Livelihoods of modern societies depend on security of their infrastructure. Almost every day we hear news about recent data breaches at organizations and attacks on critical infrastructure. As users, we are constantly worried about security of our computers and privacy of our personal data. It is thus essential to know the fundamental security concepts and understand which protections are afforded to us by our systems. Moreover, for computer scientists it is necessary to be familiar with the key principles of secure design. This is what this course is about.
We will study the core security principles and requirements, and we will investigate the main pitfalls in system and software design (vulnerabilities) and the established techniques to ensure security (defenses). We will approach security at different levels: from basic cryptographic schemes and software vulnerabilities to secure systems and security in organizations. We will also discuss privacy, and we will look into legal and ethical aspects in security.
The course will include practical, hands-on exercises and assignments.
Students are familiar with the main security concepts and principles.
Students can identify technical security requirements for different types of systems and can propose suitable protection mechanisms.
Students are familiar with a range of security tools and techniques.
Students understand the socio-technical view on security and privacy that encompasses not only technical but also societal aspects.
Mode of instruction
Lectures, practicals, assignments, exam
There will be 3 practical assignments and written exam, each evaluated on scale 0-10
At least 3.0 must be obtained for each assignment
Final grade = 50% exam + 50% average assignments
Both components need to be at least 5.0, and the final grade should be at least 5.5 to pass the course.
It will be possible to re-take the exam.
Assignments have deadlines and are not re-takeable, unless in exceptional circumstances.
In case the teaching process is still disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the assessment method might be subject to change.
The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.
Literature and reading materials will be announced during the course.
Recommended (but not required) textbook: Paul C. van Oorschot "Computer Security and the Internet. Tools and Jewels" Springer 2020
Signing up for classes and exams
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Onderwijscoördinator Informatica, Riet Derogee.