The course assumes a basic working knowledge of computers, networks, C and UNIX programming, as well as an elementary mathematics background, but does not assume any prior exposure to topics in computer or communications security. Students lacking technical background (e.g., students without any prior exposure to programming) are expected to catch up through self-study.
Our growing reliance on information systems for daily activities, ranging from remote communications to financial exchanges, has made information security a central issue of our critical infrastructure. The course introduces the technical and policy foundations of information security. The main objective of the course is to enable students to reason about information systems from a security engineering perspective, taking into account technical, economic and policy factors. Topics covered in the course include elementary cryptography; access control; common software vulnerabilities; common network vulnerabilities; policy and export control laws, in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere; privacy; management and assurance; economics of security; and special topics in information security.