3 ECTS credits
75 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 8020278GNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (G) Postgraduate - preliminary level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
ES Academische eenheid
Educational team
Decaan ES (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
9 contact hours Lecture
15 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

This course begins with an examination of five generic but critical functions of cyber security:  the ability to monitor, to detect, to conduct forensic analysis, to attribute and to respond to attacks in the cyber domain.  It then explores the complex community of actors who perform those functions within five distinct ‘cyber domains’ (military, intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, and the commercial/private sector). The course concludes with a review of current international efforts among the private and public sectors to cooperate more effectively in our increasingly interconnected world.

Students will examine the competing interests among these domains as well as the strategic planning efforts undertaken to address them both separately and collectively.  Case studies of cyber operations are presented so students can both appreciate the real-world challenges of bringing theories into practice and better understand what some are now calling the ‘cool war’.

Course material
Course text (Recommended) : International Challenges of the Public-Private Partnership in the Cyber Domain
Additional info

Study material

The syllabus and selected writings will be provided by the professor.  Key readings will include:

  • Mark Russinovich, Zero Day, New York: MacMillan, 2011.
  • Kim Zetter, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, New York: Crown Publishers, 2014.
  • Richard A. Clarke, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About it. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
  • P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman, Cyber Security and Cyber War:  What Everyone Needs to Know.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Edward Amoroso, Cyber Security, NJ: Silicon Press, 2007.
  • Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace: Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage, Washington D.C: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2009-2011.

Complementary study material

Professor will provide a list of additional recommended and suggested readings as needed.


(!) The teaching and assessment format of this course is subject to change if the minimum number of students isn’t reached.

Learning Outcomes

General competences

This is an introductory course on the importance of the cyber domain, a relatively new frontier whose significance cannot be understated in today’s environment of global commerce and communication.  Students will understand the history and evolution of the technologies, laws, and policies that today shape the cyber environment, as well as the many threats—current and emerging.

Students will become familiar with primary source materials on U.S. and international cyber security policies, strategies and laws; intelligence community and private sector threat assessments; how the U.S., NATO and the EU are organized to address competing cyber domain interests; operational examples of cyber offensive and defensive efforts; and, future trends.  Particular attention will be given to understanding how crises can create opportunities for prudent statecraft to advance global cyber security interests.

Students will appreciate the unique challenges posed by the ‘public-private partnership’ to monitor, detect, conduct forensic analysis, attribute attacks and respond to cyber attacks and cyber espionage that threaten economic and national security.

Students will appreciate the constant tensions and difficulties that exist between identifying and prioritizing cyber threats and providing sufficient warning to policy makers so they can manage them effectively and in a timely manner.  Particular attention will be given to the difficulties inherent in cyber forensic analysis and attribution.

Students will analyze and evaluate a spectrum of cyber threats (past, current and future) and the various responses taken, or considered, to assess how effective a crisis was turned into, or could be, an opportunity to advance a nation’s statecraft.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Other Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Other Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Simulated Exercise with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

(!) The teaching and assessment format of this course is subject to change if the minimum number of students isn’t reached.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Postgraduate Certificate Economic Diplomacy: Standaard traject
Postgraduate Certificate International Trade and Investment: Standaard traject
Postgraduate Certificate Flagship Programme in Economic Diplomacy and International Business: Standaard traject