Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency’s Cybersecurity Program (RIEMA) is based upon the recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.  Partnerships were created with federal, state and local government agencies, Rhode Island’s National Guard, law enforcement, academic professionals, business professionals and others involved in critical infrastructure.

The Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative was created by the Pell Center’s Cyber Leadership Project as a way to expand cybersecurity in the state. It brings together leaders from Rhode Island’s defense, financial services, transportation, technology, healthcare, telecommunications, energy, government agencies and law enforcement to work to address the state’s most critical challenges in cybersecurity, in both the private and public sectors. It also encourages cybersecurity awareness, training and education for all Rhode Island residents.

In 2019, Rhode Island’s Governor, Gina Raimondo, gained notice and criticism for eliminating the state’s cybersecurity officer position. This position had been responsible for the management of statewide cybersecurity policy and advising the state on homeland security for two years. Many in Rhode Island’s government as well as all over the nation criticized her elimination of this position at a time when cybersecurity threats were increasing globally. The position’s elimination took $184,446 off the state’s budget, as that was the cybersecurity officer’s annual salary.

If you would like to delve into the world of cybersecurity in Rhode Island, you should first obtain a bachelor’s degree. Read on to discover how to do so.

Cybersecurity in the News in Rhode Island

In 2019, a cybersecurity researcher created a fake government website in a small town(Exeter) in Rhode Island, to demonstrate how easy the process really is. This researcher cloned the town’s real website, creating a fake website that looked real to everyone who saw it. While the process was illegal and constitutes wire fraud, it did demonstrate how easy it was to hack into government websites, especially those with .gov domains. It is unclear whether this affected anyone in Rhode Island’s state government or made them at least sit up and take notice, and contemplate tightening the security on government websites.

Cybersecurity Degree in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s cybersecurity jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree. They may include:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst – NTT DATA, Newport
  • Cyber Security Engineer- UNFI, Providence
  • Systems Security Analyst – Lifespan, Providence
  • Cyber Defense Technologist – Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Portsmouth
  • Security Analyst – Unisys, Providence
  • Cyber Security Engineer- Cherry Bekaert, West Warwick
  • Cyber Security Manager II – United Technologies Corporation, Portsmouth
  • Remote Cybersecurity Engineer- Phoenix Cybersecurity, East Providence
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – SAIC, Newport
  • IT Security Professional – Citizens Financial Group, Inc., Johnston

Rhode Island’s Bachelor’s Programs in Cybersecurity

There are a variety of bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity available in Rhode Island, such as:

  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science- Minor in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science – Minor in Digital Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity & Network Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense

Cybersecurity Undergraduate Degree Programs in Rhode Island

Cybersecurity undergraduate degree programs are not typically programmatically accredited. Their institutions, on the other hand, are accredited by regional accreditation agencies listed with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). There are a few bachelor’s in cybersecurity programs with programmatic accreditation, which are described below.

Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE)

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) founded the National Centers of Academic Excellence program to give accolades to the very best undergraduate cybersecurity degree programs in the United States. These programs have been designated as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).

Rhode Island Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

One school in Rhode Island is a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD):

  • University of Rhode Island –

Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science – Minor in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science – Minor in Digital Forensics

Department of Computer Science & Statistics, Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center

Kingston, RI 02881

CAE- Cyber Defense Education- Accredited through 2021

Lisa DiPippo, Ph.D., Program Director

(401) 874-2701; dipippo@cs.uri.edu

CAE-CD Curriculum in Rhode Island

The NSA and DHS have set up required knowledge units that all curricula of CAE-CD programs must offer. They include:

  • Required knowledge units:
    • Security risk analysis
    • Security program management
    • Policy, legal, ethics and compliance
    • Operating systems concepts
    • Network defense
    • IT Systems components
    • Cybersecurity principles
    • Cybersecurity planning and management
    • Cybersecurity foundations
    • Cyber threats
    • Basic networking
    • Basic cryptography
  • Optional knowledge units:
    • Wireless sensor networks
    • Web application security
    • Vulnerability analysis
    • Virtualization technologies
    • Systems security engineering
    • Systems programming
    • Systems certification and accreditation
    • Supply chain security
    • Software security analysis
    • Software reverse engineering
    • Software assurance
    • Secure programming practices
    • Radio frequency principles
    • QA/functional testing
    • Privacy
    • Penetration testing
    • Operating systems theory
    • Operating systems handling
    • Operating systems administration
    • Network technology and protocols
    • Network security administration
    • Network forensics
    • Mobile technologies
    • Media forensics
    • Low level programming
    • Life cycle security
    • Intrusion detection/prevention systems
    • Introduction to the theory of computation
    • Industrial control systems
    • Independent/directed study/research
    • IA standards
    • IA compliance
    • IA Architectures
    • Host forensics
    • Hardware/firmware security
    • Hardware reverse engineering
    • Fraud prevention and management
    • Formal methods
    • Forensic accounting
    • Embedded systems
    • Digital forensics
    • Digital communications
    • Device forensics
    • Databases
    • Database management systems
    • Data structures
    • Data administration
    • Cybersecurity ethics
    • Cyber crime
    • Cloud computing
    • Basic cyber operations
    • Analog telecommunications
    • Algorithms
    • Advanced network technology and protocols
    • Advanced cryptography
    • Advanced algorithms

Other Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Programs in Rhode Island

There are more bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity programs in Rhode Island, such as:

  • Johnson & Wales University –

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Enterprise Risk Management

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

115 Cedar St.

Providence, RI 02903

(855) 598-1881

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

One New England Tech Blvd.

East Greenwich, RI 02818

(401) 467-7744

Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

1 Empire Street

Providence, RI 02903

Jana O’Connell, Pathway Specialist

(401) 254-5406; jloconnell@rwu.edu

Cybersecurity Certifications in Rhode Island

A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is a good start. However, you should consider pursuing at least one professional certification in cybersecurity to make yourself even more marketable in Rhode Island’s job market. Examples of professional cybersecurity certifications include:

  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • EC Council CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)

Projections for Cybersecurity Jobs in Rhode Island

As Rhode Island’s Department of Labor does not recognize the occupational title “information security analyst,” when looking at occupational projections for the state one must study “computer systems analysts.” According to information provided, jobs for computer systems analysts in Rhode Island are expected to increase by a large amount by 2026, with 163 new jobs projected statewide.  Setting yourself up to succeed in the near future is a very good reason to attain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in Rhode Island.

Sources:

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

Fitzpatrick, Edward. “A cybersecurity researcher used a small R.I. town to point out a big problem.” Boston Globe. 3 December 2019. Accessed 2 June 2020 at https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/rhode-island/2019/12/03/cybersecurity-researcher-used-small-town-point-out-big-problem/Hydevlfomf2ABHxH9GQtNN/story.html.

“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.

“Occupational Outlook 2026.” Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Labor Market Information. http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/pdf/occoutlook.pdf.

“Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative.” Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. Salve Regina University. https://pellcenter.org/rhode-island-corporate-cybersecurity-initiative/.

“RIEMA Cybersecurity.” State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. http://www.riema.ri.gov/resources/citizens/prepare/cybersecurity/riemacybersecurity/index.php.

Wood, Colin. “Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo eliminates role for cybersecurity officer.” State Scoop. 9 July 2019. Accessed 2 June 2020 at https://statescoop.com/rhode-island-gov-raimondo-eliminates-role-for-cybersecurity-officer/.