National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

National Security Agency logoNational Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity logoCAE Logo

Indiana State University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States of America. The NSA and DHS jointly sponsor the CAE-CD with the goal of reducing vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.



Indiana State University's major in Cybercriminology and Security Studies with a concentration in Cybercrime is a one of a kind degree amongst so many cybersecurity degrees. The degree prepares students not only in Criminology but also digital forensics, security and risk and behavioral analysis. Students will get a cybersecurity education that is like no other such that they will learn not only law enforcement but learn digital forensics with tools used by professionals today and prepare them for security certifications.

Students receive an all-inclusive education in cybersecurity that prepares them for a career in law enforcement, criminal justice, criminology and as well as private, public, or government. With a cutting-edge cyberlab and industry leading digital forensics software, the cybersecurity program in the School of Criminology and Security Studies highlights hands-on learning with real world tools and certification preparation used by professionals in the field.

Cybercriminology and Security Studies Cybercrime Highlights

  • Career Knowledge - Emphasize technical, behavioral, and theoretical sides of cybersecurity for careers in law enforcement, public and private businesses, and government
  • Certification Preparation - Students get the knowledge needed to pass industry leading certifications such MCFE, CompTIA A+, Net+, Security+, SSCP/CISSP, and FAIR.
  • Digital Forensics Software - Magnet Axiom Cyber and Paraben E:3 Universal are industry leaders used by many professionals in addition to other software such as AccessData FTK Lite and Autopsy
  • Hands-on Learning - Real-world expertise with hands on labs and projects
  • Experienced Faculty - Award winning faculty with industry experience
  • Flexibility-  Program offers not only fully online and on-campus classes but a hybrid as well

Cyber/Intel Lab

The Indiana State University, School of Criminology and Security Studies new Cyber/Intel Laboratory is used by instructors for teaching in a hands-on approach to help students learn digital forensics, cybersecurity, intelligence and behavioral analysis using the latest tools and technologies. The Cyber/Intel lab is a closed lab with limited access for faculty and is a single Internet connection separated from the university’s main networks. The Cyber/Intel Lab is located in Holmstedt Hall Room 016. For more information see the Cyberlab.

Areas of Study

  • Hardware and Software
  • Networking
  • Security and Risk
  • Digital Forensics including Computer and Mobile
  • Computer Security
  • Information Security Common Body of Knowledge
  • Cybercrime and Criminal Justice
  • Social Engineering
  • Cyber Defense

A complete list of requirements and course descriptions is provided in the Cybercriminology Requirements

Cybercriminology and Security Studies Cybercrime Concentration Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of computer hardware and software and operating systems.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of computer and network principles and components and thier interactions.
  • Demonstrate the basics understanding of cybersecurity concepts and principles.
  • Demonstrate how to investigate, acquire, analyze, interpret, locate and validate security incidents and forensic images from a variety of digital devices.
  • Demonstrate computer forensics analysis concepts, tools, and techniques.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct and ethical digital investigations that conform to policies, standards, laws, and are based on the investigative process: identification, preservation, examination, analysis, and reporting.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical causes of crime (with a focus on cyberoffenses), ethical issues surrounding those causes, application of theory, and examination of prevention efforts.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and application of security environments, networking, processes, and encryption.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of modern behavioral tactics used to gain unauthorized access to network and/or personal identifiable information and a variety of prevention methods.

Security Certifications

A major feature of ISU's cybersecurity program is it prepares students for industry recognized cybersecurity certifications and designations that are also DoD Approved 8570 Baseline Certifications including the Systems Security Certified Practitioner and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam from ISC2. For more information about Cybersecurity Certifications and the courses where they are offered, see Cybersecurity Certification.

High Tech Crime Unit

In November of 2021, Indiana State University's School of Criminology and Security Studies in partnership with the Vigo County Prosecutor's Office was named one of 10 HTCU in the state of Indiana by the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC) and was awarded $300k a year for two years. The HTCU provides paid internships to SCSS students who work with law enforcement from Vigo County and 7 surrounding counties. These investigators are sworn in by the prosecutors office and perform computer, mobile, audio and video forensics. The High Tech Crime Unit lab is housed in Holmstedt Hall and employs 6 investigators.

In addition, as a result of demand, the SCSS also established an introductory internship to prepare for the HTCU called the Electronic Data Analysis Section (EDAS). These interns listen to jail calls and video calls by request of THPD and Sheriff's Office. Although these are not paid internships or sworn in by investigators, they serve just as important need and provide real world experience. Interns in this program begin as a stepping stone to the HTCU.

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