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Learn to collect digital evidence after a cybersecurity breach and help recover information after a cyber threat or hardware failure. Analyze systems to detect compromises and close the system security gaps through legal hacking.

Gain skills in penetration testing, digital forensics, and enterprise network security in the private and public sectors.

This is an Open Admissions program, which means you can enrol in these cybersecurity courses right away.

Advance or change your career by learning to provide hands-on innovation in cybersecurity and digital forensics technically on the job.

What Will You Learn?

This program provides a set of technical cybersecurity skills that can be applied to systems security, protection, and privacy as a cybersecurity specialist at your workplace.

Learn how to:

  • Extract evidence using investigative protocols and report on a variety of complex issues that may arise in enterprise information systems. For example:
    • network and computer hacking
    • cyber extortion
    • organized cyber crime
    • cyber espionage detection
  • Develop an understanding of privacy and security protocols in compliance with complex legal and regulatory parameters.
  • Apply best-in-kind technical practices in the evolving field of cyber security to real world problems. For example:
    • white/black box penetration testing
    • system and network vulnerability identification
    • security weakness remediation
  • Manage and evaluate information security and data protection functions integrated within the greater organizational governance structure.


  • Penetration Testing
    • Kali Linux, Metasploit
  • Network Assessment and Protection
    • Wireshark, Nmap, Ncrack, Nessus, hping3
  • WebGoat
  • Online Virus Scanners
  • Intrusion Detection
    • iptables
    • Snort
  • Encryption and Decryption Methods
    • Certificate Authority/Digital Signatures and Digital Watermarking
    • Hash Functions
    • CrypTool, S-Tools
  • Forensics Analysis
    • Autopsy
    • Honey Pots
    • FTK Imager
    • Mobile: iPhone Analyzer
  • Threat Risk Assessment
  • Human Factor Engineering
  • Hacker Profiling
  • Risk Management
  • Security Policies and Procedures
  • Enforcement and Monitoring

The Certificate in Cybersecurity, Data Protection and Digital Forensics is an excellent complement to the problem-solving and solution-building skills you already possess.

Who Should Take This Certificate?

This certificate is intended for individuals who want to expand their expertise and learn the essential components intrinsic to computer security assurance and cybersecurity forensics. This includes current and aspiring employees in both public and private corporations and government entities.

You may be interested if you are or wish to become a:

  • Computer network security and forensics analyst
  • Vulnerability security research professional
  • Security analyst systems administrator for information technology
  • Law enforcement professional
  • Systems security investigator
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Computer forensics examiner
  • Risk manager
  • Privacy and security officer
  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Lawyer, paralegal, or private investigator     
  • System architect
  • Computer security director
  • Security officer for information technology (IT)
  • Provisioning manager for identity and access    
  • Security procurement agent
  • Privacy liaison specialist or officer
  • Manager of application control
  • Response team leader

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are selected through a highly competitive process and are expert practitioners in the industry.


Courses Available in Brampton

Some courses are offered as evening classes at Brampton City Hall.

Virtual Tutor

In addition to your instructors, you will be encouraged to email and set up a prescheduled telephone or in-person appointment with our virtual tutor, who is a cybersecurity expert and may assist you.

Industry and Careers

Analysts with highly developed skills in cybersecurity are required by:

  • financial institutions such as banks
  • IT companies
  • major corporations
  • consulting firms
  • law enforcement
  • government entities

These specialists provide protection and security while upholding international laws in cybersecurity.


Laurie Green“I worked in IT for several years and was looking to curve my career in a new direction to challenge myself. I’m very analytical and like to think outside of the box with the possibilities of ‘what if?’ This passion is what led me to pursue a new career through the Certificate in Computer Security and Digital Forensics. The two-year duration and course curriculum were very attractive. My education was hybrid, with in-class and online courses. I found the online courses flexible, helping me balance my education with my personal life and other commitments. Anne-Marie, the Program Director, has been instrumental in helping provide solutions to overcome obstacles and has connected me to networks of other cyber professionals.”

“There is a well-known shortage of cyber security professionals. Many statistics state that in 2019, globally, there is a shortage of over 2 million cyber professionals. Forbes calls this shortage an ‘industry crisis’ and predicts that in 2021 there will be a shortage 3.5 million cyber security positions. With all that said, it only took two months to find a job after I graduated, when I was hired at Deloitte’s Cyber Intelligence Centre as a Cyber Security Consultant specializing in Vulnerability Management.” – Laurie, Cyber Security Consultant, Deloitte

“I previously worked in visual effects and while I enjoyed the technical work, I realized I would be perfectly happy to keep art as a hobby. I had to face the harsh reality of the employment situation in the entertainment industry – tough competition, outsourcing, low pay, and virtually no job security. After some thinking, I decided to completely transition to the technical field through the Certificate in Computer Security and Digital Forensics. I have always been interested in crime investigation, as well as anything that requires logical thinking. The career of a digital forensics investigator is a perfect blend of all these concepts, so I decided to give it a try. I liked the experience of online courses because of their flexibility, while the in-class course I took provided great networking opportunities.”

“The instructors are very knowledgeable and experienced in their field, and many were “above and beyond expectations” in terms of expertise, communication, and cooperation with the students. The program director, Anne-Marie Brinsmead, has also been great, helpful, and very welcoming – continuously upgrading and improving the program, and making sure that every dollar spent on a course is well worth it. The highlight of the certificate for me was the capstone project in CKDF 150 - Digital Forensics Investigation. It really tickled that part of my brain that is magnetically attracted to algebra, statistics, and riddles.” – Natalia

“Completing the Certificate in Computer Security and Digital Forensics through The Chang School was the best decision I've made. I appreciated how helpful and well-connected faculty members were with employers. They really went above and beyond for their students. This program enabled me to strengthen my resumé and open doors to new and better career opportunities.” – Jerrin

“The courses in my program helped me get a holistic view of the industry, and also helped me pass my certification exam shortly before I became employed. I gained both the technical knowledge necessary to work in the field, as well as the discipline to learn and apply new concepts on the job.” – Elizabeth

Certificate Requirements

  • 6 required courses
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend you take courses in the following order:

Term 1

  1. CKDF 110 - Computer Network Security
  2. CKDF 130 - Digital Forensics Systems
  3. CKDF 145 - Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) OR CSCI 243 - Continuity and Risk Management OR CZLW 120 - Law for Forensics

Term 2

  1. CKDF 120 - Computer Cryptography and Digital Steganography
  2. CKDF 140 - Security Architecture and Design
  3. CKDF 150 - Digital Forensics Investigation

You may adjust your course load as you see fit. Some students are comfortable taking three courses per term, while others extend the amount of time it takes to complete the certificate.

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits (including English)
    • With a minimum average of 70 percent


  • Mature student status

Note: Knowledge of TCP/IP is recommended.

Awards and Financial Aid


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost?

Registration for the certificate program is free. The cost of each course is calculated individually, and this program has six required courses. Check the course pages for details on fees.

Do course fees change if you are an international student?

Yes, if the course is degree-credit. International students pay two and a half (2.5) times the regular student tuition fee for degree-credit courses.

How long does it take to complete the certificate?

Many of our students graduate within one calendar year (or fewer than eight months) of enrolling in courses by completing all course requirements in two to three terms. You may choose how quickly you want to complete all the required courses.

Can I take more than one course per term and still hold my full-time job?

It is possible to take one to three courses per term and still hold your full-time job. However, we recommend you organize your schedule to suit your needs.

Can I substitute a course from another certificate and have it apply to my certificate requirements?

No. This certificate program does not allow course substitutions or transfers.

What prerequisites or professional experiences are recommended for this certificate?

Knowledge of TCP/IP is recommended.

Contact Client Services for further clarification about certificate program requirements.

Email: ceadvisor@ryerson.ca

Are any courses available for substitution or transfer credit?

No. All courses in this certificate must be taken at The Chang School and are not eligible for course substitution or transfer credit application.

Which textbooks will I have to purchase for this certificate?

Textbook requirements vary by year. You will receive your textbook information on the Course Outline in the first week of class. Please do not pre-emptively buy any textbooks.

Are there any specific computer requirements to complete the course work?

Yes. You will need Windows 10 to complete online virtual lab activities on your own desktop or laptop. Apple computers will not support the virtual lab activities.

Will this certificate qualify me to become certified as a cyber security professional?

The certificate will qualify you to take certification examinations similar to the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). If you plan to write the CISSP exam, you may wish to take CKDF 145: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) as one of your required courses.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Alex Ferworn, Academic Coordinator, Professor.

Email:  aferworn@ryerson.ca

Additional Details


You may only select 1 of CKDF 145, CSCI 243, or CZLW 120.