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Unit information: Systems Security in 2015/16

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Unit name Systems Security
Unit code COMSM1500
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Theo Tryfonas
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Information security is a broad field, encompassing many concepts and methodologies. The aim of this unit is to introduce principles of security design and analysis at the system level; it acts to equip students with industry standard skills relating to management of information and data processing systems (e.g., e-commerce data centres).

The syllabus will include aspects of (but is not limited to):

  • Authentication and Access control: challenge-response; passwords; two-factor authentication; biometrics; formal models (e.g., BLP, MLS, RBAC).
  • Network security: Kerberos; IPSEC/SSL/TLS; digital certificates and PKI; firewalls.
  • Malware and exploitation: viruses, worms and Trojan horses; SQL injection; DLL injection; phishing; social engineering.
  • Intrusion detection and digital forensics: intrusion detection; honeypots and honeynets; e-crime, evidence acquisition and evidential integrity; media examination techniques and forensic testimony.
  • Risk management and security auditing: security standards and certification (e.g., ISO27000); threat assessment and risk analysis methods; IT audit and compliance.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, you will have gained

  • a good understanding of basic principles of information systems security design,
  • the ability to identify risks related to the use of information technology/data processing,
  • an appreciation for tools and technologies that may be used to mitigate risks.

Teaching Information

20 hours of lectures.

Assessment Information

30% via coursework assignment(s), 70% via examination.

The coursework assignment(s) for this unit are intended to represent in depth, self-directed learning relating to one or more state-of-the-art topics in system security; assessment is via a written report and/or oral presentation.

Reading and References

  • C.P. Pfleeger and S.L. Pfleeger. Security in Computing. Prentice Hall, 2006. ISBN: 978-0132390774.
  • R. Anderson. Security Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. ISBN: 978-0470068526.
  • D. Gollmann. Computer Security. Wiley, 2010. IBSN: 978-0470862933.
  • G. Dhillon. Principles of Information Systems Security. Wiley, 2006. IBSN: 978-0471450566.