Master of Science [M.Sc] (Cyber Security) From Khalifa University
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Master of Science [M.Sc] (Cyber Security)

Khalifa University

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Program Overview

The degree of Master of Science in Cyber Security is awarded for successfully completing the requirements of a program of study, which includes taught courses as well as thesis. The thesis is an independent investigation of specialized areas within the general field of cyber- and information security and associated disciplines.
 

The MSc in Cyber Security gives candidates the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the broad field of Cyber Security and contribute to the process of discovery and knowledge creation through the conduct of original research. Candidates for this degree are taught and supervised by experienced faculty and are expected to demonstrate initiative in their approach and innovation in their work. In addition to successfully completing the taught course component of the program, candidates prepare and present a thesis on their chosen area. Research may be undertaken in several topics corresponding to the areas of focus identified by the University.

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  Location

Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

DurationIcon
  Course Duration

24 Months

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  Tuition Fee

AED 89,181

 Score

IELTS: 6.5 GRE: 300 TOEFL: 91

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Overall Structure and Requirements
 

The MSc in Cyber Security program consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours. The required program credits are distributed as follows: 12 credits of Program Core courses, 12 credits of Program Elective courses, and 12 credits of Cyber-Security Master’s Thesis work.  The table below presents a summary of the MSc in Cyber Security degree program structure and requirements.  All the MSc in Cyber Security program courses, with the exception of the Research Seminar and the Master’s Thesis, have a credit rating of three credits each.
 

Summary of MSc in Cyber-Security Degree Program Structure and Requirements
 

Category

Credits Required

Program Core

12

Program Electives

12

Cyber-Security Master’s Thesis

12

Total

36

 

 

Students seeking the degree of MSc in Cyber Security must successfully complete a minimum of 36 credited hours as specified in the categories detailed in this section, with a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0.
 

The MSc in Cyber Security degree program core requires a minimum of 12 credits of Cyber Security courses and a research seminar course (ENGR 695) which has zero credit rating.  The courses are specified below.
 

  • Core Courses (9 credits):

    • CSEC 601 Cyber Physical Systems Security

    • CSEC 602 Modern Cryptography

    • CSEC 603 Secure Software Systems Engineering

    • CSEC 604 Cyber-security Threats and Mitigation
       

  • ENGR 695 Seminar in Research Methods (0 credits)

    Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of electives. 
     

  • CSEC 615 Cloud and Mobile Digital Forensics

  • CSEC 618 Wireless Network and Mobile Security

  • CSEC 620 Social Engineering and Human Hacking

  • CSEC 621 Hardware and System Architecture Security

  • CSEC 622 Penetration Testing

  • COSC/CSEC 638 Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Cyber Security

  • CSEC 640 Financial Cyber Security

  • CSEC 694 Selected Topics in Cyber Security
     

    The MSc in CSEC program is targeted for students with diverse backgrounds, including graduates of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Communication Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, or other pertinent specializations. Candidates for admission to MSc in CSEC should have basic competences in (i) computer systems, (ii) cryptography and (iii) information security.  These competences are provided by the following undergraduate courses held at KU (i) ECCE 354 (Operating Systems), (ii) COSC 405 (Cryptography) and COSC 408 (Blockchain Engineering) and (iii) COSC 409 (Security Protocols and Advanced Cryptography Applications). Students who do not have the required background in such topics will be advised and required to take some of the said courses on remedial basis. Courses taken on remedial basis will not count towards the credit requirements of the MSc CSEC program and will not affect the CGPA of the student.
     

    Master’s Thesis
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    CSEC 699 Master’s Thesis (12 credits)

    A student must complete a master’s thesis that involves creative, research-oriented work within the broad field of Cyber Security, under the direct supervision of at least one full-time faculty advisor.  The research findings must be documented in a formal thesis and defended successfully in a viva voce examination. 
     

    CSEC 601 Cyber Physical Systems Security (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: Undergraduate knowledge of information security.

    This course provides working knowledge of the security issues relating to various cyber-physical systems including industrial control systems and critical infrastructure systems. The course starts with the foundations of Cyber Physical System (CPS) Security, starting with Industrial network architectures, industrial control systems and operations. It deals with techniques for securing and protecting privacy in Cyber Physical Systems.

     

    CSEC 602 Modern Cryptography (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: Undergraduate knowledge of cryptography.

    This course investigates advanced topics in cryptography. It will cover number theory and basic theory of Galois fields used in cryptography; history of primality algorithms and the polynomial-time test of primality; discrete logarithm based cryptosystems including those based on elliptic curves; interactive protocols including the role of zero-knowledge proofs in authentication; construction of untraceable electronic cash on the net; and post-quantum cryptography. Other topics include digital watermarking, hashing, fingerprinting, and steganography.

     

    CSEC 603 Secure Software Systems Engineering (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: Undergraduate knowledge of information security.

    The course covers the security problem in software system engineering. It deals with the rise of software system security, software security measures, and open-source applications and secure software system development lifecycle. Also, the course focuses on code review tools, software systems architectural risk analysis, building knowledge of software systems security and taxonomy of coding errors.

     

    CSEC 604 Cybersecurity Threats and Mitigation (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 601 Cyber Physical System Security.

    The course covers Cyber Security attacks, defense and mitigation technologies such as advanced malware protection, spam filtering, network analysis, and patching, providing students with a deep understanding of the cyber security processes. The course includes extensive hands-on practice using cyber-range facilities.

     

    CSEC 615 Cloud and Mobile Digital Forensics (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 602 Modern Cryptography.

    Co-Requisites: CSEC 632 Advanced Operating Systems. The course deals with advanced techniques for forensics in virtualized and mobile environments. It focuses on physical and touchless analysis of mobile devices, including different types of UAVs, and on identifying traces and remnants in cloud-based applications.

     

    CSEC 618 Wireless Networks and Mobile Security (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 601 Cyber-Physical Systems Security and CSEC 602 Modern Cryptography.

    The course deals with the threat landscape and the attacks affecting wireless and mobile communication, focusing on WLAN and 5G protocol stacks. It studies security controls used to mitigate such threats and achieve confidentiality, integrity and authenticity in mobile communications.

     

    CSEC 620 Social Engineering and Human Hacking (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 601 Cyber Physical Systems Security.

    This course deals with social engineering techniques underlying phishing and insider security attacks. Social engineering is a security attack vector that uses human factors and interactions in order to manipulate humans to help breaking normal system security procedures and best practices. Social engineering is used in many cyber security attacks as it is often easier to exploit users’ weaknesses than it is to find a software, hardware, or network vulnerability. The content of this course exposes students to a comprehensive coverage of the various social security engineering attacks and countermeasures.

     

    CSEC 621 Hardware and System Architecture Security (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 602 Modern Cryptography.

    This course provides the student with a good understanding of hardware and system architecture Security: hardware system architecture security. Topics include: Bus security and integrated networks, Memory Security, Side Channel Analysis, Fault Analysis, Physical unclonable functions, Physical Isolation and the Red/Black Architecture.

     

    CSEC 622 Penetration Testing (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 601 Cyber-Physical Systems Security.

    This course provides the student with a good understanding of Penetration Testing (also referred to as Ethical Hacking). The course covers all aspects of the subject from ethics to social engineering and then the methodologies and tools and techniques that can be used. The course also addresses the capture of malicious software and the reporting of the results.

     

    CSEC 638 Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Cyber Security / Cross-Listed with COSC 638 (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in artificial intelligence.

    This course provides student with a basic understanding of cyber security techniques incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. Also, it outlines security and privacy issues of those systems.

     

    CSEC 640 Financial Cyber Security (3-0-3)

    Prerequisites: CSEC 601 Cyber Physical Systems Security.

    The course examines techniques to achieve security of financial systems within companies, with special reference to bank and finance organizations. Students analyze financial systems breaches, and learn common threats and frauds specifically related to financial systems. Several methods of cyber security risk assessment are explored, as well as the design of risk alleviation strategies, including choosing and designing technical and process security controls for fintech. Students analyze financial services industry regulation and discuss bank and finance compliance requirements.

     

    CSEC 694 Selected Topics in Information Security (3-0-3)

    Prerequisite: Will be specified according to the particular topics offered under this course number.

    This course covers selected contemporary topics in Cyber Security. The topics will vary from semester to semester depending on faculty availability and student interests. Proposed course descriptions are considered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Science on an ad hoc basis and the course will be offered according to demand. The proposed course content will need to be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The Course may be repeated once with change of contents to earn a maximum of 6 credit hours.

     

    CSEC 699 Master’s Thesis (minimum 12 credit hours)

    Co-requisite: ENGR 695 Seminar in Research Methods, approval of the Department Chair and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

    In the Master’s Thesis, the student is required to independently conduct original research-oriented work related to important Cyber Security problems under the direct supervision of a main advisor, who must be a full-time faculty in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and at least one other full-time faculty who acts as co-advisor. The outcome of the research should demonstrate the synthesis of information into knowledge in a form that may be used by others and lead to publications in suitable reputable journals/conferences. The student’s research findings must be documented in a formal thesis and defended through a viva voce examination. The student must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours of Master’s Thesis.

     

 

  • Students must complete a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0, or equivalent.

  • Students must submit the English Language Proficiency Test Score.

  • Students with insufficient prior background in the chosen Master’s program may be considered for conditional admission, but will be assigned undergraduate and/or graduate courses and/or specially tailored remedial courses as specified by the relevant program.

A master’s degree in Cyber Security from Khalifa University helps open many career opportunities for future success. The field of cyber security is broad, therefore, graduates should have plenty of career opportunities to choose from both locally and internationally. These include network security, security management, digital forensics, ethical hacking, and penetration testing. The wide range of industries that utilize cyber security engineers include, information and communication technology, government entities, banking/finance, oil and gas, healthcare, power generation and distribution, and transportation. The MSc in CSEC program at Khalifa University offers the student an excellent opportunity for interdisciplinary education, which will help them fulfil the requirement of these career paths. Graduates also go through rigorous training and research experience to enable them to pursue their studies at PhD level.

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