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RULE §127.769Foundations of Cybersecurity (One Credit)

(a) General requirements. Students shall be awarded one credit for successful completion of this course. This course is recommended for students in Grades 9-12.

(b) Introduction.

  (1) Career and technical education instruction provides content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills for students to further their education and succeed in current or emerging professions.

  (2) The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Career Cluster focuses on planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services, including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.

  (3) Cybersecurity is an evolving discipline concerned with safeguarding computers, networks, programs, and data from unauthorized access. As a field, it has gained prominence with the emergence of a globally-connected society. As computing has become more sophisticated, so too have the abilities of malicious agents looking to penetrate networks and seize private information. By evaluating prior incidents, cybersecurity professionals have the ability to craft appropriate responses to minimize disruptions to corporations, governments, and individuals.

  (4) In the Foundations of Cybersecurity course, students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to explore fundamental concepts related to the ethics, laws, and operations of cybersecurity. Students will examine trends and operations of cyberattacks, threats, and vulnerabilities. Students will review and explore security policies designed to mitigate risks. The skills obtained in this course prepare students for additional study in cybersecurity. A variety of courses are available to students interested in this field. Foundations of Cybersecurity may serve as an introductory course in this field of study.

  (5) Students are encouraged to participate in extended learning experiences such as career and technical student organizations and other leadership or extracurricular organizations.

  (6) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) Employability skills. The student demonstrates necessary skills for career development and successful completion of course outcomes. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify and demonstrate employable work behaviors such as regular attendance, punctuality, maintenance of a professional work environment, and effective written and verbal communication;

    (B) identify and demonstrate positive personal qualities such as authenticity, resilience, initiative, and a willingness to learn new knowledge and skills;

    (C) solve problems and think critically;

    (D) demonstrate leadership skills and function effectively as a team member; and

    (E) demonstrate an understanding of ethical and legal responsibilities in relation to the field of cybersecurity.

  (2) Employability skills. The student identifies various employment opportunities and requirements in the cybersecurity field. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify job and internship opportunities as well as accompanying duties and tasks;

    (B) research careers in cybersecurity and information assurance along with the education and job skills required for obtaining a job in both the public and private sectors;

    (C) identify and discuss certifications for cybersecurity-related careers; and

    (D) research and develop resumes, digital portfolios, or professional profiles in the cybersecurity field.

  (3) Ethics and laws. The student understands ethical and current legal standards, rights and restrictions governing technology, technology systems, digital media, and the use of social media. The student is expected to:

    (A) demonstrate and advocate for ethical and legal behaviors both online and offline among peers, family, community, and employers;

    (B) research local, state, national, and international cyber law such as the PATRIOT Act of 2001, General Data Protection Regulation, and Digital Millennium Copyright Act;

    (C) research historic cases or events regarding cyber;

    (D) demonstrate an understanding of ethical and legal behavior when presented with various scenarios related to cyber activities;

    (E) define and identify techniques such as hacking, phishing, social engineering, online piracy, spoofing, and data vandalism; and

    (F) identify and use appropriate methods for citing sources.

  (4) Ethics and laws. The student identifies the consequences of ethical versus malicious hacking. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify motivations for hacking;

    (B) identify and describe the impact of cyberattacks on the global community, society, and individuals;

    (C) distinguish between a cyber attacker and a cyber defender;

    (D) differentiate types of hackers such as black hats, white hats, and gray hats;

    (E) determine possible outcomes and legal ramifications of ethical versus malicious hacking practices; and

    (F) debate the varying perspectives of ethical versus malicious hacking.

  (5) Ethics and laws. The student identifies and defines cyberterrorism and counterterrorism. The student is expected to:

    (A) define cyberterrorism, state-sponsored cyberterrorism, and hacktivism;

    (B) compare and contrast physical terrorism and cyberterrorism, including domestic and foreign actors;

    (C) define and explain intelligence gathering and counterterrorism;

    (D) identify the role of cyber defenders in protecting national interests and corporations;

    (E) identify the role of cyber defense in society and the global economy; and

    (F) explain the importance of protecting public infrastructures such as electrical power grids, water systems, pipelines, transportation, and nuclear plants.

  (6) Digital citizenship. The student understands and demonstrates the social responsibility of end users regarding significant issues related to digital technology, digital hygiene, and cyberbullying. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify and understand the nature and value of privacy;

    (B) analyze the positive and negative implications of a digital footprint and the maintenance and monitoring of an online presence;

    (C) discuss the role and impact of technology on privacy;

    (D) identify the signs, emotional effects, and legal consequences of cyberbullying and cyberstalking; and

    (E) identify and discuss effective ways to prevent, deter, and report cyberbullying.

  (7) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands basic cybersecurity concepts and definitions. The student is expected to:

    (A) define information security and cyber defense;

    (B) identify basic risk management and risk assessment principles related to cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities;

    (C) explain the fundamental concepts of confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, and authorization;

    (D) describe the inverse relationship between privacy and security;

    (E) identify and analyze cybersecurity breaches and incident responses;

    (F) identify and analyze security concerns in areas such as physical, network, cloud, and web;

    (G) define and discuss challenges faced by cybersecurity professionals;

    (H) identify common risks, alerts, and warning signs of compromised computer and network systems;

    (I) understand and explore the vulnerability of network-connected devices; and

    (J) use appropriate cybersecurity terminology.

  (8) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands and explains various types of malicious software (malware). The student is expected to:

    (A) define malware, including spyware, ransomware, viruses, and rootkits;

    (B) identify the transmission and function of malware such as Trojans, worms, and viruses;

    (C) discuss the impact malware has had on the cybersecurity landscape;

    (D) explain the role of reverse engineering for detecting malware and viruses;

    (E) compare free and commercial antivirus software alternatives; and

    (F) compare free and commercial anti-malware software alternatives.

  (9) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands and demonstrates knowledge of techniques and strategies to prevent a system from being compromised. The student is expected to:

    (A) define system hardening;

    (B) demonstrate basic use of system administration privileges;

    (C) explain the importance of patching operating systems;

    (D) explain the importance of software updates;

    (E) describe standard practices to configure system services;

    (F) explain the importance of backup files; and

    (G) research and understand standard practices for securing computers, networks, and operating systems.

  (10) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands basic network operations. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify basic network addressing and devices, including switches and routers;

    (B) analyze incoming and outgoing rules for traffic passing through a firewall;

    (C) identify well known ports by number and service provided, including port 22 (ssh), port 80 (http), and port 443 (https);

    (D) identify commonly exploited ports and services, including ports 20 and 21 (ftp) and port 23 (telnet); and

    (E) identify common tools for monitoring ports and network traffic.

  (11) Cybersecurity skills. The student identifies standard practices of system administration. The student is expected to:

    (A) define what constitutes a secure password;

    (B) create a secure password policy, including length, complexity, account lockout, and rotation;

    (C) identify methods of password cracking such as brute force and dictionary attacks; and

    (D) examine and configure security options to allow and restrict access based on user roles.

  (12) Cybersecurity skills. The student demonstrates necessary steps to maintain user access on the computer system. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify the different types of user accounts and groups on an operating system;

    (B) explain the fundamental concepts and standard practices related to access control, including authentication, authorization, and accounting;

    (C) compare methods for single- and dual-factor authentication such as passwords, biometrics, personal identification numbers (PINs), and security tokens;

    (D) define and explain the purpose of an air-gapped computer; and

    (E) explain how hashes and checksums may be used to validate the integrity of transferred data.

  (13) Cybersecurity skills. The student explores the field of digital forensics. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain the importance of digital forensics to law enforcement, government agencies, and corporations;

    (B) identify the role of chain of custody in digital forensics;

    (C) explain the four steps of the forensics process, including collection, examination, analysis, and reporting;

    (D) identify when a digital forensics investigation is necessary;

    (E) identify information that can be recovered from digital forensics investigations such as metadata and event logs; and

    (F) analyze the purpose of event logs and identify suspicious activity.

  (14) Cybersecurity skills. The student explores the operations of cryptography. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain the purpose of cryptography and encrypting data;

    (B) research historical uses of cryptography; and

    (C) review simple cryptography methods such as shift cipher and substitution cipher.

  (15) Risk assessment. The student understands information security vulnerabilities, threats, and computer attacks. The student is expected to:

    (A) define and describe vulnerability, payload, exploit, port scanning, and packet sniffing as they relate to hacking;

    (B) define and describe cyberattacks, including man-in-the-middle, distributed denial of service, and spoofing;

    (C) explain how computer vulnerabilities leave systems open to cyberattacks;

    (D) identify threats to systems such as back-door attacks and insider threats;

    (E) differentiate types of social engineering attacks such as phishing, shoulder surfing, hoaxes, and dumpster diving;


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