Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense
Credit Hours
Month Completion
Class Type
Next Start Date
Aug 14, 2023
Placement Tests
GMAT/GRE not required for admission

Shorten the path to in-demand jobs with a cyber defense certificate program

With growing reliance on the internet for everything from shopping to socialization, it’s not surprising that incidents of cyber attacks are larger, more frequent and more costly. Cyber defense or actively resisting attacks, is one element of a cybersecurity strategy. With Franklin’s 8-month online Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense, you’ll learn to perform a technically deep security analysis and protect infrastructure, servers, networks and software.   

Program Availability

On Site

Finish in 8 Months

Earn your certificate and prepare for advancement sooner.  

Learn from the Best

Benefit from the experience of your instructors – seasoned, in-field practitioners.

No STEM. No Problem.

Build the foundation for success with two corequisite courses.      

100% Online Coursework

Balance earning your degree with other work-life commitments.

Learn by Doing

Get hands-on technical experience through 40+ labs integrated throughout the program. 

Cyber Defense Certificate Program Overview

Boost your skills with practical and relevant learning opportunities 

Focus on building competencies required by employers though more than 40 hands-on, cloud-based labs spread over four courses. You’ll also explore essential cybersecurity and information assurance topics, cyber threats and vulnerabilities, ethical hacking techniques, advanced network security concepts and application security.  

Qualify for an in-demand job in cybersecurity in 8 months 

If you are looking to build on your IT skills, sharpen your technical skills or add cybersecurity skills to your toolkit, the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense is a good fit for you. The program combines theoretical knowledge and real-world skills to help you become a more marketable professional. The certificate will make you an asset in government, education, private industry or NGOs – any organization that uses cyber technologies is a potential employer.  

If don't have an undergraduate degree in technology or a STEM background, two 12-week corequisite courses (Foundations of Programming and Foundations of Network Systems) will provide the technical knowledge to help you conquer the four courses required for the certificate. You can complete all six courses in 9 months.  

Channel the hacker mentality to serve the greater good 

Through courses in ethical hacking, application security and advanced network security, you’ll be presented with tools and methods used by hackers. By understanding the mentality of hackers, you’ll acquire a security mindset by learning and applying adversarial tactics and techniques.  

Earn your Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense from a university built for busy adults 

As an accredited, nonprofit university, our focus at Franklin is on you. Our team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules and 100% online coursework help to balance your education with work, family and life.  

Students rate our faculty members as top-notch for the real-world expertise they are able to bring to the coursework. When you need help, your instructor is just a phone call or email away. You can also rely on support resources from the Learning Commons, like workshops, tutoring sessions and library services. Get started on your future today.  

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Cyber Defense Certificate Courses & Curriculum

16 Semester Hours
Major Area Required
ISEC 610 - Information Assurance (4)

This course covers the fundamentals of security in the enterprise environment. Included are coverage of risks and vulnerabilities, threat modeling, policy formation, controls and protection methods, encryption and authentication technologies, network security, cryptography, personnel and physical security issues, as well as ethical and legal issues. This foundational course serves as an introduction to many of the subsequent topics discussed in depth in later security courses. Note, this course has proctored exam(s). This exam requires additional technology, if student uses online proctoring.

ISEC 620 - Software and App Security (4)

Today, software is at the heart of nearly every business from finance to manufacturing. Software pervades everyday life in expected places like phones and computers but also in places that you may not consider such as toasters, thermostats, automobiles, and even light bulbs. Security flaws in software can have impacts ranging from inconvenient to damaging and even catastrophic when it involves life-critical systems. How can software be designed and built to minimize the presence of flaws or mitigate their impacts? This course focuses on software development processes that identify, model, and mitigate threats to all kinds of software. Topics include threat modeling frameworks, attack trees, attack libraries, defensive tactics, secure software development lifecycle, web, cloud, and human factors.

ISEC 650 - Advanced Network Security (4)

Networks connecting disparate devices, services, and users have been among the most ubiquitous technologies that have led to the spectacular economic and technical success of the Internet. Today, networks seem to disappear, only to receive attention when they fail or are breached by attackers. While firewalls and virtual private networks are mainstays of network security, a strategy built on these alone is insufficient. This course covers a more comprehensive and systematic approach to network security including monitoring, incident response, forensics, virtualization and cloud, secure protocols, cryptography, and web services

ISEC 670 - Ethical Hacking (4)

When most people think of information security the images that come to mind are those of hackers: secretive people who, for political or profit motives, illegally break into computer systems to steal data or cause mayhem. While that kind of criminal element does exist, ethical hackers provide a needed service to organizations seeking to test and refine their security plans and technologies. This course takes an in-depth approach to ethical hacking including reconnaissance, scanning, vulnerability analysis, exploitation, and reporting. Students will employ current tools and methods in a hands-on approach that also prepares them for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam. Note, this course has proctored exam(s).

COMP 501 - Foundations of Programming (4)

This course covers fundamental programming principles. Students will learn about the basic elements of a computer program such as data types, assignments, conditional branching, loops, functions, recursion, basic data structures, program debugging, and testing. Note, this course has proctored exam(s).

OR ITEC 136 - Principles of Programming (4)

This course covers fundamental programming principles for individuals with at least some programming background. Major themes are structured programming, problem solving, algorithm design, top-down stepwise refinement, and software lifecycle. Topics will include testing, data types, operators, repetition and selection control structures, functions, arrays, and objects. Students will design, code, test, debug, and document programs in a relevant programming language. Note, this course has proctored exam(s).

OR COMP 111 - Introduction to Computer Science & Object-Oriented Programming (4)

This course provides an introduction to software construction using an object-oriented approach. The student learns and reflects on problem analysis, object-oriented design, implementation, and testing. To support the concepts and principles of software construction, the student will design, code, test, debug, and document programs using the Java programming language. Basic data types, control structures, methods, and classes are used as the building blocks for reusable software components. Automated unit testing, programming style, and industrial practice are emphasized in addition to the object-oriented techniques of abstraction, encapsulation, and composition. Note, this course has proctored exam(s).

COMP 204 - Principles of Computer Networks AND ITEC 400 – Linux Administration OR ITEC 350 - Windows Administration can be used to replace ITEC 504. Graduate prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. Undergraduate prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.

ITEC 504 - Foundations of Networks and Systems (4)

This course will provide the knowledge and hands-on skills necessary for the function, design, administration, and implementation of computer networks and basic administration of the Linux operating system. The first half of the course covers the fundamentals of computer networks, OSI networking model, TCP/IP protocol suite, fundamental protocols, wireless networks, virtualization, cloud computing, monitoring, and troubleshooting. The second half covers Linux operating system concepts, including installation, package, file, process, disk & user management, logging, and system security. Note, this course has proctored exam(s).

Keep the Momentum Going

Keep the momentum going and earn your master’s degree

Completion of the four courses required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Defense not only equips you with job-ready skills but also positions you just five classes away from completing Franklin’s M.S. in Cybersecurity, a comprehensive degree that equips you with both theory-based knowledge and application-oriented security skills to develop solutions that minimize risk. 

Program Details

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Career Opportunities

Penetration Tester

Pen testers may work directly for an organization or be contracted through a security firm to simulate cyber attacks as a way of identifying vulnerabilities in applications, systems or networks. 

Network Engineer

Network engineers establish new networking environments, design system configuration, manage installation, define and enforce standards, and improve resilience of existing environments.

Cybersecurity Specialist

Cybersecurity specialists maintain network and data security by monitoring systems for internal and external threats, anticipating future threats, and providing guidance on how to avert them.

Intrusion Analyst

Intrusion analysts investigate attacks and develop recovery strategies in order to mitigate the impact of a security breach on an organization’s systems and digital assets.

Cyber Defense Employment Outlook


From 2021-2031 jobs in Cyber Defense are expected to increase by 10%

All Occupations

4,485,128 jobs
4,918,271 jobs
Show Details >

Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists

1,758,579 jobs
1,918,769 jobs

Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers

1,677,611 jobs
2,089,720 jobs

Computer and Information Systems Managers

510,065 jobs
565,052 jobs

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