Introduction to Cyber Security - CO558

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 5 15 (7.5) DR J Nurse checkmark-circle


Cyber security has always been an important aspect of computing systems but its importance has increased greatly in recent years. The curriculum covers areas where cyber security is of major importance and the techniques used to secure computer systems. The areas looked at include computer operating systems (and increasingly, distributed operating systems), distributed applications (such as electronic commerce over the Internet) and embedded systems (ranging from smart cards to large industrial plant and telecommunications systems). Furthermore, the curriculum integrates the legal, ethical, and professional perspectives for instance to address concerns about data security, privacy, and societal impact of computing systems.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 120
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods
2 hour written exam (50%)
Two assessments (25% and approximately 15 hrs each)

13.2 Reassessment methods
Like for like.

Indicative reading

Anderson, R., "Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems," 2nd ed., 2010, Wiley.
BCS Code of Conduct,
Pfleeger, C.P., "Security in Computing," 2nd ed., 1996, Prentice Hall William.
Cranor, L.F. & Garfinkel, S., "Security and Usability: Designing Secure Systems that
People Can Use," 2005, O'Reilly Media.
Sutton, D. "Information Risk Management: A practitioner's guide," 2014, BCS.
Schneier, B., "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World," 2003, Springer.
Stallings, W., "Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice," 2nd ed., 1998, Prentice Hall.
Summers, R.C., "Secure Computing: Threats and Safeguards," 1997, McGraw Hill.
Schneier, B., "Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C," 2nd ed., 1995, John Wiley & Sons

Learning outcomes

8. The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 understand the threats faced by computer operating systems, applications and networks and the various countermeasures that can be used;
8.2 make informed choices of the appropriate security measures to put into place for a given network and/or operating system;
8.3 understand the importance of putting security into the context of a larger system including hardware, software, and human users;
8.4 understand how cryptography can be used for providing security within applications;
8.5 understand and implement selected fundamental algorithms used in cryptography;

9. The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be:
9.1 able to analyse a problem specification and to design and implement a solution.
9.2 aware of the relevant professional, ethical and legal issues in this subject area.
9.3 able to apply relevant fundamental mathematical techniques.
9.4 able to develop their own time management and organisational skills.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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