Teaching Security Unit 0
The Security Mindset:
Cybersecurity through Threat Modeling
About This Lesson:
Unit 0 introduces students to the basic concepts of cybersecurity and the “Security Mindset”. This perspective frames the topics in the remaining lessons.
Intended Audience: High school students or early undergraduates. Geared towards AP Computer Science Principles, but compatible with any introductory computer science course.
Delivery Format: Traditional classroom.
Duration for Whole Unit: 75 minutes (with options to shorten).
Curriculum Standards Addressed
This lesson addresses the following computer-science curricular standards.
AP Computer Science Principles Curriculum Framework
The lesson substantially addresses the following Essential Knowledge under Big Idea X, NAME:
- EK XXX. Essential knowledge statement.
The following Essential Knowledge is also touched on:
- Under Big Idea X: NAME: XX, XXX.
CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards (Level 3 — High School)
The lesson substantially addresses the following learning objectives under Level X, Course Y: NAME:
- XXX. Learning objective.
The following learning objectives are also touched on:
- Under Level X, Course Y: NAME: XX; XXX.
ACM Computer Science Curricula 2013 (CS2013) Guidelines (Undergraduate)
The lesson substantially addresses the following Learning Outcomes under NAME:
- SUBNAME X: Learning outcome.
The following Learning Outcomes are also touched on:
- Under NAME: SUBNAME X; SUBNAME Y.
Introduce the topic, probe prior knowledge, and ignite students’ interest.
Small-Group Brainstorming Activity: Defend and Attack
Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes.
What You’ll Need: Print out slips of paper with words or pictures on them (the school mascot, your state bird, a popular movie title, etc.).
In this activity, students get a taste of how cybersecurity involves thinking about possible attacks — but also the drawbacks of not taking a systematic approach.
- Ask your students to form groups of three or four.
- Label each as Group A or Group B.
- Give every Group A a copy of the paper. (Or ask Group B to close their eyes while you show the word or picture on a slide or the whiteboard.)
- Tell Group As their task is to figure out a plan for protecting the paper.
- Tell Group Bs their task is to figure out a plan for finding out what’s on the paper.
- Give groups three minutes to discuss their ideas for protecting or obtaining the piece of paper.
- Beginning with a Group B, ask the groups to report back. After hearing a Group B plan to get the paper, ask if any Group A has a plan to prevent that specific attack.
Key Ideas That May Emerge:
Ground students’ learning in firsthand experience and spark new ideas.
Introduce important facts and underlying concepts.
Go deeper into the underlying concepts and/or let students practice important cybersecurity skills.
Assess students’ understanding of the material and development of new skills.
More for Teachers
Resources and background information to help you brush up on the technical nitty-gritty and be prepared for student questions.
Other Recommended Classroom Resources for Threat Modeling and the Security Mindset
ACTIVITY TYPE: TITLE
- Target grades: XXX
- Summary: One or two sentences.
- Produced by: Producer.
- Link: LINK