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 Cybersecurity Professional Master

Master of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of the pillars in Vision 2030. The program is designed in line with Vision 2030 to prepare graduates with required competencies to lead the Kingdom initiatives in national cybersecurity and complement the efforts of the newly established Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) and National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC).  That is, the cybersecurity professional MS program can be mapped to several Vision 2030 objectives as follows:

  1. Objective 3 (Grow and diversify the economy): securing the nation's cyber infrastructures. 
  2. Objective 4 (Increase employment): graduating students ready to work in cybersecurity market. 
  3. Objective 5 (Enhance government effectiveness): supporting the development of e-government.

About the Program

The Master of Cybersecurity program is designed to offer a rich complementary curriculum consisting of 8 core courses from different disciplines that cover cybersecurity techniques, tools and technologies. These courses provide graduates with skills needed to proficiently assess threats, analyze vulnerabilities, prevent cyberattacks, protect computer-based assets, ensure privacy, and manage and maintain secure infrastructure systems.

Program Educational Objectives 

The educational objectives of the master of cybersecurity program are to produce graduates who, a few years after graduation, will have: 
  • PEO 1: Established themselves as professionals who can both lead cybersecurity teams as well as be an active member of cybersecurity teams 
  • PEO 2: Demonstrated an ability to pursue a successful cybersecurity professional and career growth 
  • PEO 3: Be responsible, ethically driven, and productive members of the cybersecurity professional society 

Why Should You Apply?

  • The program is designed in line with the best practices of prominent universities offering similar programs.
  • The program is designed to offer a rich complementary curriculum consisting of courses from different disciplines that cover cybersecurity techniques, tools and technologies.
  • The program aims to produce graduates who will establish themselves as professionals leading cybersecurity teams as well as be an active member of cybersecurity teams.
  • The program aims to produce productive and ethically driven graduates to pursue a successful professional and career growth in Cybersecurity.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, information technology, information systems, or a related discipline. Applicants with bachelor degrees outside the specified areas must demonstrate significant competence in computer programming, algorithms, computer systems, networking, and operating systems (through academic courses, professional certificates, or taking deficiency courses before joining the program).  The applicants should have a GPA of at least 2.5 out of 4. IELTS 6 and submit 2 recommendation letters.

Degree Plan


Course  Title LT LB CR
First Semester ​ ​    
SEC 521
Network Security
3 0 3
SEC 540 Cryptography and Blockchain Applications
3 0 3
SEC 511
Principles of Information Assurance and Security
3 0 3
COE 526
Data Privacy
3 0 3
   12 0 12
Second Semester ​ ​    
SWE 545
Secure Software Development
3 0 3
SEC 524
Computer and Network Forensics
3 0 3
SEC 542
Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
3 0 3
SEC 619
Project 0 0 IP
      9 0 9
Summer ​ ​    
SEC 528
Security in Wireless Networks
3 0 3
SEC 619
Project 0 0 6
   3 0 9
  Total Credit Hours    30

Courses Flow Chart


Courses description

SEC 511: Principles of Information Assurance and Security     (3-0-3)
Introduction to security and information assurance. Information confidentiality, availability, protection, and integrity. Security systems lifecycle. Risks, attacks, and the need for security. Legal, ethical, and professional issues in information security. Risk management including identification and assessment. Security technologies and tools. Security laws, audit and control. Cryptography foundations, algorithms and applications. Physical security, security and personnel, security implementation and management. Securing critical infrastructure. Trust and security in collaborative environments.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

SEC 521: Network Security     (3-0-3)
Network infrastructure security issues, including perimeter security defences, firewalls, virtual private networks, intrusion detection systems, wireless security, and network security auditing tools. Secure network applications. Network security protocols such as SSL, SSL/TLS, SSH, Kerberos, IPSec, IKE. Network threats and countermeasures. Network auditing and scanning. VoIP Security. Remote exploitation and penetration techniques. Network support for securing critical infrastructure. Design and development of software-based network security modules and tools based on hands-on experiences and state-of-the-art technologies.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

SEC 524: Computer and Network Forensics    (3-0-3)
Methodical approaches for collecting and preserving evidence of computer crimes, laws/regulation, and industry standards. Hands-on experience on identifying, analyzing, recreating, and addressing cyber based crimes. Ethical issues associated with information systems security. Foundational concepts such as file system structures, MAC times, and network protocols. Use of tools for evidence recovery. Use of established forensic methods in the handling of electronic evidence. Rigorous audit/logging and date archival practices. Prevention, detection, apprehension, and prosecution of security violators and cyber criminals, and general legal issues.
Prerequisite: SEC 521: Network Security

SEC 528: Security in Wireless Networks   (3-0-3)
Security of wireless networks such as cellular networks, wireless LANs, mobile ad hoc networks, wireless mesh networks, and sensor networks. Overview of wireless networks. Study of threats and types of attacks, including attacks on MAC protocols. Selfish and malicious behavior in wireless routing protocols. Countermeasures/solutions and their limitations. Encryption and authentication. Secure hand-off techniques. Energy-aware security mechanisms. Secure multicasting. Key pre-distribution and management in wireless networks.
Prerequisite: SEC 521: Network Security

SEC 540: Cryptography and Blockchain Applications    (3-0-3) 
Secret key encryption; Block and stream ciphers, Encryption standards;  Number theory: Divisibility, Modular arithmetic, Group theory and Finite fields; Public key encryption:  RSA, ElGamal and Rabin cryptosystems; Diffie-Hellman key exchange; Cryptographically secure hashing; Authentication and digital signatures; Digital signature standard (DSS), Randomized encryption; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain models and applications. Security issues and their solutions in Blockchain models and applications. Blockchain payment networks.
Note: Cannot be taken for credit with ICS 440
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

SEC 542: Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking     (3-0-3)
Introduction to penetration testing and ethical hacking, requirements and legal issues, setting up virtual lab; Exploring Kali Linux and Metasploit framework, hacking and penetration testing phases; Information gathering through passive and active reconnaissance, footprinting, social engineering, port scanning; Advanced fuzzing techniques; Exploitation, password attacks and gaining access to remote services; Web penetration testing and web-based exploitation; Maintaining access with backdoors and rootkits; Bypassing defense applications; Wireless and mobile device hacking techniques; Writing penetration testing report; Tools and programming available for penetration testers in both Windows and Linux platforms such as Kali Linux, OpenVAS, Burp, NMAP, Netcat, Python, etc.
Note: Cannot be taken for credit with ICS 442
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

COE 526: Data Privacy     (3-0-3) 
Data privacy: definition and terminologies. Difference between data security and privacy. Data privacy attacks. Data privacy laws and regulations. Privacy risk and impact assessment. Privacy engineering, management, and evaluation. Data anonymization. Statistical privacy. Differential privacy. Cryptographic privacy. Homomorphic encryption. Secure multi-party computation. Secure data outsourcing. Data hiding and steganography. Anonymous networks. Trusted execution environment. Applications of privacy preserving technologies in computer systems and applications.
Note: Cannot be taken for credit with COE 426
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

SWE 545: Secure Software Development     (3-0-3)
Security in requirements engineering; Secure designs; Risk analysis; The SQUARE Process Model; Threat modeling; Defensive coding; Software protection; Fuzzing; Static analysis and security assessment; Memory leaks, buffer and heap overflow attacks, injection attacks.
Note: Cannot be taken for credit with SWE 445
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

SEC 619 Project       (0-0-6)
A graduate student will arrange with a faculty member to conduct an industrial research project related to the cybersecurity as the field of the study. Subsequently the students shall acquire skills and gain experiences in developing and running actual industry-based project. This project culminates in the writing of a technical report, and an oral technical presentation in front of a board of professors and industry experts. 
Prerequisite: Completion of at least 12 credit hours.