Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Louisiana

The Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission was established by Executive Order by Governor John Bel Edwards in 2017. The Commission was designed to coordinate the state’s cybersecurity efforts in local, state, and tribal governments, as well as within academic institutions and businesses in the private and public sectors. He set the goals for the Commission as the following:

  • Identify, prioritize, lessen Louisiana’s cyber risk
  • Promote cybersecurity awareness and best practices
  • Promote actions to enhance cybersecurity in Louisiana
  • Grow Louisiana’s cybersecurity workforce and educate both the public and private sectors
  • Enhance Louisiana’s cyber emergency preparedness and response
  • Monitor, comprehend, and share cyber threats
  • Build comprehensive digital forensics and investigative capabilities
  • Identify, prioritize, obtain, establish funding for Louisiana’s cybersecurity
  • Encourage economic development by promoting Louisiana as being cyber-safe

Since its establishment, the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission has identified an average of 2700 cyber threats per day, as well as picked up on 3300 cyber crimes per day. The Commission maintains a website to help citizens and businesspeople with cybersecurity resources and more.

Despite its best efforts, however, Louisiana’s Division of Administration spent $2.3 million responding to cyberattacks in 2019, according to an article recently published in The Advocate of Baton Rouge.  This money was spent on five incidents that occurred in 2019. $1.7 million of that money was spent in response to a ransomware attack on the state government in November 2019. This attack crippled the state’s Office of Motor Vehicles for weeks. In addition, it spent $333,000 responding to cyberattacks against seven Louisiana school districts; $65,348 on a ransomware attack against the government of New Orleans; $61,268 on a cyberattack on St. Helena Parish, and $184,985 on a cyberattack against the St. Landry Parish School Board.

These recent, costly cyberattacks on Louisiana prove that more cybersecurity professionals are needed in order to pick up on risks and attacks before they occur. Getting your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is your first step towards working in the cybersecurity field in Louisiana and helping to prevent attacks such as these in the future.

Louisiana Cybersecurity Law

Three cybersecurity laws were passed in Louisiana’s legislature in 2019. They are:

  • House Bill Number 7: This created the crime of communication interference, making it a crime for anyone to interfere with communications operated/controlled by the state of Louisiana’s government, the military, and offices not regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission or the City Council of New Orleans
  • House Bill Number 74: This created the crime of trespass against state computers, making it a crime for anyone to attain/transmit protected information from the state of Louisiana government computers. It also made initiating a denial of service attack or introducing malware into computers operated by the state of Louisiana a crime.
  • Senate Bill Number 46: This enacted the Louisiana Cybersecurity Sharing Act, providing a foundation to encourage all private and public entities to share cybersecurity threat information and defensive measures.

Louisiana Cybersecurity Education

Louisiana is filled with cybersecurity jobs that are attainable with a bachelor’s degree, such as:

  • Cyber Security Analyst – General Dynamics, Bossier City
  • Information Technology Specialist – US Department of the Air Force, Barksdale AFB
  • IT Cybersecurity Specialist – US Department of Homeland Security, New Orleans
  • Cyber Security Specialist – GRAVICOM, LLC, New Orleans
  • Manager of Information Technology and Information Security – Ampirical, Mandeville
  • Information Security Specialist – Technologix, Shreveport

What Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees Are Available in Louisiana?

Bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity may be called different things. In Louisiana, they include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems – Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs in Louisiana

Colleges and universities within Louisiana that house cybersecurity degrees are usually accredited by agencies listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Programmatic accreditation is rarely seen at the bachelor’s degree level, with the exception of the accreditation programs noted below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

Administered by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Centers of Academic Excellence program recognizes particularly outstanding cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in Louisiana

Just one cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program in Louisiana has received recognition as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE):

School of Business, Center for Information Assurance

Ruston, LA 71272

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2024

Also AACSB Accredited

T. Selwyn Ellis, D.B.A., CIS Department Head

(318) 257-2026; ellis@latech.edu

Cyber Defense Education Curriculum

Under the auspices of the NSA and DHS,  CAE-CDs must cover the following required knowledge units in their cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Foundational Core:
    • Foundations of Cybersecurity
    • Principles of Cybersecurity
    • Components of IT Systems
  • Technical Core:
    • Foundational Cryptography
    • Foundational Networking
    • Foundational Scripting and Programming
    • Network Defense
    • Concepts of Operating Systems
  • Nontechnical Core:
    • Cyber Threats
    • Planning and Management in Cybersecurity
    • Policy, Laws, Ethics and Compliance in Cybersecurity
    • Security Program Management
    • Security Risk Analysis

ABET-Accredited Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Cybersecurity in Louisiana

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) has distinguished the following Louisiana bachelor’s degree cybersecurity program with its accreditation:

College of Engineering & Science

Ruston, LA 71272

Dr. Miguel Gates, Program Chair

(318) 257-2147; mgates@latech.edu

Further Bachelor’s Degree Cybersecurity Programs in Louisiana

Additional bachelor’s degree cybersecurity programs in Louisiana include:

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Dept. of Cybersecurity, College of Arts & Sciences

403 Main St. Box 4260

Grambling, LA 71245

Dr. Y.B. Reddy, Program Coordinator

(318) 274-2421; ybreddy@gram.edu

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Dept. of Computer Science, Technology Center

One University Place

Shreveport, LA 71115

Dr. Alfred McKinney, Interim Chair

(318) 797-5093

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science

6363 St. Charles Ave.

Box 35

New Orleans, LA 70118

(504) 865-3340

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Program Accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSBI)

175 Sam Sibley Dr.

Natchitoches, LA 71497

(800) 327-1903

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Computer Science Department

N104 Henry Thurman Jr. Hall

Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Samira Tehrani, Outreach Coordinator

(225) 771-4873; samira_tehrani@subr.edu

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Computer Science Department

Math Bldg. Room 308

2000 Lakeshore Drive

New Orleans, LA 70148

Mahdi Abdelguerfi, Ph.D., Dept. Chair

(504) 280-6594; chairman@cs.uno.edu

The Future of Cybersecurity in Louisiana

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, jobs for information security analysts (including cybersecurity) are expected to increase by 180 jobs per year from 2018 to 2026 in Louisiana. This growth is reason enough to obtain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Louisiana. Take advantage of the many excellent degree programs offered by colleges and universities within the state, and secure your future in cybersecurity in Louisiana.

Sources:

“ABET Approves Accreditation Criteria for Undergraduate Cybersecurity Programs.” ABET.org. 30 November 2018. Accessed 30 April 2020 at https://www.abet.org/abet-approves-accreditation-criteria-for-undergraduate-cybersecurity-programs/.

“CAE-CD 2020 Knowledge Units.” https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_2020_Knowledge_Units.pdf.

CAE Institution Map. https://www.caecommunity.org/content/cae-institution-map.

“Cybersecurity, privacy and data protection alert: three new cybersecurity laws passed in recent Louisiana legislative session.” Phelps. 5 June 2019. Accessed 19 May 2020 at https://www.phelps.com/cybersecurity-privacy-and-data-protection-alert-three-new-cybersecurity-laws-passed-in-recent-louisiana-legislative-session-6-5-2019

“Executive Order Number 17-31.” Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission. https://lacybercommission.la.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Governors-Louisiana-Cybersecurity-Commission-Executive-Order-17-31.pdf.

“Long-Term Occupational Projections for All Occupations to 2026.” Louisiana Workforce Commission. http://www.laworks.net/LaborMarketInfo/LMI_OccProjEducation.asp?years=20162026.

“Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission.” https://lacybercommission.la.gov/.

“National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) Designation Program Guidance.” https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_Program_Guidance_2020.pdf.