Course Syllabus

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change. Instructors will notify students of any changes and students will be responsible for abiding by them. Even if you print this syllabus, please check the online version often.

Course Description

CYBER 262: Cyber-Defense Studio (3 credits) - This studio course teaches a variety of hands-on cyber-defense skills that will enable students to perform cyber defense and event analysis. We will implement defensive measures and collect log information from a variety of sources to identify and analyze system and network events. We will also carry out reconnaissance and attacks to better understand how to better defend systems. 


  • CYBER 100S
  • IST 140


  • Use intrusion detection methodologies and techniques for detecting host and network-based intrusions.
  • Analyze network traffic flows related to security events such as Transmission Control Protocol [TCP] and Internet Protocol [IP], Open System Interconnection Model [OSI].
  • Determine appropriate Cyber defense implementations by applying programming skills with Cyber defense tools when solving Cybersecurity problems through hands-on lab exercises.
  • Apply analytical skills to properly configure an IDS, IPS, Firewall and Endpoint protection system to adhere to security policies.
  • Utilize penetration testing and ad hoc tools to test systems for vulnerabilities.
  • Gain knowledge of defense-in-depth principles and network security architecture.
  • Understand key concepts in security management (e.g., Release Management, Patch Management).



  • Instructor Information Area

** All course-related email, including messages to your instructor(s) and fellow students should be sent within Canvas, using the Inbox. Every attempt will be made for the instructor (or a substitute) to respond to email questions within 24 hours except on weekends and holidays.


Lab Access - Purchasing a Practice Labs Voucher is required the first week of class.  

  • You will also need access to Practice Labs (voucher license purchase) to work on the lab assignments within that platform.
    • CYBER 262 PRACTICE LABS ACCESS CODE by PRACTICE LABS - Required (This is listed as REQUIRED and contains only access for this one course)
    • CYBER 262 PRACTICE LABS PSU Bundle by PRACTICE LABS - Recommended if you are going to take 4+ courses that use Practice Labs within 12 months. (This contains access for all IST courses with Practice Labs.)

Reading Materials for this Course are Available for Free from the PSU Library;


Assignments & Grading

Successful completion of this course will require the deliverables outlined in the Grading Breakdown below. The weight or percentage towards your final grade is indicated in parentheses. All Work must be completed individually unless otherwise noted in the assignment. The grade for a group project will not necessarily be the same for each group member. Individual group grade adjustments will be made if members are not making adequate contributions, attending meetings, or communicating their status. 

Grading Breakdown - See Assignment group percentage weights on right panel.

  • Labs  - Labs are a significant part of our learning activities. You can request one redo of a Lab assignment. See the Redo Requests module in Canvas.
  • Lab Quizzes - Lab Quizzes will further assess your understanding of the Lab activities. You can request one re-take of a Lab quiz. See the Redo Requests module in Canvas.
  • Quizzes  -  There will three high stakes quizzes, one at the end of each domain (A,B and C)
  • Homework and Discussion Activities - Homework and Discussions will reinforce lesson materials and current cyber events. Lowest grade will drop.
  • Group Assignments -  A group assignment will hep synergize course learning objectives and promote teamwork.

Rounding up on Final Grades -  As a general rule I will consider rounding up if your grade is within .05 of the next grade, I review the situation upon entering your final grades and take into account your participation and overall performance. There is not guarantee that if you are within .05 that your grade will round up.

Your Technical Support Responsibilities and Grade Impact

  • If you encounter any technical problems with Canvas or your Lab environment you should contact the appropriate support team. Be sure to obtain a ticket number for your issue. Extensions for late assignments due to technical problems will not be considered unless you have a documented ticket and have made a reasonable attempt at getting support before the deadline. 
  • Contact the instructor if issues are not getting resolved in a timely fashion. 
  • You are responsible for checking your Canvas submissions for any errors. Submitting an unreadable or damaged file as part of an assignment will  result in no credit for that portion of the assignment.

 Grade Distribution

    • In accordance with the University policy AD11 on Confidentiality Of Student Records grades or other student records will never be provided by telephone, email, or to third parties. If you have difficulty in accessing your grades, or if you feel a recorded grade may be in error, you should contact the instructor.
    • Student grades are posted in Canvas, and students are responsible for monitoring grades.
    • Problem Resolution Time Limits: Written documentation of any problem related to score assignment must be sent via Canvas Inbox within one-week from the date scores were first reported available to students in Canvas Announcements.
    • Caution: Until the semester ends, the grade book "ignores" zero-grade assignments; this may result in students being presented an artificially high grade.

 The following are minimum cutoffs for each grade:

  • 93.00% = A
  • 90.00% = A-
  • 87.00% = B+
  • 83.00% = B
  • 80.00% = B-
  • 77.00% = C+
  • 70.00% = C
  • 60.00% = D
  • less than 60.00% = F


Course Policies and Expectations

Ethical Use of Course Content

The content provided in this course can be used for educational purposes to understand cyber security concepts and techniques. It can also be used for nefarious purposes. Students are expected to use the course content for their own edification only and shall not apply this knowledge except in the classroom, on specific systems (such as the virtual lab) and only for the purposes defined by the instructor.

Any use of the course’s content that is performed without expressed, written permission of the system’s owner may be in violation of Penn State University policies as well as local, state and federal laws. The instructor will cooperate fully with all university investigations and the requests of all law enforcement agencies in investigations against students in the course.

Class recording

“Video and audio recordings of class lectures could be part of the classroom activity. The video and audio recording is used for educational use/purposes and only may be made available to all students presently enrolled in the class. For purposes where the recordings will be used in future class session/lectures, any type of identifying information will be adequately removed.”

Due Dates for Assignments 

Assignment Due Dates will be determined during the semester and posted on Canvas. Handing in late work will have the following consequences. 

  • Late Labs and Other Assignments will result in a 5% deduction if handed it one day late and a 10% penalty per every day after that, after 4 days work will not be accepted. 
  • Late Quizzes will result in a zero unless arrangements were made with the instructor in advance


Please communicate any concerns as soon as possible to your instructor and LA's. Be proactive when it comes to concerns, absences and struggles so that we can assist to get you back on track before it impacts your performance.

The following communication guidelines should also be followed:

  • Logging into Canvas - Students are expected to login regularly to check for course updates, announcements, emails, discussions, etc.
  • Emailing through Canvas - Students are expected to use Canvas for all course email communication.


Find extensive information and links to many Penn State and IST resources (including the Penn State libraries, video conferencing tools, technology and software, writing and research, and much more) on the Resources page.

University Policies

University policies are outlined below. Additional information regarding Academic Integrity, Disability Accommodations, Military Accommodations, and many others can be found on the University Policies page.

Non-Discrimination and Harassment

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. You may direct inquiries to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802; Tel 814-865-0077 or to the Office of Affirmative Action, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-1150/TTY.

Americans with Disabilities Act

IST welcomes persons with disabilities to all of its classes, programs, and events. If you need accommodations, or have questions about access to buildings where IST activities are held, please contact us in advance of your participation or visit. If you need assistance during a class, program, or event, please contact the member of our staff or faculty in charge. Access to IST courses should be arranged by contacting the Office of Human Resources, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, (814) 865-8949.

An Invitation to Students with Learning Disabilities

It is Penn State’s policy to not discriminate against qualified students with documented disabilities in its educational programs.  If you have a disability-related need for modifications in your testing or learning situation, you should notify your instructor during the first week of classes so that your needs can be accommodated.  You will be asked to present documentation from the Office of Disability Services (located in 116 Boucke Building, 863-1807) that describes the nature of your disability and the recommended remedy.  You may refer to the Nondiscrimination Policy in the Student Guide to University Policies and Rules.

Pandemic Related Policies

Virus info can be found at

Disruptions in the Classroom and Virtual Environments.

Disruptive behavior is defined as “Obstruction or disruption of classes, research projects, conduct processes and/or investigations (University or police), University governance proceedings, or other activities or programs of the University; or obstructing access to University facilities, property, or programs. An action or combination of actions by one or more individuals that unreasonably interferes with, hinders, obstructs, or prevents the operation of the University or infringes on the rights of others to freely participate in its programs and services. (Also see policy AD-57)” University Code of Conduct, 2019.

Academic Integrity

Penn State and the College of Information Sciences and Technology are committed to maintaining Penn State's policy on Academic Integrity in this and all other courses. We take academic integrity matters seriously and expect you to become a partner to the University/College standards of academic excellence.

For more information, please review these policies and procedures:

While utilizing additional sources outside of this class is encouraged for gaining a better understanding of course concepts, seeking explicit answers for graded assignments from outside sources (e.g. Course Hero, Chegg, tutoring services like, etc.) is considered CHEATING and will not be tolerated. Sanctions range from failure of the assignment or course to dismissal from the University. Additionally, sharing course content without permission is a violation of copyright and may result in university sanctions and/or legal ramifications. Contact your instructor with questions related to this topic. 

University Policies

Review current information regarding various Penn State policies (such as copyright, counseling, psychological services, disability and military accommodations, discrimination, harassment, emergencies, trade names, etc.) on the University Policies page.

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage (


Find extensive information and links to many Penn State and IST resources (including the Penn State libraries, video conferencing tools, technology and software, writing and research help, and much more) on the Resources page.

Technical Requirements

Standard World Campus computer technical specifications are assumed for this course. Please test your computer for requirements. In addition, a webcam and a headset with a microphone are REQUIRED for the course. These may be used for virtual meetings, virtual office hours, interactions with classmates and your instructor, and group presentations - which are all conducted with virtual meeting tools. No special software is required.


The following schedule outlines the topics covered in this course, along with the associated time frames, readings, activities, and assignments. All due dates reflect Eastern Time (ET). Specifying the time zone ensures that all students have the same deadlines, regardless of where they live.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due