CISS PCSS Course Graphic

Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS)


The Marshall Center’s Program on Cyber Security Studies is a survey course of the cyber domain. PCSS Participants will leave this course with a general understanding of what is cyber, how to evaluate and manage cyber risk, knowledge of existing policies and frameworks related to cyber, the current and emerging technologies used by state and non-state actors to conduct cyber activities, and the challenges that exist in developing international and national policy, strategy, and tactics related to and for operating within and across the cyber domain. Our goal is to provide an unclassified comprehensive, policy-focused cyber studies program that emphasizes and teaches mid to senior leaders how to make informed decisions on cyber policy, strategy and planning through use of the most accepted legal, policy, risk, and operational frameworks, as well as multi-stakeholder approaches to cooperation and collaboration. The program helps participants appreciate the nature and magnitude of today’s cyber threats and develops a common understanding of the lexicon, best practices, and current cyber initiatives within the public and private sectors. The program is taught by leaders across the cyber domain and allows participants to network and establish contacts with other cyber-focused professionals.  Further, participants will leave the course motivated to continue more formal or self-study to better understand the opportunities and challenges—political and technological—in cyberspace.


  1. Provide a baseline knowledge of the technical aspects, concepts, and terminology of cyberspace and cybersecurity, in order to inform the effective development of cybersecurity strategies and policies.
  2. Provide comprehensive awareness of the current, emerging, and future threats and risks posed by state and non-state actors in cyberspace.
  3. Provide functional understanding and exchange best practices for the implementation of international law, voluntary norms, and confidence-building measures, in order to promote the U.N. Framework for Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace.
  4. Familiarize with established standards and frameworks for conducting assessments and strengthening capabilities in cyber security, in order to detect and respond to cyber incidents, improve cyber attribution, and build cyber resilience.
  5. Share best practices for strategies and policies, whole-of-government approaches, public-private collaboration, information sharing, and international cooperation, to develop and implement comprehensive approaches to cyber security.
  6. Course participants will build a professional network of senior cyber security practitioners from national governments around the world to support their future efforts to strengthen cyber security nationally, regionally, globally.

Course Structure

This course consists of five blocks to help participants understand the ends, ways, and means of cyber operations, and to recognize the contemporary challenges that exist in aligning the ends, ways, and means in this evolving field of national security. Strategy is an art and science that focuses on narrowing down and finding ways to achieve or promote national policy interests. Strategic objectives are in part derived from an analysis of threat and opportunities that affect national interests. Most nations have recognized cyber as a clear opportunity and threat that affects their country’s national interests: economic, political, military, and social. With this recognition of cyber as a top national policy priority, formulating a strategy requires a definition of the objective (ends) related to cyber activities, which will drive the analysis and selection of the range of resources (means) available to achieve the ends and the possible concepts (ways) for how to employ the constrained means. Block I of the course introduces baseline concepts and definitions that will provide a common foundation of understanding that we will utilize throughout the rest of the course.  Block II of this course focuses on the national objectives (ends) of cyber. Block III highlights the resource (means) available to achieve those ends. Block IV develops an understanding of the options to employ (ways) the means in order to achieve the ends derived from a nation’s policy for cyber.  Finally, Block V introduces participants to emerging issues that will further impact the evolution of cyberspace.


Jonathan Odom, director of the Program for Cybersecurity Studies (PCSS) and Arne Lossmann, deputy director of PCSS, give an overview of the current in-resident course, a nearly three week program that has brought together 78 participants from 52 countries. The course offers the participants an opportunity to address cybersecurity challenges and share their experiences with other practitioners and alumni.

Course Details

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
How to Register

For application and deadline information, contact Marshall Center Registrar, your ministry point of contact, or the U.S. or German Embassy in your capital city.

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