NxtGen Cybersecurity Defensive Hacking Header

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding COVID-19, all in-person programs have been canceled. We will resume our on-campus Pre-College daytime programs in the summer of 2021.

View our 2020 Pre-College Online Summer Programs

Workshop Overview

This course provides students with the concepts and skills for defensive hacking. Students practice hands-on cybersecurity defensive hacking techniques while in a lab environment. Topics covered will include:

  • The concept of “blue teams”
  • Setup of a virtualization environment for threat assessment testing
  • An overview of attack vectors, including brute force, denial of service, scans, backdoor attacks, and more
  • Concepts and methods for mitigation of risk, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and intrusion prevention systems
  • Using scanning tools like Nmap, Wireshark, Dig, NSlookup, and others to protect your network

Who Should Attend

This NxtGen IT and Cybersecurity course is open to any high school sophomore, junior, or senior, as well as those technically advanced incoming freshmen who receive Illinois Tech staff approval. No prerequisite knowledge is required; however, It is recommended that students have some technical knowledge. Students practice hands-on basic techniques and continue into advanced techniques while building small project-based websites and web applications.

How You Will Benefit

We will cover the fundamentals of information security from a defensive hacking perspective in this course.

Workshop Objectives

Topics covered include the concept of “blue teams,” setup of the virtualization environment for threat assessments testing, understanding different attack vectors, brute force, denial of service, scans, backdoor attacks, and other topics. Additionally, we will cover concepts and methods for mitigation of risk, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, using snort, Security Onion, and tools for scanning your network for threats


Chicago courses will be taught by Maurice E. Dawson, an assistant professor of cybersecurity and forensics and the director of the Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education at Illinois Tech. He has written several books on cybersecurity, and conducts research in software assurance, advanced cybersecurity principles, and the internet of things (IoT).

Wheaton courses will be taught by Don Nelson, an adjunct industry professor of information technology and management at Illinois Tech. He is also a senior validation manager, application enablement and was an information security architect, systems engineer, and product manager-IP multimedia subsystem for Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia.