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Marshall Center faculty (top left, clockwise) Sean Costigan, Phil Lark, Joe Vann and German Navy Cmdr. Andreas Hildenbrand were part of a working group that created the NATO and Partnership for Peace Consortium’s "Cybersecurity:  A Generic Reference Curriculum."

By George C. Marshall Center Public Affairs

George C. Marshall European Center faculty members Sean Costigan, Phil Lark, Joe Vann and German Navy Cmdr. Andreas Hildenbrand contributed their cybersecurity and national strategy expertise into the recently published NATO and Partnership for Peace Consortium’s “Cybersecurity:  A Generic Reference Curriculum.”

This guidebook was designed to help NATO and partner countries with in depth learning objectives and curriculum support for academic courses related to cybersecurity.  Faculty members were part of the Partnership for Peace Consortium Emerging Security Challenges Working Group that put the guide together. 

“I am convinced that it can serve as a reference for partner countries in the design and development of course models and programs for professional cybersecurity military education.  It will also serve as an enhancement of military interoperability between NATO and its partners and strengthen the collaboration on a responsive education and training system,” wrote NATO Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Trainer Italian Air Force Maj. Gen. Stefano Vito Salamida in the guide’s introduction.

The curriculum guide is divided into four main areas of study:  cyberspace and the fundamentals of cybersecurity; risk vectors; international cybersecurity organizations, policies, and standards; and Cybersecurity management in the national context. 

Costigan and Royal Military College, Canada’s Michael Hennessy led the 17-nation team of volunteer academics and researchers associated with the Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. 

“Our aim was to produce a flexible, comprehensive approach to the issue of cybersecurity for educators and policymakers. The curriculum addresses cybersecurity broadly but in sufficient depth that non-technical experts will develop a more complete picture of the technological issues and technology experts will more completely appreciate national and international security policy and defense policy implications,” said Costigan.  “We offer a logical breakdown of the topic by specific categories, suggesting the level of knowledge to be obtained by various audiences and indicating useful key references so that each adopting state can adapt this framework to its needs and the specifics of the target student body."

The “Cybersecurity:  A Generic Reference Curriculum” can be found online at: shape.nato.int .