Cyber Up! Digital Forensics and Incident Response Project
Predominantly, cybersecurity education focuses on theory and skills to build secure programs, networks, and systems, but in the event of a cyberattack, when security is breached, theories and models are not enough. To increase national security for the U.S. and meet its workforce needs, cybersecurity education must develop new knowledge and skills. To address this need, the Cyber Up! Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) project at Coastline Community College in California will research, create, adapt, adopt, and implement a suite of course content that supports a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate of Science degree. As a Center for Academic Excellence-Two Year (CAE2Y), the implementation of DFIR has the potential to be transformative, bringing about needed and important change to U.S. education and security. Thus, the program expects to increase the availability and readiness of qualified cybersecurity technicians in the U.S. workforce, resulting in greater global competitiveness for the U.S. economy and increased national security. A comprehensive project evaluation will measure the DFIR program's effectiveness, which will in turn support adaptation and replication by other institutions.
The project will focus on the development of curricula that will teach students and professionals the cybersecurity knowledge and skills of digital forensics and incident response, which need to be deployed in real-time and are dynamic to changing situations during and in response to cyberattacks. Through the DFIR program, the project intends to create adoptable educational resources; form academic, government, and industry partnerships; and prepare qualified cybersecurity technicians and professionals for entry into, or advancement within, the U.S. workforce. The DFIR distance education modalities will be designed for a national reach and assist in preparing students for successful employment. It will work towards providing cybersecurity advancement through its various modalities since the content, courses, certificate, and degree will all be available online. The project will also develop virtual labs and faculty resources. The DFIR program will aim to reach educators, institutions, and diverse populations with important new knowledge and skills in digital forensics and incident response. Faculty development will provide educators new knowledge and enhance their abilities in these new technological and pedagogical skill-sets, leading to enriched educational structures at the institution. Because of the adoptable, modular content, other institutions can benefit through adoption into their programs, creating pathways to greater skills and knowledge for students and professionals. Increasing skills and knowledge in diverse and underrepresented populations in cybersecurity will help to assure increased participation of women, minorities, and special populations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and in the STEM workforce. Thus, the program will strive to generate important new knowledge and skills to share with students, professionals, and the academic community.