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A Multi-Tier Approach to Cyber Security Education, Training, and Awareness in the Undergraduate Curriculum (CSETA)

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Curriculum & Student Enrollment I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.72.1 - 24.72.9



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Paper Authors


Nikunja Swain P.E. South Carolina State University

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Dr. Swain is currently a Professor at the South Carolina State University. Dr. Swain has 25+ years of experience as an engineer and educator. He has more than 50 publications in journals and conference proceedings, has procured research and development grants from the NSF, NASA, DOT, DOD, and DOE and reviewed number of books on computer related areas. He is also a reviewer for ACM Computing Reviews, IJAMT, CIT, ASEE, and other conferences and journals. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in South Carolina and ETAC of ABET reviewer for Electrical Engineering Technology and Computer Engineering Technology.

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A Multi-Tier Approach to Cyber Security Education, Training, and Awareness in theUndergraduate Curriculum (CSETA)Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become increasingly important forUS citizens, who are becoming dependent on the use of information networks and services intheir daily lives. Yet, while uptake of new technology among citizens is high, a large portion ofthe population remains unaware of their exposure to risks from security breaches and “cyber-abuse” in the form of network disruptions, malicious code, criminality and hackings, as well ashardware and software failures. There is an urgent need for the development and implementationof awareness-raising campaigns targeted at safe and responsible use of ICT.The demand for cyber security experts in both the public and private sectors is far outpacing thedevelopment of the talent pool, making for a hyper-competitive labor market. Against everevolving cyber-threats the need to graduate students skilled in the concepts and technologies ofcyber security is becoming a critical responsibility of academic institutions in order to helppreserve the sovereignty of the US and her allies. Universities are only beginning to catch up.Security programs, security tracks and certificates in information security exist, but often thesecourses are available only for computer science majors or majors in computer related disciplines.Breaches in cyber infrastructure impact everyone, not just computing professionals. It is crucialthat more undergraduate majors receive education and training that deepens their conceptual andpractical understanding of issues in cyber security. In addition to educating computerprofessionals, undergraduate students of all disciplines should have the opportunity to beexposed to issues regarding computer security. Improving user responsibility is a desirable andachievable goal. Security awareness training is also critical for the future workforce. Roughlytwo-thirds of security practitioners indicate that their organization does not invest enough insecurity awareness training. Professionals in the field consider it imperative for academicinstitutions to increase course development in computer security to make students bothknowledgeable and technologically prepared for future challenges in this field.As a result, we should all recognize the importance of cyber security in the undergraduatecurriculum. Our graduates must have security skills in addition to communication, criticalthinking and analytical skills. This additional skill will offer our majors the opportunity to extendthe security focus beyond the department, to raise awareness outside of the computer sciencecommunity, and provide a path for further studies and employment in cyber security. Theobjective of this paper is to discuss these activities.

Swain, N. (2014, June), A Multi-Tier Approach to Cyber Security Education, Training, and Awareness in the Undergraduate Curriculum (CSETA) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19964

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