Honors cybersecurity course to launch at West Orange High School

WEST ORANGE, NJ — An honors class on cybersecurity has been added to the West Orange High School curriculum for students in grades 10 through 12 and will begin in September.

The course was added to the state-approved CTE Cisco Networking Program following extensive research determining the increased demand for cybersecurity professionals. Several colleges and universities now offer degrees in cybersecurity as well.

Through a dual-credit partnership with Fairleigh Dickinson’s Middle College Program, students may be able to earn three college credits for the year-long course. Students are required to maintain a specific grade and there is a fee involved.

Course objectives include: teaching students how to monitor, detect and respond to cybersecurity threats; and learning cryptography, host-based security analysis, security monitoring, computer forensics, attack methods, and incident reporting and handling.

Students will gain hands-on experience in detecting and protecting networks from outside threats, and learn how to use the Windows operating system, Linux operating system and virtual machines to analyze cybersecurity threats.

Some of the technology tools used in the course include SQL queries to search and analyze network intrusion data, and network monitoring tools to identify attacks against network services. The students will also learn how to use Oracle’s VirtualBox and several virtual machines, such as CyberOps Workstation VM, Kali, Metasploitable and Security Onion. The honors cybersecurity course aligns with the Cisco Certified Network Associate Cyber Ops Certification.

The CTE Cisco Networking Program at WOHS consists of IT essentials, honors Cisco I and II and the addition of the honors cybersecurity. IT essentials is offered as a foundation course beginning in ninth grade; this year-long, five-credit course is recommended for students who have an interest in networking and cybersecurity, but only have an introductory knowledge of computers, networking and security. The objective of the honors Cisco I and II courses is to teach students how to build local area networks and wireless local area networks; the students learn IP addressing schemes, foundational network security, and how to configure Cisco routers and switches. For each of these courses, the students are given an opportunity to take a NOCTI exam, which gives students the opportunity to earn college credits.  

For more information, contact supervisor of career education and library science Nancy Mullin at nmullin@westorangeschools.org or 973-669-5301, ext. 20560.