Our society critically depends on cyber space for almost everything, including banking, transport & logistics, air travel, energy, telecommunications, flood defences, health care, email, social networks, and even warfare. The consequences of cyber security failures could be disastrous and the demand for cyber security specialists is therefore high and rising. The 4TU cyber security master specialisation offers computer science master students the opportunity to become such a highly sought after cyber security specialist.
Cyber space is probably the largest and most complex engineering artefact that humanity has ever created. Nobody understands the whole structure because it is just too complex. We cannot even turn it off. The adversaries in cyber space play a strategic game; we often do not know who the adversaries are, nor what their motives are. Arguably nature has created more complex structures than mankind, but there are no strategic adversaries in nature. Securing cyber space is therefore very challenging.
Cyber security is about assessment of cyber risks and the design & implementation of countermeasures. Good cyber security measures start with the prevention of attacks (for example using firewalls and awareness campaigns). Since “100% security” is far too expensive, the next stage of cyber security is the timely detection of attacks (for example using intrusion detection tools and data analytics). The third stage is the recovery from attacks (for example using incident response methods and backups). Cyber risk management is the process that makes sure that the right resources are allocated. This is about balancing the three types of possible cyber security measures in order to reach states of acceptable risk levels in various cyber domains.
The Joint Task Force of the ACM, IEEE, AIS and IFIP defines cybersecurity as a “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.”
- Graduates have a profound understanding of security and privacy risks and mitigations in Cyber Space and are able to model and evaluate these risks and mitigations.
- Graduates have understanding and skills of applying the relevant foundations of cyber security, such as cryptography, formal methods, statistics, machine learning, and data analytics.
- Graduates have understanding and skills of cyber security engineering methodologies in the small and in the large.
- Graduates have insight into cross-disciplinary aspects of cyber security such as law, psychology, economics, governance, and management, and are able to read and understand basic texts from those domains and communicate with experts from those domains on cyber security.
- Graduates have understanding and skills of methods and approaches for practical security evaluation of ICT systems such as penetration testing, risk assessment, and monitoring & analytics.
- Graduates have specialist knowledge and understanding of one or more sub-fields or aspects of cyber security, typically acquired via research in the final year project.
- Graduates have practical experience conducting scientific research into cyber security, contributing to such research, applying the results, following the trends of this sub-field and contributing to its further development.
The program consists of:
- Six core courses (cryptography, cyber data analytics, cyber crime science, cyber risk management, network security, and software security). The core courses are decisive for success in further education and employment. The core courses include introductory as well as advanced topics.
- An off-site summer school where students bring theory into practice to solve a real cyber security problem. (This is part of the Capstone course).
- A choice of electives (e.g. biometrics, cyber security management, e-law, economics of security, a hands-on hacking lab, privacy enhancing technologies, secure data management, security verification, software testing & reverse engineering, digital forensics, and quantum cryptography).
- An individual final year project.
Cyber security students will not have problems find a job at a variety of organisations including the police, ministries, the IT security industry, auditors, research organisations, and universities, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
Students of cyber security must have a bachelor degree computer science or equivalent and an interest in disciplines other than computer science.
Full time or part time?
The 4TU Cyber Security degree course is a full time program. If you are interested in a part-time program, we recommend the Cyber Security Academy.
For students without a university level computer science bachelor, a pre-master program is available. In Delft this includes Calculus, Linear Algebra, Bachelor seminar, Reasoning and Logic, Algorithm Design, and Information and Data Modeling. In Twente the pre-master program includes Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, Algorithms, and Academic Skills. For details see Master Computer science > Course program > Premaster.
Most 4TU Cyber security courses are taught via tele-lecturing so that travel between the participating universities is minimal. The program lasts 2 years and consists of 120 EC courses and project work. Students normally start in September and in February.
The Course Program gives a brief overview of the program, with links to the syllabi of the courses. The Schedule shows how courses are scheduled over the year. The Study Plan helps you to create a study plan that satisfies the various rules that apply to master students of computer science in Delft and Twente.
We maintain mailing lists of active students, which carries important announcements. Please contact one of the coordinators to sign up for the appropriate mailing list.