New ISI curriculum will soon be available online for community colleges and more

September 9, 2019

The Information Security Institute (ISI) has developed a series of online video presentations that will introduce students to a broad range of topics in cybersecurity. The course is targeted toward students enrolled in community colleges and will be made available at no cost to any educational institution that wants it. The course was funded by a grant from the Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE), a joint program from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Johns Hopkins University has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by NSA since 2003.

The presentations will expose students to a range of topics in the field of cybersecurity in four main subject areas: Offensive Security and Forensics, Internet of Things, Cryptography, and Blockchain. Each of the areas contain three to four video lectures from ISI faculty, staff, and students. Instructors include Assistant Professors Matthew Green, Abhishek Jain, and Lecturers Lanier Watkins and Timothy Leschke.

The curriculum was developed as a continuation of a previous collaboration between ISI and Hagerstown Community College (HCC). For three years ISI faculty, staff, and students participated in a similar lecture series held at HCC in the fall semester.  The lectures at HCC covered a broad range of topics and were delivered either in-person or via teleconference.  The lecturers focused on their area of expertise or on their research.

“Outreach is a strong component of ISI’s mission,” said Anton Dahbura, ISI’s Executive Director. “We believe strongly in taking the message to people who are just starting their careers that cybersecurity has countless exciting technical and societal challenges that are waiting to be tackled by our best and brightest.  We’re thankful to the CAE program for sharing our vision and supporting our project.”

“This distributable course aims to expose many more students to a similar range of topics.  The course was designed to be uses in a few ways,” said ISI Senior Security Engineer Joseph Carrigan. “First, it may be used as a complete course that community colleges could offer over the course of a semester to introduce students to the broad range of topics in cybersecurity. Along with each lecture there are multiple assignments and lab activities that instructors could use to develop homework assignments or tests if they wish,” said Carrigan. Each lecture also comes with a set of notes for the instructor to prep them for delivering the lecture.

The curriculum is designed to be used in a more modular format. Schools could use as many or as few of the lectures they desire, however, some lectures do have other lectures in the course are prerequisites.  The course may also be suitable for advanced high school students or for high school students who are part of a cybersecurity club.

The course will be made available in October to coincide with national cybersecurity month.  For information on how to access the course, please contact Joe Carrigan at

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