Cybersecurity Center

Cybersecurity classroom with server racks and two-seater desks

Designated as a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security (NSA/DHS) Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), the Johnson & Wales University Cybersecurity Center (JWUCC) provides an encouraging, innovative and welcoming center of multidisciplinary learning and research.

By building a strong foundation through hands-on experience in the field, our goal is to create the next generation of cyber-enthusiasts that help protect individual freedom, strengthen our nation’s defense, and share their knowledge with the world. Our students grow not only as scholars, but as professionals and citizens as well.

NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security (NSA/DHS) have designated Johnson & Wales University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

The NSA and DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) and Cybersecurity Research (CAE-R) programs. The goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in Cybersecurity and producing a growing number of professionals with Cybersecurity expertise in various disciplines.

NSA, DHS and CAE logos

Cybersecurity Education & Training

The Cybersecurity Center is located at JWU’s Providence Campus. JWU faculty and staff train and teach courses in cybersecurity and networking. Undergraduate degrees include Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense and Computer Science. In addition, the university also offers graduate degrees in Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Instructional Design & Technology and Information Security/Assurance. View all cybersecurity programs.

Cybersecurity Research & Service

At JWU, our state-of-the-art lab is located in the heart of downtown Providence. The center’s lab provides the Rhode Island community, businesses, law enforcement, and K-12 education institutions access to various services related to cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity Center also provides a safe, secure place for professionals and businesses to perform research, test and build applications.

Cyber Operations (CYB) Courses

CYB1005: Introduction to Cyber Security Operations

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the range of disciplines that are fundamental to protecting cyber assets in the modern world. Students learn what cyber security and operations are, how they have evolved over the past decades, and how the cyber security framework can be applied across a wide range of contexts and industries. This course also provides an introduction to the various technical and non-technical skills that are fundamental in the cyber security and operations field. Students are provided with academic foundations to pursue further study in the cyber field.

CYB2010: Computer Architecture with Assembly Language Programming

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between hardware and software through the use of the machine and assembly language facilities. Topics include how simple statements translate into processor commands and how various types of storage and programming structures are implemented in the system. Program design, charting, coding, debugging, testing, execution and documentation are accomplished for all concepts that are introduced. Advanced understanding of the relationship between hardware and software is accomplished through the use of assembly language and higher level language (C programming language) facilities. Creating programs that interface with computer hardware is explored. Additional topics include using debug, decision structures, looping structures, addressing constructs, data types, program segments, memory models, subroutines, arrays, video, keyboard and file I/O, parallel processing, terminate-and-stay-resident programs, recursion, interlanguage communication, device drivers and embedded programming concepts. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1112.

CYB3001: Foundations of Digital Forensics

This course introduces students to the principles of digital forensics. The essentials covered in this class include computer system storage fundamentals, operating systems and data transmission, computer network architecture, digital forensics best practices, proper evidence collection and storage, and federal rules and criminal codes. Upon successful completion of this class, the student is ready to proceed into more advanced and technical classes such as computer forensics, mobile device forensics, network forensics, and malicious code forensics. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1101, CSIS2045, CYB1005.

CYB3011: Software Reverse Engineering

This course is designed to introduce students to the tools and process of software reverse engineering, and how to apply the tools and process for the purpose of discovering malicious code, reconstructing higher level code and documentation where none exist, discovering opportunities for improvement of existing code, and assuring the appropriate use of code. Prerequisite(s): CSIS2045, CYB2010. CYB3023 Large Scale Distributed Systems This course is designed to introduce the principles and implementation techniques of distributed database systems and explore trends and issues concerning database application development. Students apply theory and practice by building a distributed database with web access. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1112, CSIS2030.

CYB3038: HCI/Usable Security

This course focuses on how to design and build secure systems with human-centric focus. Basic principles of HCI (including the basics of humans’ cognitive abilities, principles of usability, design techniques and evaluation methods) are discussed. Through professionally focused exercises, students apply these techniques to the design, building, evaluation and critique of secure systems, while developing security measures that respect human performance and their goals within the system. Focus is on authentication devices, password protection techniques, browsing security, social media and mobile device security. Prerequisite(s): ITEC3050.

CYB3205: Malware Forensics

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of malicious code and malicious code analysis. The student is introduced to actual malicious code samples and examines how they work and interact with vulnerable machines. The student learns how to perform basic analysis in an attempt to reverse engineer malicious code capabilities and to perform post-mortem forensic analysis on compromised machines. The student is also introduced to virtual machines and their important role in conducting malicious code forensic analysis in a safe environment. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1112, CYB3001.

CYB3220: Network Forensics

This course immerses students into the world of network forensics. The essentials covered in this class include network forensics investigative methodology, network technical fundamentals, evidence acquisition, packet and flow analysis, network intrusion detection and analysis, and forensic reporting. Upon successful completion of this class, the student is ready to conduct real-world network forensic investigations in a laboratory setting utilizing industry-recognized tools and methodology. Prerequisite(s): CYB3001, ITEC2081.

CYB4010: Computer and Network Forensics

This course introduces students to the nature of digital evidence, the tools and techniques used to acquire such evidence, and the practices used to preserve its integrity through the use of lectures and hands-on exercises. Students are also introduced to the process of testifying and ethics for the expert witness. Prerequisite(s): Senior status.

CYB4026: Cyber Intelligence

This course examines the emerging stages to the current operational and political impact of cyber intelligence. Students explore a full range of cyber capabilities from exploitation, attack and defense. Students analyze and discuss several case studies that demonstrate the challenges and benefits of cyber intelligence to the cyber operations and security environment. This course demonstrates how cyber security and operations have changed the nature of intelligence collections, operations and analysis across the intelligence communities. Prerequisite(s): CYB3038.

CYB4032: Perimeter Protection and Vulnerability Assessment

This course examines the threat from computer hackers and the countermeasures to protect against such attacks, including security policies, security hardware and software technologies, vulnerability analysis, security assessments, penetration testing, and vulnerability scanners. Topics include types of network security, varieties of attacks, fundamentals of firewalls, firewall practical applications, intrusion detection systems, encryption, virtual private networks, operating system hardening, defending against virus attacks, Trojan horses and spyware, security policies, assessing a system, security standards, and computer-based espionage and terrorism. Prerequisite(s): ITEC3075.

CYB4044: Active Cyber Defense and Countermeasures

This course is based on the concept that current, traditional "boxed" defense solutions are no longer working and attackers are becoming more and more successful as a result. Emphasis is on new strategies for IT security professionals to be successful. Topics include tools for proactive defense, such as annoyance, attribution and attack. Prerequisite(s): CYB4032.

CYB4050: Exploitation & Incident Response

This course introduces students to the arts and skill sets of traditional “Red” and “Blue” teams. Participants are immersed into worlds of computer exploitation and incident response, providing the unique experience of learning how to compromise a machine/network and then uncovering and documenting the evidence left behind. In addition, the course teaches the student to utilize a variety of open source tools to exploit weaknesses in a typical networked environment. The class introduces defense techniques aimed at common system/network weaknesses. Topics include physical security, social engineering, reconnaissance, port/network and vulnerability scanning, creating custom exploits, weaponizing documents, and anti-virus evasion. Prerequisite(s): CYB3205, CYB3220.

Computer Science (CSIS) Courses

CSIS1000: Problem Solving and Programming Concepts

This introductory course teaches students the fundamentals of problem solving in computer programming. Students learn to use both textual and graphic algorithms as problem-solving tools. In experience-based learning exercises, students work from a problem statement, conduct a task analysis to solve the problem, decide what data is needed to solve the problem, create a visual representation of their solution, and then convert the visual representation to a textual step-by-step statement of their solution. Students use a range of tools currently used in industry, including functional decomposition diagrams, flowcharts, UML diagrams, use cases, metadata charts, data flow documents and pseudocode.

CSIS1101: Computer Science I

This course teaches students to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. This course is designed to present an introduction to computer science doctrine; an understanding of core algorithmic concepts (e.g., control structures, assignment, decision structures, mathematical/Boolean operations, etc.); an introduction to structured computer programming languages, problem classification, program development and specification; software development planning techniques; debugging techniques; an introduction to the power of development environments; and documentation of software projects. Students design algorithms to solve problems and learn how to translate these algorithms into working computer programs. Experience is acquired through programming projects in a high-level programming language. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1000.

CSIS1112: Computer Science II

This course further enhances students’ understanding of computer science theory and methods and provides an introduction to the study of important algorithms. Main themes include designing with appropriate data structures (Advanced Data Types — ADTs) and classic algorithms, and analyzing the efficiency of the algorithms developed. Classic algorithms studied include those used for recursion, sorting, searching, graph algorithms and maintaining dynamic data structures. ADTs are presented from a generic/usage-oriented perspective. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1101.

CSIS1020: Fundamentals of C Programming

This introductory programming course teaches students how to program in the C computer language, a fundamental skill for technology professionals. Students learn how to design and develop computer programs using standard strategies and techniques used in industry. Topics covered include how programs are structured, how arrays and strings can be processed, and how files are manipulated. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1000.

CSIS2045: Introduction to Operating Systems

This course includes a survey of the functional characteristics of complex operating systems and an introduction to the basic techniques of operating systems design. The course discusses the topics of hardware configuration, channel operation, interrupts, register functions, multiprogramming, multiprocessing, timesharing and JCL. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1020 or CSIS1101.

CSIS2030: Database Concepts

This course introduces students to the function of a database environment. The importance of databases to modern systems development provides the motivation for examining data structures and models as they relate to user needs. Relational data models are emphasized along with query languages and user-friendly packages. The various data structures and file storage techniques used with hierarchical, network and relational data management issues are developed. Out-of-class assignments are completed by all students. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1000 or CSIS1101.

Information Technology (ITEC) Courses

ITEC3050: Information Security with Cryptography

Encrypting information is one of the most effective ways to control information, verify authenticity of information and maintain confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation. This course presents all aspects of computer and information security including symmetrical and asymmetrical data encryption, zero-knowledge based proofs, public key infrastructure systems, digital signatures, crypto currencies and security procedures using encryption. This course makes students aware of the various threats to computers and data and identifies methods and techniques for providing counter-measures to those threats.

ITEC2081: Network Protocols I

This course develops students’ knowledge of computer networks, network appliances and network protocols. They are introduced to methods of developing protocols, including interpretation of standards, finite state machines and state-full transition. Students gain a conceptual framework useful in the adaptation of network protocols to network appliances and internetworking design. Through the use of network protocol analyzers students conduct in-depth examinations of the 802.3, ARP, IP (versions 4 and 6), ICMP and RIP protocols. Comparison of protocols is made by type. Students develop a basic understanding of the software paradigms used to construct protocols. In homework and lab assignments, students develop skill competencies needed to troubleshoot protocol issues. Students connect, configure and program a range of network devices; work with network protocol analyzers; examine the software internals of protocol implementations; and map the path of a data packet on a network. Prerequisite(s): CSIS1101 or CSIS1020.

ITEC3075: Network Security

This course provides the students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of network security. Critical network security aspects are identified and examined from the standpoint of both the user and the attacker. Network vulnerabilities are examined, and mitigating approaches are identified and evaluated. Concepts and procedures for network risk analysis are introduced. Network architectures and protocols and their impact on security are examined. TCP/IP security is examined in conjunction with the IPSec and IKE protocols. Integration of network and computer security is introduced. The course also discusses the building of trust networks, key management systems, and physical network security. The course emphasizes the implementation of intrusion detection and prevention methods. Prerequisite(s): ITEC2081, ITEC3050.


Computer Science Lab

What is computer science? It can mean many things and includes topics such as cloud computing, user interface design (UI), software development, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, cybersecurity, cutting-edge educational tools and more. This state-of-the-art computer lab is where our students put their technique to work.

Our Areas of Research

Our areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • Social Engineering
  • Programming & Software Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Trustworthy Systems
  • Risk Management
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Privacy
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Digital Forensics

JWUCC Research

Associate Professor Omar Abuzaghleh, Ph.D. is hard at work to provide our team with new research and areas of investigation. At the JWUCC, we strive to provide trustworthy and accurate data in all areas related to computer science. Stay up to date with the latest research from our team.

Research from Around the World

  • Virtual Reality in Computer Science Education: A Systematic Review investigates the potential and application of VR for computer science education with a systematic review. It presents a formal literature review on the use of VR technologies in computer science education. The paper focuses on the identification of factors such as learning objectives, technologies used, interaction characteristics, and challenges and advantages of using fully immersive VR for computer science education.
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor
Nicholas Tella
Associate Professor; Director of Information Security
Jim Beauvais
Associate Professor
Advisory Board

JWU Cybersecurity Center Industry Advisory Board

  • Frank Tweedie, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering & Design
  • Nick LaManna, assistant dean of the College of Engineering & Design
  • Nicholas Tella, CISSP JWU IT Security
  • Jim Beauvais, CISSP JWU IT Security
  • Kyle Gerand, Citizens Bank security specialist
  • Henry Hodge, CISSP president, HJH Enterprises
  • Joe Devine, president, Axiotrop Inc.
  • Michael Ferranti, Citizens Bank security specialist
  • Michael Oliver, CIO, Claflin Company
  • Anthony Chavis, assistant professor
  • Cassandra Johns, director of education & Career Pathways, Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENDIA)
  • Linda Larsen, programs & partnership manager, 401Tech Bridge

If you are interested in working with the JWUCC or have any questions related to the program, please use the below contact information:

Nick LaManna
Assistant Dean, College of Engineering & Design

Anthony Chavis
Assistant Professor

For any other questions, contact the JWU Admissions team:

Providence Admissions
Fax: 401-598-2948


Mailing Address
Johnson & Wales University
8 Abbott Park Place
Providence, RI 02903

Yena Center (Undergraduate Admissions)
111 Dorrance St.
Providence, RI 02903