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RULE §127.794Cybersecurity Capstone (One Credit), Adopted 2022

(a) Implementation. The provisions of this section shall be implemented by school districts beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.

  (1) No later than August 1, 2023, the commissioner of education shall determine whether instructional materials funding has been made available to Texas public schools for materials that cover the essential knowledge and skills identified in this section.

  (2) If the commissioner makes the determination that instructional materials funding has been made available this section shall be implemented beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and apply to the 2023-2024 and subsequent school years.

  (3) If the commissioner does not make the determination that instructional materials funding has been made available under this subsection, the commissioner shall determine no later than August 1 of each subsequent school year whether instructional materials funding has been made available. If the commissioner determines that instructional materials funding has been made available, the commissioner shall notify the State Board of Education and school districts that this section shall be implemented for the following school year.

(b) General requirements. This course is recommended for students in Grades 11 and 12. Prerequisite: Foundations of Cybersecurity. Students shall be awarded one credit for successful completion of this course.

(c) Introduction.

  (1) Career and technical education instruction provides content aligned with challenging academic standards, industry relevant technical knowledge, and college and career readiness skills for students to further their education and succeed in current and emerging foundations.

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

  (3) Cybersecurity is a critical discipline concerned with safeguarding computers, networks, programs, and data from unauthorized access. As a field, it has gained prominence with the expansion of a globally connected society. As computing has become more sophisticated, so too have the abilities of adversaries looking to penetrate networks and access sensitive information. Cybersecurity professionals prevent, detect, and respond to minimize disruptions to governments, organizations, and individuals.

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

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

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

    (A) develop a personal career plan along with the education, job skills, and experience necessary to achieve career goals;

    (B) develop a resume or a portfolio appropriate to a chosen career plan; and

    (C) demonstrate interview skills for successful job placement.

  (3) Ethics and laws. The student evaluates ethical and current legal standards, rights, and restrictions governing technology, technology systems, digital media and information technology, and the use of social media in the context of today's society. The student is expected to:

    (A) analyze and apply to a scenario local, state, national, and international cybersecurity laws such as David's Law and Digital Millennium Copyright Act;

    (B) evaluate noteworthy incidents or events regarding cybersecurity; and

    (C) evaluate compliance requirements such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

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

    (A) debate the relationship between privacy and security; and

    (B) differentiate between ethical and unethical behavior when presented with various scenarios related to cybersecurity activities.

  (5) Cybersecurity skills. The student simulates the process of penetration testing. The student is expected to:

    (A) illustrate the phases of penetration testing, including plan, discover, attack, and report;

    (B) design a plan to gain authorization for penetration testing;

    (C) evaluate commonly used vulnerability scanning tools such as port scanning, packet sniffing, and password crackers;

    (D) develop a list of exploits based on results of scanning tool reports; and

    (E) prioritize a list of mitigations based on results of scanning tool reports.

  (6) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands common cryptographic methods. The student is expected to:

    (A) evaluate symmetric and asymmetric algorithms such as substitution cipher, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Diffie-Hellman, and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA);

    (B) interpret the purpose of hashing algorithms, including blockchain;

    (C) demonstrate password salting;

    (D) explain and create a digital signature; and

    (E) illustrate steganography.

  (7) Cybersecurity skills. The student understands the concept of system defense. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain the purpose of establishing system baselines;

    (B) evaluate the role of physical security;

    (C) evaluate the functions of network security devices such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), intrusion detection prevention systems (IDPS), and security information and event management (SIEM) systems;

    (D) analyze log files for anomalies; and

    (E) develop a plan demonstrating the concept of defense in depth.

  (8) Cybersecurity skills. The student demonstrates an understanding of secure network design. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain the benefits of network segmentation, including sandboxes, air gaps, and virtual local area networks (VLAN);

    (B) investigate and discuss the role of software-managed networks, including virtualization and cloud architecture;

    (C) evaluate the role of honeypots and honeynets in networks; and

    (D) create an incoming and outgoing network policy for a firewall.

  (9) Cybersecurity skills. The student integrates principles of digital forensics. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify cyberattacks by their signatures, indicators, or patterns;

    (B) explain proper data acquisition;

    (C) examine evidence from devices for suspicious activities; and


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