Information Systems Security Essentials

Undergraduate Certificate

The undergraduate certificate in Information Systems Security Essentials focuses on protecting information assets by ensuring availability, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiation of information systems. This program concentrates on five key aspects of information security: hardware, software, networks, people, and policies. Security threats increase in number and severity at a faster rate than qualified security professionals can fill the necessary gap. Knowledgeable security professionals are needed even in a troubled economy, as businesses are forced to prioritize to invest in a secure digital environment. This certificate program is intended for undergraduate students who seek to heighten their knowledge of information systems security without committing to an academic degree program.  

Program Courses

Courseware in this online program is designed to prepare you for the Security+ certification. In addition, it meets the topical requirements of the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM) Technical III, Management II and Management III categories. Course topics include:

  • Information assurance, including planning and implementation
  • IT security attacks and defense mechanisms
  • IT security risk assessment, management, tools, and technologies
  • Computer and network security from human, software, and hardware perspectives
  • Information security, including detection, cybercrimes, and forensics
  • Network security attacks and countermeasures

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate information security strategies, architectures, and plans to counteract intruders in an information system.
  • Appraise national and federal laws, policies, and guidance related to information assurance; also develop an awareness of the social, psychological, ethical, and legal policies and requirements in the field of information assurance.
  • Examine and profile the various types of security attacks and exploits; also appraise various security technologies, such as: packet filtering, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), proxy technology, Network Address Translation (NAT), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication, and encryption.
  • Analyze the concept and the functionality of firewalls, routers, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS).
  • Appraise the role of security assessments, penetration testing, and security plans in establishing network security; also evaluate the components of a network security assessment methodology.
  • Investigate methods to mitigate risk by minimizing the exposure of information to hackers, and the techniques hackers use to avoid detection and to cover their electronic footprints.
  • Develop an assessment methodology that identifies, attacks, and penetrates IP based network systems.
  • Define public key cryptography, the purpose of digital certificates, and risk analysis & explain ways to securely manage operations.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • All undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • New undergraduate students may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment (ADMN100). If you have successfully completed 9 or more hours of college credit, you may reach out to your admission representative to inquire about waiving this requirement.
  • If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates  

Military-Affiliated Students* = $250/credit hour

All Other Students = $270/credit hour

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

As an accredited university, we accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $500 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.