Cybersecurity education: evolution of the discipline and analysis of master programs

Krzysztof Cabaj , Dulce Domingos , Zbigniew Kotulski , Ana Respício


As the amount of information, critical services, and interconnected computers and ‘things’ in the cyberspace is steadily increasing, the number, sophistication, and impact of cyberattacks are becoming more and more significant. In the last decades, governmental and non-governmental organisations have become aware of this problem. However, the existing cybersecurity workforce has not been sufficient for satisfying the increasing demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals, and the shortfall will increase in the next years. Meanwhile, to address the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, academic institutions have been establishing cybersecurity programs, particularly, cybersecurity master programs.

This paper aims at analysing which cybersecurity topics are covered by existing cybersecurity master programs of top universities and how these topics are distributed through courses. It starts by reviewing the evolution and maturation of the cybersecurity discipline, focusing on the ACM efforts, which include the early addition of the Information Assurance and Security Knowledge Areas to the computer science curricula and, more recently, the development of curricular recommendations to support the definition of post-secondary cybersecurity programs. These latest guidelines are used to analyse and review 21 cybersecurity master programs, focusing on the contents of their courses, structure, admission requirements, duration, requirements for completion, and evolution.

Author Krzysztof Cabaj (FEIT / IN)
Krzysztof Cabaj,,
- The Institute of Computer Science
, Dulce Domingos - Universidade de Lisboa (ULISBOA) [Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa]
Dulce Domingos,,
, Zbigniew Kotulski (FEIT / IT)
Zbigniew Kotulski,,
- The Institute of Telecommunications
, Ana Respício - Universidade de Lisboa (ULISBOA) [Centro de Matemática e Aplicações Fundamentais]
Ana Respício,,
Journal seriesComputers & Security, ISSN 0167-4048, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.55
Keywords in Englishcybersecurity master programs; cybersecurity discipline evolution; graduate cybersecurity education; comparative study
ASJC Classification3308 Law; 1700 General Computer Science
ProjectThe Develpment of Digital Communicatios. Project leader: Siuzdak Jerzy, , Phone: +48 22 234-7868, start date 07-06-2017, end date 30-11-2018, IT/2017/statut, Completed
WEiTI Działalność statutowa
Development of new algorithms in the areas of software and computer architecture, artificial intelligence and information systems and computer graphics . Project leader: Arabas Jarosław, , Phone: +48 22 234 7432, start date 01-06-2017, end date 31-10-2018, II/2017/DS/1, Completed
WEiTI Działalność statutowa
Languageen angielski
1-s2.0-S0167404818300373-main.pdf 806.45 KB
Score (nominal)30
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 16-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 2; Scopus Citations = 2; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 2.303; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 3.062 (2) - 2018=3.476 (5)
Citation count*15 (2020-01-12)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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