School of Computer Sciences

Cyber Security

Program Details

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Campus Availability: Macomb
  • Minor: Macomb
  • Study Opportunities: GradTrac and Honors
  • Graduate Degree: No

Like all of Western Illinois University’s programs, studies in Cyber Security are based on the broad educational foundation built during your freshman and sophomore years. General Education courses account for approximately one-third of the credit hours required for the degree and include courses in writing, speaking, the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, mathematics, and health sciences.

When people exchange e-mail with business colleagues, search a library database using a web browser on a personal computer, connect to a wireless router in a hotel or classroom, talk to family and friends on a cell phone, make a charge card purchase in a store or at the gas pump, or just surf the Internet from home, they are utilizing network systems and services. The advancement of network technology has transformed the way and speed with which individuals communicate and exchange information. Indeed, the use of network systems and services has profoundly changed our lives.

You will find the Cyber Security program rewarding and challenging. The objective of the Cyber Security curriculum is to provide students with the theory, tools, technical expertise, and management know-how required to be successful in planning, designing, and managing a network environment.

Your program in Cyber Security will consist of the following core courses: Principles I and II (with the language JAVA), Computer Organization, Data Structures, Local Area Network Management, Wide Area Network Management, Security, Network Performance Analysis, and Distributed Systems. Upon completion of the majority of the core classes, students advance into areas of Web Technologies; Advanced Security; E-Commerce; Unix; Database Systems; and Ethical, Social, and Legal Issues in the Digital World.

Students have the opportunity to take courses in Business Communications, Telecommunications Planning and Management, and Public Administration. Additional courses in mathematics statistics, English, and information systems and decision sciences may be required to complement the students’ special interests and career goals..

A minor area is required for the Cyber Security major. Your department adviser will help you select courses for a minor that will best complement your special interests and career goals. We especially recommend a minor in one of the College of Business and Technology areas.

Student Activities

We strongly believe there is much more to education than bookwork and labwork, though these are important. We advise our students to become involved in other activities such as music, theatre, intramural sports, the student newspaper, student government, and, of course, the Computer Science Association (CSA). CSA is one place where you will be welcomed by others with similar interests and where you can learn about the latest advances through field trips and special presentations. We feel it is a vital part of your total education. Western’s School of Computer Sciences also hosts a chapter of the National Honorary Society for the computing and information disciplines, Upsilon Pi Epsilon. This society provides special recognition to outstanding Network Technologies majors.

Computer Facilities

At Western, you will have access to a large IBM mainframe and SUN computers, and we have large laboratories of the latest microcomputers and networking equipment. Our access to computing equipment and software is as good as any university in the United States. It is our goal to give you experience on a variety of computing equipment and its associated software so that you can judge which type of resources are best suited for the problems you encounter during your working career.

Department Minors

  • Computer Science
    • Traditional option
    • Microcomputer Applications option
  • Cyber Security
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Network Technologies

Additional Resources

The demand for cyber security specialists grows every year. As a graduate in Cyber Security from Western, you will be well-prepared for a variety of career opportunities in every conceivable type of commercial, industrial, governmental, research, and educational organization.

Alumni Job Titles

Within 5 Years of Graduation
  • IT Security Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Designer
  • Network Support Engineer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Web Developer
5+ Years Past Graduation
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Lead Network Engineer
  • Network Project Manager
  • Senior Security Architect
  • Senior Technical Architect
  • Technology Manager

Employers of Alumni

  • Allstate
  • AM. Assoc. of Neurological Surgeons
  • Apex Entertainment Partners
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • College of DuPage
  • Countrywide Financial
  • Gardner Denver
  • Harrington Signal
  • John Deere
  • McAfee
  • McGladrey
  • NTT America
  • Prairie Cardiovascular Ltd.
  • Provena Health
  • Rock Island Arsenal
  • State Farm
  • West Monroe Partners
  • Xerox

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Course Descriptions

CYBER SECURITY (CSEC) (formerly Network Technologies - NET

321 (Formerly NET 321) Network Fundamentals. (3) Introduction to the diverse software and hardware components of a computer network. Topics include OSI and TCP/IP network architecture, overview of TCP/IP protocols, access networks, network topologies, circuit, packet and virtual circuit switching, switched LANs, and LAN Security. Prerequisite: CS 114 or 214.

322 (Formerly NET 322) Switching and Routing I. (3) An examination of network protocols for creating and managing a switched network. Topics will include Ethernet LANs, Virtual LANs, VLAN trunking, network and link layer addressing, subnetting, DHCP, access control lists, NAT and introduction to routing. Prerequisite: CSEC 321.

323 (Formerly NET 323) Switching and Routing II. (3) An examination of interior and exterior routing protocols. Topics will include intra-AS and inter-AS routing protocols, IPv4 and IPv6 routing configuration, load balancing routing, VPN tunnels, and managing network devices via SNMP. Prerequisite: CSEC 322.

330 Cyber-Physical Systems. (3) This course introduces the fundamentals and security challenges in emerging cyber-physical systems. Topics include system modeling, analysis, design and simulation, scheduling, and security. Prerequisites: CS 305 and CSEC 321.

345 Secure Coding and Design. (3) Secure software design. Identifying and fixing security flaws in code. String security flaws and resulting vulnerabilities, including buffer overflows, stack smashing, and code injection. Pointers, I/O, runtime protection strategies, and dynamic memory management. Prerequisite: CS 250.

371 (Formerly NET 371) (Cross-listed with CS 371) UNIX. (3) An introduction to the UNIX environment. Includes shell commands, scripting, regular expressions, SED, process manipulation, forks, threads, process synchronization, introduction to system programming. Not open to students with credit in CS 371. Prerequisite: CS 250 or Corequisite: CS 250.

375 (Formerly NET 375) Systems Administration. (3) Administration of server systems, configuring users, groups, and devices, software management, backups, network services configuration, server security and performance, scripts for server management. Prerequisite: CS 214.

395 (Cross-listed with CS 395) Computer Privacy and Security. (3) Methods of protecting data in computer and communications systems from unauthorized disclosure or modification while maintaining availability for authorized users. Modern cryptographic methods: symmetric and public key cryptography, message digests, digital signature, and certificates. Secure protocols: firewalls, VPNs, and IDS. Not open to students with credit in CS 395. Prerequisite: CS 214 or consent of School.

422 (Formerly NET 422) Web Technologies. (3) An examination of the Web and its current development technologies. Topics will include HTML, XML, scripting, Web databases, and Web services. Prerequisite: CSEC 321.

432 (Formerly NET 432) Network Performance Analysis. (3) Introduces the basic concepts of computer network performance evaluation, modeling of traffic flows, network queues, delay, and loss models. Topics will also include performance evaluation of multiple access methods, measurement, and simulations of network performance. Prerequisites: CSEC 322; MATH 137, 255; STAT 171.

434 (Formerly NET 434) Distributed Systems. (3) Covers the principles of distributed systems and their design. Topics will include the characteristics and constraints of distributed algorithms, security, and reliability issues of distributed systems. Prerequisite: CSEC 322; CS 250.

436 (Formerly NET 436) Advanced Network Security. (3) An examination of advanced network security issues. Topics will include advanced security models, encryption, intrusion detection, recovery, certificates, authentication, and biometrics. Prerequisites: CS 395 and CSEC 322.

482 (Formerly NET 482) Wireless LANs. (3) Radio Frequency Fundamentals, features and functions of Wireless LANs, Spread Spectrum Techniques, IEEE 802.11 architecture, Wireless LAN Security, Designing and Troubleshooting Wireless LANs. Prerequisites: CS 395 and CSEC 322.

489 Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking. (3) Introduction to the techniques and tools for information gathering and vulnerability assessment of networked systems. Topics include target enumeration, network sniffing, client and remote exploitation, web and wireless hacking. Prerequisites: CSEC 321, CS/CSEC 395, and (CS/CSEC 371 or CSEC 375).

494 Topics in Cyber Security. (3) Examination of advanced and emerging topics in Cyber Security. Prerequisites: CS/CSEC 395 and junior standing.

495 (Formerly NET 495) Cyber Security Internship. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Work experience in a research, government, or business organization. Internship project report required. Only 3 s.h. can be used for the major. Prerequisites: Cyber Security major, 15 s.h. of Cyber Security courses, and written permission of School director. Graded S/U only.

497 (Formerly NET 497) Senior Honors Project. (3–6, repeatable to 6) Provides a project option within the Cyber Security Honors program. Project directed by a faculty member in the School of Computer Sciences. Prerequisite: Senior CSEC Honors Program participant or consent of the School of Computer Sciences.

499 (Formerly NET 499) Independent Study. (1–3, repeatable to 6, 3 per semester) Individual study or research in the area of Cyber Security under the supervision of a School faculty member. Project report required. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of the School.


Computer Sciences

Dr. Dennis DeVolder, Director
Location: Stipes Hall 447
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1452
Fax: (309) 298-2302

Computer Sciences Website

Computer Sciences Directory

College of Business & Technology (CBT)

Dr. John A. Elfrink, Interim Dean
CBT Email:
Location: Stipes Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2442
Fax: (309) 298-1039

CBT Website

CBT Directory

Undergraduate Advisor

Chris Ramsey
Location: Stipes Hall 133
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1619

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Martin Maskarinec
Location: Stipes Hall 447J
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1316

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