Introduction to Cybersecurity: From Securing Systems to Ethical Hacking

Earn a Certificate of Completion.

Upon hearing the word cybersecurity, people either envision a hacker in a dark room with a screen full of text, or the latest notice that their information has been compromised. Is that cybersecurity? Yes! However, that’s only part of it. Cybersecurity is defined by the US Government as the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

Students will come to understand cybersecurity from the perspective of the security experts, companies, government, individuals, and yes even hacker.

October 17 – November 18, 2022
December 19 – December 23, 2022

Students must be at least 14 years old or older and enrolled in a high school or secondary program. International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.

$1990 USD
$35 application fee


Featured Topics

  • Cybersecurity in the real world
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Security Standards and Frameworks
  • Internet of Things
  • Ethical hacking

Learning Outcomes

Following the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core principles of cybersecurity
  • Be able to conduct cyber risk assessments
  • Be knowledgeable of various cybersecurity frameworks and standards
  • Understand the risks, vulnerabilities, and threats resulting from connected devices i.e. Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Develop basic ethical hacking skills.

The course consists of recorded lectures, academic exercises, research assignments, labs, and discussions. Students will explore the many facets of cybersecurity. Each module is composed of topics woven together to give a complete picture of cybersecurity.


Darin Gray
Dr. Darin Gray Co-Director of the USC Viterbi School K-12 STEM Center
USC Viterbi School of Engineering

In this course, you’ll be taking class with USC Viterbi School of Engineering faculty member, Dr. Darin Gray. As the Co-Director of the K-12 STEM Center, Darin oversees Center operations and partnerships with local schools and school districts. He forges new partnerships with STEM organizations within and outside of the University, writes proposals for STEM grants and develops, implements and oversees data driven program evaluations.

After graduating from USC, Darin worked for the Hughes Aircraft Company’s Advanced Circuit Technology Lab where he designed analog to digital converters for the Radar Systems Group. After leaving Hughes, Darin worked for 25 years for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Adult and Career Education as a mathematics instructor and as a coordinator for an alternative high school. He has been at USC Viterbi for over 23 years and prior to being the Co-Director, he was the STEM Coordinator responsible for program support, curricula development and teacher professional development. He teaches an introduction to engineering course, Discover Engineering, for the USC Summer Programs office. Darin is also a sergeant in the California State Guard where he serves as a Cyber Security trainer for the CA National Guard.