Oct 24, 2021  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [PAST CATALOG]

Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, A.A.S.

Change of program name from Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Option to Information Assurance and Cybersecurity is pending approval of Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Award: Associate of Applied Science degree, A.A.S.

Total Credit Hours: a minimum of 61 credit hours.

About the Cybersecurity, Networking and Digital Forensics Department 

Purpose: Provides training in computer security disciplines with three specific focus areas: security, digital forensics and networking. These degrees prepare students for entry level positions in information assurance and cybersecurity.

Areas of Concentration: This degree requires that students choose a concentration in one of three areas. A concentration is a structured plan of study within a degree program. The number of credit hours and particular course requirements for a concentration varies, as listed below.  To achieve a concentration, students must receive credit for every course requirement listed under that concentration.

Three Concentrations:

1. Security (code AAS.CIS.SECURITY): This program emphasizes computer security and information assurance concepts augmented with current accepted industry practices. Topics cover threats and vulnerabilities, prevention at the technical (hardware and software) and human levels, detection, response, and management aspects of security. This program of study fully maps to National Security Telecommunications and System Security Instruction (NSTISSI) 4011 and 4013 standards. This program provides partial foundation for the CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician). 

  Range of Occupations
  • Security specialist
  • Information assurance security specialist
  • Information systems security analyst
  • Manager of network and data security
  • Applications security specialist
  • Operating system security specialist

2. Digital Forensics (code AAS.CIS.DIGITAL-FRSC): This program emphasizes the proper handling of digital evidence; the tools and techniques utilized in forensics analysis, the importance of proper documentation and report generation; and the laws and ethics that govern evidence handling. Topics include the proper collection and preservation of digital evidence; the retrieval of evidence from multiple environments and devices; the use of commercial forensics and open source tools; manual recovery techniques; the analysis of collected information; and proper documentation and reporting. This program fully maps to the eight knowledge domains as currently specified by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). This program fully prepares students for the Cyber Incident Responder (CIR) exam sponsored by the Defense Cyber Crime Center National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence program and the Access Data Certified Examiner (ACE).

  Range of Occupations
  • Computer forensic investigator
  • Corporate forensic investigator
  • Incident Handler
  • Incident Responder
  • Law enforcement investigator
  • Legal investigator
  • Private investigator
  • Financial investigator
  • Loss prevention agent
  • Computer forensic analyst
  • Counterintelligence agent
  • Policy analyst
  • eDiscovery specialist
  • eDiscovery project manager
  • Data restoration specialist
  • Forensics analyst
  • Forensics consultant
  • Forensic science technician
  • Technology risk management professional

3. Networking (code AAS.CIS.NETWORK): This program incorporates a study of data communication fundamentals together with an in-depth study of current networking architectures and protocols. Client/server and peer networks are specifically studied together with hands-on laboratory time working with Microsoft,UNIX/LINUX and Cisco systems. A combination of lecture and labs provide the basis for potential networking certifications. This program provides partial foundation for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Technician) certification exam. 

  Range of Occupations
  • LAN system administration
  • Network installation
  • Network management
  • WAN Management Technology
  • Linux administrator
  • Windows Server administrator
  • System administrator

Related Industry Certifications:  These programs provide the foundation for the following industry recognized certifications: CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+. These programs do not provide certification exam training or certification testing other than the forensics CIR and ACE exams.

Graduates in these fields will find positions available in industry, education and government. Occupations can be explored further through the virtual Careers Center.

Planning Tool: Two-Year Sequence of Courses

AACC faculty developed the following sequence of courses for each area of concentration within this degree to encourage greater success in each student’s academic experience.  These sequences incorporate all of the student’s requirements and provide the student with essential notes to guide their success.  It is recommended that students view and save the two-year sequence of courses document as they plan courses for their chosen area of concentration.

SECURITY CONCENTRATION: Click here to view, print or save a PDF copy of the Planning Tool: Two-Year Sequence of Courses     DIGITAL FORENSICS CONCENTRATION: Click here to view, print or save a PDF copy of the Planning Tool: Two-Year Sequence of Courses      NETWORKING CONCENTRATION: Click here to view, print or save a PDF copy of the Planning Tool: Two-Year Sequence of Courses   


Degree/Graduation Requirements

Degree Requirements

A grade of C or better is required in each Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program course requirement.

General Education Requirements: 19-22 credits

An approved list of general education courses can be found in the General Education Requirements and degree program required courses  section of the catalog. Choose general education courses from the following topics:

English: 3-6 credits

Arts and Humanities: 3 credits

Biological and Physical Sciences: 3 credits

Computer Technology: 4 credits

Mathematics: 3 credits

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 credits

See General Education Social and Behavioral Sciences Requirements  for a list of approved courses.

Program Requirements: 39-42 credits

These are common program requirements for all three areas of concentration.  Students must complete all of these courses with a grade of C or better.

Students must select one Area of Concentration in Security, Digital Forensics, or Networking as specified below: 19-22 credit hours.

Security Area of Concentration Requirements: 19-22 credits

Degree Awarded: Information Assurance and Cybersecurity - Security Concentration

Digital Forensics Area of Concentration Requirements: 21-22 credits

Degree Awarded: Information Assurance and Cybersecurity - Digital Forensics Concentration (AAS.CIS.DIGITAL-FRSC)

Networking Area of Concentration Requirements: 20-22 credits

Degree Awarded: Information Assurance and Cybersecurity - Networking Concentration (AAS.CIS.NETWORK)

Additional Requirements

Computer Competency Requirement

General education requirement CTA 103  meets this requirement.

Diversity Requirement

Students may satisfy the diversity requirement simultaneously as they satisfy the social science general education requirement. See Diversity Requirement  for a list of approved courses.

Fast Track Option

This program has a Fast Track Option  for those holding a college degree.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Security Area of Concentration, students will be able to:

  • Identify the basic components of a layered structure for Network Defense architecture.
  • Analyze network traffic that use TCP/IP protocols.
  • Harden systems running Windows operating systems.
  • Harden systems running Linux operating systems.
  • Identify Internet security threats.
  • Secure DNS services.
  • Identify router security threats.
  • Secure routers using access control lists.
  • Use firewalls to protect networks from security threats.
  • Configure IPSec and VPNs to secure network traffic.
  • Design and configure intrusion protection systems.
  • Secure wireless networks.
  • Implement access control and auditing measures.
  • Describe concepts and issues related to risk analysis.
  • Configure and implement security policies for an organization.


Upon successful completion of the Digital Forensics Area of Concentration, students will be able to:

  • Extract key concepts from cases and statutes
  • Identify vulnerabilities and assess risks in forensic investigations.
  • Plan a forensic investigation.
  • Identify where evidence may reside.
  • Use software tools to access evidence and conduct forensic analysis.
  • Explain legal limitations on searches and seizures of evidence.
  • Explore the functionality of the Windows OS as it relates to data storage and evidence.
  • Explore the functionality of the Linux OS as it relates to data storage and evidence.
  • Explore the functionality of the Macintosh OS as it relates to data storage and evidence.
  • Practice preserving, handling and documenting digital evidence.
  • Identify processes and communications in a network environment.
  • Explain the characteristics of computer crime offenses and offenders.
  • Conduct digital investigations of computers and mobile devices using industry standard tools.
  • Perform investigative reconstruction.
  • Prepare and present reports and testimony.


Upon successful completion of the Networking Area of Concentration, students will be able to:

  • Design, implement, and administer local-area and wide-area networks to meet organizational needs. 
  • Resolve network system problems and apply troubleshooting methodologies.
  • Perform basic configurations on routers and Ethernet devices.
  • Apply relevant policies and procedures to secure and monitor network systems.
  • Design and configure Linux and Windows Server Based Systems to support Network infrastructure access for both LAN and WAN configurations
  • Administer Linux and Windows Server Operating System, including, but not limited to, administration of User Accounts, File Access Permissions, Internet Access and Security
  • Communicate technical information to both technical and nontechnical audiences in both written and oral form.
  • Participate effectively as a member of a team

This program aligns with all the college’s core competencies. For a full list of Core Competencies, click here.

Related Educational Opportunities

Continuing Education and Workforce Development Offerings

Additional courses, credentials and/or certifications may be available through the AACC School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.

Transfer Agreements

Agreements may exist for this program of study. To access agreements, go to www.aacc.edu/transfer.