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CYB 5272 Computer and Information Security

Course Description

This course examines concepts of modern computer security from a practical point of view. Course includes vulnerability analysis, threat modeling and risk assessment, and techniques for asset protection. This course discusses economic, legal and ethical issues in computer security. Emphasizes a system-wide view of security and includes a survey of current literature.

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction & Overview
Lecture: Cryptography


  • Understand the goals of computer security
  • Explain the difference between security threats, vulnerabilities and attacks
  • Understand the three aspects of secure computing: confidentiality, integrity and availability
  • Summarize controls available to address security threats
  • Recognize common terms used in cryptography
  • Understand the risks of relying on “security through obscurity”
  • Understand what makes “good” encryption and what makes encryption “breakable”
  • Describe the basic cryptographic techniques and explain how they impact cryptanalysis
  • Compare symmetric encryption algorithms and asymmetric encryption approaches
  • Describe other uses of cryptography

Week 2

Lecture: Program Security


  • Understand the “Secure System Design Principles” and recognize how good software design processes can lead to more secure systems
  • Describe common software errors that can be exploited with malicious intent
  • Describe the most common forms of malicious code and explain how they spread, how they infect hosts and how they can be detected
  • Describe other types of malicious behaviors
  • Describe controls that can be used to protect against program threats

Week 3

Lecture: Operating System Security


  • Describe common approaches for protecting memory and other resources
  • Describe the common access control approaches
  • Compare identification and authentication and describe common authentication methods
  • Understand the benefits and risks of using password authentication
  • Understand the benefits and risks of using biometric authentication

Week 4

Lecture: Trusted Operating Systems


  • Understand the difference between “secure” and “trusted” systems
  • Explain how security policies and models can aid in designing trusted systems
  • Compare mandatory access control and discretionary access control
  • Recognize technologies that can be used to develop secure systems
  • Recognize techniques used to provide assurance in trusted systems

Week 5

Lecture: Privacy Issues
Lecture: Database Security


  • Recognize the definitions, aspects and dimensions of privacy
  • Understand the balance between privacy, identity and authentication
  • Recall recent laws and regulations related to private information
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of data mining with respect to privacy
  • Recognize risks to privacy associated with on-line activity and recognize the impact that new technologies may have on privacy
  • Recognize the most important aspects of database security
  • Describe the two-phase update approach and explain how it supports database integrity and database recovery
  • Understand the database consistency issues related to concurrent, multi-user access
  • Recognize types of sensitive data and describe threats to the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data

Week 6

Lecture: Network Security


  • Describe common threats to a network environment and explain why computers connected to a network are at greater risk
  • Recognize specific threats to network protocols and applications that were not designed with security in mind and describe the risks of using insecure network protocols
  • Describe common security controls available for networks
  • Recognize the security benefits of firewalls, virtual private networks and intrusion detection systems
  • Understand common security risks for users of wireless networks and mobile devices

Week 7

Lecture: Administratio of Security
Lecture: Economics of Security


  • Recognize the benefits of security planning, risk analysis, and security policies
  • Describe the risk analysis process and recall the risk exposure calculation
  • Compare the purpose of a security plan with the goals of security policies
  • Recognize physical security threats and describe the risks that they present
  • Recognize the difficulty of determining the economic value of security and describe factors that can be used to quantify security in a business setting
  • Describe issues that impact the development of economic models for security and explain how corporate culture can affect economic decision-making

Week 8

Lecture: Legal and Ethical Issues


  • Compare protections for code and data, including copyrights, patents and trade secrets and recognize legal issues related to information and other computer artifacts
  • Compare public domain and fair use of copyrighted materials
  • Recognize why computer crimes are more difficult to prosecute than other types of crime
  • Compare ethical and legal viewpoints with regard to on-line and other computer-related behaviors and actions

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course.