Welcome to ISEC-615 - Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is loosely defined as the protections of systems, data, information, and their interconnections from malicious code, entities, human error, and/or intentional acts. It was formally defined by the National Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education (http://cybered.acm.org/, which I was a member of) (2017) as “computing-based discipline involving technology, people, information, and processes to enable assured operations.  It involves the creation, operation, analysis, and testing of secure computer systems. It is an interdisciplinary course of study, including aspects of law, policy, human factors, ethics, and risk management in the context of adversaries” (p. 16). With significant growth of data breaches and identity theft incidents, organizations must protect their key assets including data, information, and knowledge, while maintaining a competitive advantage. Thus, it is imperative that graduate students in any computing field will be able to demonstrate the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to improve their cybersecurity posture. This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge via lectures, discussions, along with the skills and ability building via the lab sessions that includes various hands-on activities, video recorded sessions, and quizzes/exams using the LabSim, a Lab Simulation.

ISEC-615 - Fundamentals of Cybersecurity (with LabSim) (3 credits)
Winter 2020 - January 6, 2020 - May 3, 2020




Dr. Yair Levy
Professor of Information Systems and Cybersecurity


Nova Southeastern University
College of Computing and Engineering (CCE)
The DeSantis Building, Room 4058
3301 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314


levyy@nova.edu (please send all correspondence via e-mail)


954-262-2006 (for faster response, send me your phone number via e-mail & I will be happy to call you back)



Prof.'s Web Site:


Levy CyLab:


Class Web Site:

In Canvas via https://sharklearn.nova.edu/

Office Hours: 

As needed, just drop me an e-mail to schedule.




Send me all correspondence to levyy@nova.edu. *** Please do NOT use the Canvas internal e-mail system to communicate with me via e-mail (NSU e-mail! Not Canvas e-mail...), only the NSU regular e-mail!!! ***
When sending me e-mail, please make sure to:

  • Send me e-mail from your NSU e-mail address ONLY -- this is the College policy! (Also note that e-mails sent from non-NSU e-mail address may be detected as spam and will not be received or answered!)
  • Type "ISEC-615" in the subject line.
  • Type your full name in the message.
  • Type your NSU e-mail address in the message.

E-mails will be usually answered within 24 hours on weekdays and within 48 hours on weekends or official holidays, although in most cases, I will answer you even before. If I'm out of town and have posted a note to the site about it, you will get an automated response and I will answer it when I get back or have access to the Internet from that location. 


An overview of the technical aspects of cybersecurity. Issues discussed include confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA), as well as authentication, access control, trust, and non-repudiation. Furthermore, topics covered include the threat types and attack vectors used for compromising computer and network security. Investigation of fundamental cybersecurity and assurance technologies that can be applied to mitigate threat vectors. The selection of appropriate information security applications, security lifecycles, as well as controls utilized to protect computers and networks from the variety of threat vectors will also be covered.

Prerequisites: None.


Upon completing this course the students will:
1) Be familiar with the major development in the area of security of computer systems and cybersecurity;
2) Understand the theoretical basis for information assurance and cybersecurity;
3) Understand the threat types and attack vectors used for compromising computer and network security;
4) Be familiar with the technical and managerial controls utilized to protect computers and networks from the variety of threat vectors;
5) Be familiar with the information security tools and approaches used to protect computers and networks;
6) Understand the issues in designing and planning for computer and network security;
7) Understand the foundations of how information systems security are implemented and managed;
8) Demonstrate a network security hardening using a layered security model; and
9) Demonstrate the knowledge and skills need to mitigate cyber attacks from the physical security measures to data defense tactiques.





LabSim for Security Pro access is ***REQUIRED*** and each student must get their own access during the first week or you will fall behind!!!
***Please note that you cannot use the free 30 days access, as it will not link it to our course system, and as you will not be able to get credit for work done unless you do it via the purchased code.

ISBN: 9781935080442



Whitman, M., & Mattord, H. (2018). Principles of information security (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

ISBN: 9781337102063




This course will utilize Canvas and GoToTraining as the delivery tools. Also, majority of class activities will be done via the LabSim, which is a hands-on cybersecurity lab simulator. Assignments and class discussions will take place in the Canvas and/or GoToTraining assigned to this course.


Majority of the work in this course is done individually via the LabSim (students must purchase their access via the bookstore), and four assignments where students will work on applied cybersecurity issues in written papers. The assignments in this class include: one initial minor assignment of an introduction post, 10 Lab Progress Reports (LPRs), three exams (one for each of the three domains in the LabSim), four written asignments, and a Final Exam. The Final Exam includes all domains covered throughout the term and will conclude the course. Additional information on each assignment is provided under the assignment guidelines in the "Modules" section of the course's Canvas site or within the appropriate area. Remember that all dues are mandatory. See grading weights in the Grading section below.

NOTE: This course does not include programming assignments, however, part of the LabSim there will be some activities that may require students to conduct some configurations and settings on simulated devices.






Student introduction/bio post



Lab Progress Reports (10 LPRs x 3% each)



Exam No. 1 (via LabSim) - Domains 1-3: 1. Introduction, 2. Security Basics, and 3. Policies Procedures and Awareness



Exam No. 2 (via LabSim) - Domains 4-6: 4. Physical, 5. Perimeter, and 6. Network



Exam No. 3 (via LabSim) - Domains 7-9: 7. Host, 8. Application, and 9. Data


Written Assignments (4 assignments) 20%  

Final Exam (via LabSim - Security Pro Exam)







Grading Scale:























Below 70











  • Mutual respect and courtesy.
  • Professional quality in the organization, completeness, neatness, and timeliness of any material submitted will be expected.
  • Late assignments will not be accepted! However, the professor realizes that exceptional situations (such as justified emergencies or medical situations) do occur. In such cases, please inform your professor via e-mail to obtain special permission for late submission, prior to the deadline.
  • A student may not do additional work or repeat an examination to raise a final grade.
  • All papers and assignments should include a certificate of authorship signed by the student.
  • The professor is not obligated to communicate with students via e-mail or telephone about the course or assignments after final grades have been submitted. However, official Challenge of Course Grade and Student Grievance Procedure, as outlined in the graduate catalog, will be processed.
  • Students should be aware that any submitted work for this course may be subjected to detection of breach of copyright.
  • No incompletes will be provided unless the student compleated at least 75% of the course assignments.

Although some sections above are parts of this course's syllabus, this is not the course syllabus. The purpose of this page is to allow students and prospective students to gain understanding on the nature of this course and the professor. The course syllabus will be provided via Canvas and will be available for all students who register for this course.

Looking forward "seeing" you in my class!

Yair Levy, Ph.D. (levyy@nova.edu)
Professor of Information Systems and Cybersecurity
Director, Center for Information Protection, Education, and Research (CIPhER)
College of Computing and Engineering
Nova Southeastern University
Copyright ©  - Dr. Yair Levy, all rights reserved worldwide.
Modified  December 30, 2019