CISSP Graduate Certificate|
|University of Fairfax||Roanoke, Virginia||Information Security Professional Practices (ISPP) Graduate Certificates|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, Illinois||Computer Security Certificate|
|University of Louisville||Louisville, Kentucky||Online Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|University of Maine at Fort Kent||Fort Kent, Maine||Information Security- Certificate|
|University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi, Maryland||Certificate in Computer Networking|
|University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi, Maryland||Certificate in Homeland Security Management|
|University of Maryland- University College||Adelphi, Maryland||Certificate in Information Assurance|
|University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi, Maryland||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Policy|
|University of Maryland-University College||Adelphi, Maryland||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Technology|
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||Omaha, Nebraska||Executive Certificate in Cyber & Cyber Security Law|
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||Omaha, Nebraska||Information Assurance (IA) Certificate|
|University of New Haven||West Haven, Connecticut||Certificate in Cybercrime Investigations|
|University of New Haven||West Haven, Connecticut||Certificate in Digital Forensics Investigations|
|University of Phoenix||Phoenix, Arizona||Advanced Cyber Security Certificate (Undergraduate)|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||CAS in Security Assured Information Systems (SAIS)|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Cybersecurity Professional Education Program|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, Policy, and Law|
|University of Rhode Island||Kingston, Rhode Island||Cyber Security Graduate Certificate|
|University of Rhode Island||Kingston, Rhode Island||Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics|
|University of Florida-Main Campus||Tampa, Florida||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity – Awareness and Education|
|University of Florida-Main Campus||Tampa, Florida||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity – Cyber Intelligence|
|University of Florida-Main Campus||Tampa, Florida||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics|
|University of Florida-Main Campus||Tampa, Florida||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity-Information Assurance|
|University of Vermont||Burlington, Vermont||Certificate in Computer Software – Cybersecurity Track|
|University of Virginia||Charlottesville, Virginia||Certificate in Cybersecurity Management|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||Seattle, Washington||Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||Seattle, Washington||Certificate in Ethical Hacking|
|University of Washington, Tacoma Campus||Tacoma, Washington||Certificate in Information Security & Risk Management|
|University of West Georgia||Carrollton, Georgia||Online Certificate – Fundamentals of Computer Forensics|
|University of West Georgia||Carrollton, Georgia||Online Certificate – Fundamentals of Cybersecurity|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||Certificate in Information Systems Security|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||Master Certificate in Information Security Management|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||Master Certificate in Information Security Management – Government Security|
|Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Virginia||Graduate Certificate in Information Security and Analytics|
|Walden University||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Graduate Certificate in Fundamentals of Cyber Security|
|Webster University||Saint Louis, Missouri||Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Threat Detection|
|Wichita State University||Wichita, Kansas||Certificate in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity|
|Worcester Polytechnic College||Worcester, Massachusetts||Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity|
|Wright State University||Celina, Ohio||Cyber Security Analytics Certificate|
|University of Maryland- Global Campus (formerly UMUC)||Adelphi, Maryland||Cybersecurity Technology|
|University of Maryland- Global Campus (formerly UMUC)||Adelphi, Maryland||Cybersecurity Management and Policy|
|PC Age||Jersey City, New Jersey||Certified IT/Cybersecurity|
How to Become a Cryptanalyst: A Complete Career Guide
The Greek terms krypto, which means secret, and graphene, which means writing, are said to have inspired the term cryptography. The earliest known uses of encryption are thought to date back at least 2,500 years, and some say they can be found in 4,000-year-old hieroglyphs.
Cryptography as it is used today is clearly several orders of magnitude different from what was used even a century ago. Using much more involved and sophisticated methods, the research is now being used to secure much more complicated data.
Many who find cryptography interesting, if not inspiring, should learn more about its fascinating past. The Codebreakers, a 1996 book by David Kahn, offers a reasonably detailed history from ancient times to the internet age. The Codes and Ciphers Heritage Trust is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the history of cryptography.
In the twenty-first century, cryptography integrates mathematics, computer science, and engineering to design, create, and analyse methods for concealing sensitive digital information and ensuring security.
To decode the codes, cryptoanalysts must have a deep understanding in all three disciplines, as well as a comprehensive and advanced understanding of current encryption techniques. They are today’s codebreakers.
Cryptanalyst vs. Cryptographer
While the terms cryptanalyst and cryptographer are often interchanged, there is a distinction in the cryptography community.
Cryptographers are code builders, while cryptanalysts are code breakers. In several organisations, positions with the title cryptographer are charged with both creating and breaking codes. The distinction between the two occupations is often blurred, if not entirely erased. However, the distinction is important due to the two types of employers that typically use their services.
Cryptographers can be hired by almost any company that wants to go above and beyond in terms of data security. Cryptographers don’t only stop hackers from breaking into the company’s databases and networks; they also keep hackers from being able to use or understand the data once they’ve gotten into them. They “make” or “build” encryption codes to protect confidential information.
Cryptanalysts, on the other hand, are often used by law enforcement and intelligence services to decrypt encryption codes used by criminals and nefarious government actors. Cryptoanalysts are used by the FBI, NSA, DHS, and CIA to sift through data sent around the world by proven or suspected criminal organisations. Cryptanalysts must be up to date with the most recent cryptographer methods and codes. To “break” these codes, cryptanalysts sift through bits of data and programming code, revealing the cypher keys and restoring the data to its original format.
Four Steps to becoming a Cryptoanalyst
1. Educate yourself It’s always a good idea to begin taking advantage of whatever educational opportunities are available as soon as possible. Outside of college, there are a few options for introductory and intermediate cryptography education and training. For example, the InfoSec Institute’s website includes an introduction to cryptography. Mathematics, computer science, computer engineering, and computer programming are among the best college degrees for careers in cryptography. Where appropriate, coursework should concentrate on different aspects of cybersecurity. Employers who need graduate degrees from cryptographer job applicants are not uncommon, so after a few years of work experience, consider pursuing a master’s degree. A Ph.D. would also be needed by a large number of employers.
2. Training/certifications Despite the fact that cryptography is the oldest method of information security in human history, technical certifications are few and far between. These are the only ones available right now.
3. Career path Cryptography is an extremely specialised field. While it is often mistakenly classified as part of mathematics or computer science rather than cybersecurity, the end aim is to keep data secure. Because of the technological difficulties of becoming a cryptographer or cryptanalyst, it usually takes a few years of work experience to break into the positions, although there are some openings for exceptional college graduates. Additionally, because of the expertise needed to master cryptography, there are several career opportunities outside of cybersecurity. However, cryptanalysts are already more technically advanced than most other disciplines inside the cybersecurity umbrella, so lateral choices may be restricted. Cryptanalysts who invest in a master’s degree, or even a doctorate, can see a significant improvement in their career value. Advanced degrees would require other career changes such as security consultant, college professor, research cryptology scientist, and information security systems engineer, in addition to achieving more senior levels in cryptography.
4. Staying current In almost every area of cybersecurity, staying current on technologies, skills, and expertise is critical to success. The nature of information security is evolving at such a rapid pace that practitioners who do not keep up will quickly become dinosaurs. Trade unions are a perfect way to stay on top of things. These organisations usually have some of the most up-to-date analysis as well as many opportunities to network with other professionals. There are many trade groups open to cryptoanalysts, which is fortunate.
- International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR)
- International Financial Cryptography Association (IFCA)
- American Crypto Association (ACA)
What is a Cryptanalyst?
Cryptoanalysts must be familiar with and understand the systems and networks they are working with in order to decrypt encrypted data. They must also have a thorough understanding of the programming languages and encryption methods used to encrypt the data, as well as the ability to scan code and data bit by bit in order to break the cypher key and reveal the true underlying data. Law enforcement, hacking, and military cybersecurity operations are all clear uses for cryptanalysis. As technology and the skills of those attempting to protect sensitive data, namely cryptographers, evolve at a rapid pace, the cryptanalyst must evolve as well.
Cryptanalyst Skills and Experience
Candidates for cryptoanalysts are often expected to have many years of experience in a related area, such as computer programming or advanced mathematics. Some outstanding college graduates may be able to enter the sector right away after graduation. There are self-contained training programmes for cryptanalysts inside government agencies like the FBI and NSA that take them from total novices to experts in around three years. These FBI and NSA recruitment videos give you a good idea of what the job entails and how these skills are put to use in law enforcement. Given the three-year time frame for intensive training, cryptanalysis is clearly a time-consuming, challenging, and technical ability.
Cryptanalysts deal with confidential information by nature. As a result, many employers will need either a current security clearance or a security investigation, probably including a polygraph test, before hiring anyone.
Other possible conditions for new cryptanalyst hires are listed below.
- Exceptional mathematical skills
- Computer science knowledge, especially network and systems analysis
- Knowledge of a variety of programming languages, including C++, C, Java, and Python, as well as homomorphic encryption and other well-known encryption techniques
- Study of algorithm resource requirements
The following are examples of soft skills that are frequently sought:
- Communication skills that are both written and spoken are important.
- Motivated by oneself
- Dedicated and enthusiastic
What do Cryptanalysts do?
Cybersecurity as a whole is a multi-pronged strategy for preventing outside powers from accessing, obtaining, and exploiting confidential digital data. One part of the security mechanism is cryptography. Even if network or device attacks are successful, confidential or proprietary data that is safely encrypted is useless to whoever obtains it. It’s basically a jumbled, incomprehensible mess.
However, since technology and hackers are continually evolving, a cryptographer’s role requires them to stay on top of all technological capabilities. A cryptographer’s skill set must include computer programming, advanced mathematics, network device software and hardware, and communication protocols.
It’s a never-ending challenge to come up with new methods for data encryption and to keep track of how well those methods are working. Cryptographic solutions must take into account the current architecture and operating environment, as well as potential features and improvements.
Cryptanalyst Job Description
The goals for cryptanalysts in law enforcement, the military, espionage agencies, and other government agencies vary, but the objective is essentially the same. To convert encrypted data back to plain data, crack the encryption codes. Some of the more popular job functions associated with a cryptography specialist are mentioned below.
Outlook for Cryptanalysts
Staffing shortages in the cybersecurity industry are well-known, and cryptoanalysis is no exception. Being a cryptanalyst has a certain spy world appeal that attracts new mathematicians and computer scientists on a regular basis. However, the rapid proliferation of digital methods used in law enforcement and espionage, as well as the relentless evolution and development of computer sciences, is generating new demand for cryptanalysts. And this is unlikely to change in the near future.
There are no job openings for cryptanalysts if you do a basic job scan. This is due to the fact that cryptanalysts in the private sector are often working under different work titles. Cryptanalyst roles are often performed by cryptographers as part of their responsibilities. Job vacancies for cryptanalysts in the public sector, that is, those hired by different government agencies, are seldom advertised on traditional job boards. Since almost all government cryptanalyst positions need high-level security clearances, this is the case. Clearancejobs.com is one website that lists work openings that need a security clearance. To even log into the website, you must have a security clearance. Applying directly to government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, DHS, NSA, and others is probably your best bet for breaking into cryptanalysis.
How Much do Cryptanalysts Make?
For the reasons mentioned above, researching earning data on cryptanalysts is difficult. Federalpay.org, on the other hand, publishes unclassified government job info. In 2018, the FBI hired 18 cryptanalysts, with an average annual salary of over $125,000, according to that site. According to SalaryExpert.com, the average annual salary of cryptanalysts is about $75,000.
Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Hack Says it is Shutting Down Operations
The criminal gang behind the destabilising Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack has announced its closure, but threat analysts suspect the group will resurface under a new name and with new ransomware variants.
Despite massive backlash from the US government and international law enforcement agencies, the DarkSide cybercrime gang appears to be shutting down operations.
The DarkSide ransomware-as-a-service infrastructure, as well as a naming-and-shaming website used by the criminal group to pressure victims during extortion talks, has gone offline, according to several threat hunters monitoring darkweb communications.
Intel471, a security firm that monitors malicious activity on the dark web, claims to have checked a “announcement” from DarkSide that the company will “immediately cease operations” and provide data decryptors to all victims. The group says that an unnamed law enforcement agency disrupted part of its infrastructure in a statement posted in Russian.
According to Intel471, the group’s name-and-shame blog, ransom collection website, and breach data content distribution network (CDN) were all allegedly confiscated, and funds from their cryptocurrency wallets were allegedly exfiltrated.
The DarkSide announcement, which claims the offenders “lost access to their resources, including their blog, payment, and CDN servers and will be closing their operation,” was also seen by FireEye researchers.
The post cited law enforcement pressure and pressure from the United States for this decision. @Mandiant has not independently validated these claims and there is some speculation by other actors that this could be an exit scam. (3/3)
— FireEye (@FireEye) May 14, 2021
FireEye, on the other hand, states that it has not independently checked the claims and warns that it may be part of a “escape scam.”
In the past, cybercriminal groups have shut down activities in reaction to law enforcement action, only to reopen under a new name and with new online infrastructure.
The status of live, continuing talks on ransomware payments and data decryption tools is another possible complication with a DarkSide shutdown. “A large number of tainted businesses are in contact with these [Darkside affiliates].” According to a source monitoring the ransomware outbreak, “if they go dark, it might really hinder recovery attempts all over the world.”
Intel471 claims to have seen rival ransomware-as-a-service gangs go silent, but warns that, like FireEye, ransomware extortion attacks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“It’s more likely that these ransomware creators are attempting to flee the spotlight than they are unexpectedly realising their mistakes. According to the firm, “a number of the operators will most likely operate in their own closed-knit communities, resurfacing under new names and revamped ransomware variants.”
Intel471 claims that the operators will devise new methods for “washing” the cryptocurrency they receive from ransom payments.
Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom to the DarkSide cybergang, according to news of the alleged shutdown.
The ransomware used in the Colonial Pipeline attack, according to threat intelligence firm Flashpoint, is a version of the infamous REvil ransomware, with moderate trust based on code analysis.
Separately, a Chainalysis analysis of ransomware transactions discovered that 15% of all extortion payments posed a danger of sanctions breaches in the United States.
FSS and Zwipe to offer next-generation contactless cards globally
FSS (Financial Software and Systems), a leading global provider of integrated payment products and a payment processor, is to collaborate with Zwipe to bring next-generation contactless payment cards to issuers globally. Zwipe is a payment FinTech recognized for having pioneered the development of biometric payments and has delivered many successful pilots around the world.
FSS is among the leading providers of card issuance products globally and its card portfolio consists of 800 plus million payment cards for Tier One banks and payment processors. The organizations will be working together closely, offering greater value to customers by combining FSS’s Unified Issuance Platform and Zwipe Pay One biometric card capabilities, supported by Zwipe’s fast-growing global network of card manufacturing partners.
The widespread adoption of contactless payment cards has been a huge success in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of contactless payments even further as consumers demand a safe, contact-free transacting environment. However, the lack of cardholder authentication with contactless cards translates into usage is restricted to relatively small and medium value payments, hampering the ability to deliver a fully contact-free experience for all payment values. The response to this is the biometric payment card that fully enables contact-free transactions while boosting confidence and security for consumers, retailers and issuers.
Commenting on the partnership K Srinivasan, Chief Operating Officer, FSS PayTech, said “Biometric payment cards will bring strong differentiation and value uplift to our card issuance and management offerings. Our collaboration with Zwipe will help our issuer clients to deliver a completely touchless and PIN-free check out experience, better in-store payments hygiene and much stronger cardholder security. Needless to say, now more than ever, innovation can play a critical role within the context of the global pandemic which makes it even more important to bring solutions such as this quickly to our customers. Zwipe Pay ONE is recognized as the most advanced (Gen3) biometric payment technology and complements FSS’ innovative card portfolio. It will be made available to our clients for piloting and deployment from H2 2021”.
As part of this collaboration, FSS will offer Zwipe Pay ONE biometric payment cards globally. The initial focus will be in those markets where contactless is bringing considerable benefits in the area of financial inclusion as seen in Canada, India and a number of countries within Europe, Middle East (GCC countries) and Africa. Both partners will start engaging with issuers from Q2 2021 and aim for starting pilots from 2H 2021.
“We are humbled and proud to partner with FSS, one of the most respected and global providers of payment services. This is a landmark alliance for Zwipe and will significantly accelerate our growth globally, most notably in Asia, the world’s largest payment market,” said André Løvestam, CEO of Zwipe.
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