Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Nebraska

You might not think of the state of Nebraska as a major player when it comes to cybersecurity, but Nebraska houses two federally-recognized college degree programs in cybersecurity, as well as Fortune 500 companies for which cybersecurity is the main concern. Zippia.com’s list of the top 100 largest companies headquartered in Nebraska in 2020 includes many businesses which deal with cybersecurity on a daily basis, such as:

  • Berkshire Hathaway of Omaha
  • Union Pacific Railroad of Omaha
  • Kiewit of Omaha
  • Cabela’s of Sidney
  • Werner Enterprises of Omaha
  • West of Omaha
  • Valmont Industries of Omaha
  • Buckle of Kearney
  • Lakeside Orthopedics of Papillion
  • Mutual of Omaha of Omaha

Additionally, Nebraska houses some well-known cybersecurity companies, whose focus is helping the above-mentioned businesses keep private data private and secure. These include:

  • EGiS Technologies of Omaha
  • Layton Flower Technologies of Omaha
  • FNTS of Omaha
  • Infogressive of Lincoln

Nebraska’s Attorney General’s Office has a cybercrimes division that is designed to protect Nebraskans from cybercrimes by educating them and instructing them on what legal action to take if they fall victim to a cyberattack. Sometimes Nebraska joins with other states to fight cybercrime. For example, in 2017, the Nebraska Attorney General joined 46 other states and the District of Columbia in a settlement against Target after a massive data breach. The entire settlement was $18.5 million, and Nebraska received $199,382 of that settlement.

If you would like to work in the challenging and exciting world of cybersecurity in Nebraska, your first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Keep reading to find out how you can do so.

Cybersecurity Law in Nebraska

On July 19, 2018, a new law (LB757) went into effect in Nebraska requiring individuals or companies that have residents’ personal information to implement security procedures to safeguard and protect that information. LB757 amended the Nebraska Financial Data Protection and Consumer Notification of Data Security Breach Act. Another part of this amendment said that businesses and individuals that have such information must also make sure that third-party vendors with which they deal that have access to this information have contractually agreed to protect the information as well.

Cybersecurity Education in Nebraska

A bachelor’s degree is necessary in order to qualify for most cybersecurity jobs in Nebraska, like:

  • Information Systems Security Officer – ManTech International Corp., Offutt AFB
  • Information Security Engineer- Ameritas, Bellevue
  • Information Systems Security Officer – Perspecta, Omaha
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – Bank of the West, Omaha
  • Cybersecurity Compliance Analyst – BNP Paribas, Omaha
  • Cyber Network Specialist – U.S. Army, Grand Island

What Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees Are Available Within Nebraska?

Bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity in Nebraska are available both on-campus and online and include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity- Cyber Operations track
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Operations Comprehensive
  • Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies with Concentration in Cybersecurity

Bachelor’s Cybersecurity Degree Programs Within Nebraska

Colleges and universities are typically accredited by regional accreditation agencies listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The most common accreditation you’ll see of Nebraska colleges and universities is by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Beyond that, most undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs are not individually accredited, unless they are recognized by the federal government like the ones we discuss below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sponsors the National Centers of Academic Excellence program. This program recognizes outstanding undergraduate cybersecurity degrees as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) and Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education Within the State of Nebraska

These bachelor’s degree cybersecurity programs have been given the designation as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE):

Center for Cybersecurity Education

1000 Galvin Road South

Bellevue, NE 68005

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Dr. Mary Dobransky, Director

(402) 557-7160; dobransky@bellevue.edu

College of Information Science & Technology, School of Interdisciplinary Informatics

Peter Kiewit Institute 172

1110 South 67th St.

Omaha, NE 68182

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

(402) 554-3819

Required Knowledge Units for Cyber Defense Education

The NSA and DHS have identified knowledge units that CAE-CDs must cover in their curricula. They include:

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

Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Within the State of Nebraska

One university in Nebraska has had its cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO):

School of Interdisciplinary Informatics

6001 Dodge Street

Omaha, NE 68182

CAE- Cyber Operations- Accredited through 2022

(402) 554-3819

Required Knowledge Units for Cyber Operations Education

The University of Nebraska Omaha notes that students in the Cyber Operations track must complete 10 Required Knowledge Units (RKUs) and 11 elective knowledge units. Most CAE-COs will require students to complete coursework similar to the following RKUs:

  • Low-level programming languages
  • Operating system theory
  • Software reverse engineering
  • Networking
  • Discrete math and algorithms
  • Cellular and mobile technologies
  • Overview of cyber defense
  • Security fundamental principles
  • Legal concerns and issues
  • Vulnerabilities

Additional Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Programs Within the State of Nebraska

Other cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs in Nebraska that you might want to consider are:

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

College of Business & Technology

2504 9th Ave.

Kearney, NE 68849

(308) 865-8441

(note – this program is not a CAE-CD or CAE-CO)

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Online Programs

Omaha, NE 68182

(888) 622-0332

Nebraska Cybersecurity Certifications

Professional certification is all but a necessity in the cybersecurity field. According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, the following certifications are the most commonly held of cybersecurity professionals working in Nebraska:

  • ISC2 Certifications
  • Cisco Associate Certifications
  • Offensive Security Certifications
  • GIAC Security Certifications- Cyber Defense
  • CompTIA Certification

Employment Projections for Cybersecurity in Nebraska

NeWORKS of the Nebraska Department of Labor projects that between 2016 and 2026, jobs in the computer and mathematical fields in Nebraska will increase by 15.52 percent. This includes jobs for information security analysts (in which cybersecurity analysts are included). The Nebraska DOL says that the current top employers for information security analysts in the state are Atlantic CommTech Corporation of Omaha, Bryan Health of Lincoln, Perspecta, Inc. of Omaha, SAIC of Offutt AFB, and Bank of the West of Omaha. If you get your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Nebraska, you can be pretty certain that there will be a job available for you upon graduation!

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.

“Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.” National Security Agency Central Security Service. https://www.nsa.gov/resources/students-educators/centers-academic-excellence/cae-co-centers/.

Kolmar, Chris. “The 100 largest companies in Nebraska for 2020.” Zippia.com. https://www.zippia.com/advice/largest-companies-in-nebraska/.

“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.

“New Nebraska data privacy and security law.” Fraser Stryker. 21 May 2018. Accessed 13 May 2020 at https://www.fraserstryker.com/LB757.

O’Brien, Maggie. “Cybersecurity.” Omaha Magazine. 9 July 2018. Accessed 13 May 2020 at https://www.omahamagazine.com/2018/07/09/301843/cybersecurity.

“Occupational Projections (Long-term for Multiple Occupations in Nebraska in 2016-2026.” NEworks. https://neworks.nebraska.gov/vosnet/analyzer/results.aspx?enc=L3Rx1LKHF+xq6eiD/TQsJWDQU8hyaX/N/p/1WEsotLY=.