module specification

CS7064 - Information Security (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Information Security
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
152 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 60%   Group Report with Individual Oral Presentation
Unseen Examination 40%   Unseen Written Exam (2 hours)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Evening

Module summary

The module is concerned with the study and application of tools and techniques that enable the protection of information and other resources of enterprise information systems. Increases in storage, manipulation, and transfer of data across computer networks requires effective encryption techniques. This module will provide insight into some of those techniques, algorithms and their development through history. Part of the course is dedicated to the Number Theory relevant to Cryptography. The focus will also be on the analysis, design and implementation of tools and techniques that achieve the three goals of confidentiality, integrity and availability in security computing. Particular focus will be on the management framework that facilitate the accomplishment of the above three goals.

Module aims

This module aims to
i) give students an understanding of the concepts, mechanisms and processes involved in securing information in enterprise information systems;
ii) equip students with an understanding of the concepts of the Number Theory and its application in Cryptography;
iii) provide an in-depth knowledge and training to analyse, design and implement dependable security infrastructure for enterprise applications
iv) perceive the need for team work in developing organisational and managerial policies for effective security administration.


  • Introduction to cryptography: History and Terminology
  • Symmetric Encryption: Monalphabetic Ciphers; Polyalphabetic Ciphers; One-Time Pad; Transposition Ciphers; Rotor machines; Block Cipher Principles; Data Encryption Standard
  • Asymmetric Encryption: RSA public key cryptosystem
  • Introduction to security engineering; understanding requirements and risks.
  • Threat assessment and vulnerability identification.
  • Security processes and technologies for enterprise systems; e.g. access control, authentication, firewalls, filters, biometrics etc.
  • E-Commerce Security and E-Policy; e.g. digital signature, PKI, etc.
  • Mobile Security
  • Intrusion detection. Incident response. Dependability and survivability concepts.
  • Security Administration.; e.g. integrating people, processes, technologies and policies

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught by a mixture of lectures, workshops and self study practical exercises. The lectures (22 hours) will be used to introduce the various concepts and principles of the module and their strengths in applications. Lectures will be followed by workshops (22 hours).
The workshops will afford students the opportunity to work in small groups on exercises related to previously taught material. The students will be able to present previously completed exercises for comment from the lecturer and other students.
Students will be expected to spend time on unsupervised work, for example, private study of problem sheets, in the preparation of coursework as well as for revision for the exam (156 hours). A framework will be put in place to encourage disciplined learning through student self-awareness of progress in volume of work, understanding, attendance and punctuality.
It is intended to invite specialists from the industry as speakers and visiting lecturers to give seminars and lectures on specific topics.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to:

LO1: Understand strength and weaknesses of different encryption algorithms.
LO2: Independently design encryption/decryption algorithms
LO3: Describe the essential concepts, mechanisms and processes involved in securing information in an enterprise system environment
LO4: Identify system resources requiring protection, assess their vulnerabilities, and suggest appropriate safeguards against the possible threats against them, with reference to any LSEP issues
LO5: Implement and test the safeguards for protecting system resources, and recommend the appropriate security administration.


Assessment strategy

The assessment is carried out through one coursework and one examination. The coursework focuses on encryption techniques and processes/technology necessary to implement a secure enterprise information system. The practical encryption mechanism developed by each group will be both formally reported on, and presented orally, to the course team. This assessment will perform both summative and formative assessment functions. The unseen exam (duration 2 hours) will test the students understanding of the taught information security concepts and related issues.

Coursework – LO1, LO2 LO5
Examination – LO1, LO3, LO4


Ross Anderson, Security Engineering, Wiley, 2008
William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security, Prentice Hall, 2006

Computers and Security, Elsevier Press
Computer, IEEE Computer Society Press

U.K. E-Envoy and EU publications on Information Security and privacy Hillier, B. (1996). Space is the machine - A configurational theory of architecture. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.