CSC8202 : Information Security and Trust

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To cover formal techniques and computer aided verification topics relevant to those involved in the design and validation of information security systems. An appreciation of the importance of distributed environments, and their ethical and professional implications.

Encryption alone does not guarantee security: we must understand the flow of information and the levels of trust that exist between individuals and organisations. This module investigates rigorous techniques for modelling and reasoning about trust, security policies and communication protocols. Established and new approaches, their advantages and limitations, are discussed and demonstrated.

Outline Of Syllabus

I: Security and Trust
1. Basic concepts of security and trust
2. Metrics: quality of service metrics, metrics for security and trust
3. Web of trust and reputation systems
4. Data collection: honey pots, security breaches, data banks
5. Human factors and economic drivers

II: Information Security
1. InfoSec concepts: threats & vulnerabilities, the InfoSec process
2. Access control techniques
3. Identity and authentication
4. Protocol description and analysis
5. Formal approaches to validating protocol properties

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion241:0024:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work161:0016:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study141:0014:00Background reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study280:3014:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A66N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M342 pieces of equally weighted coursework (16 hours each)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is an appropriate way to assess knowledge of theoretical, including ethical, underpinnings and practical skills tested on small-scale problems. The coursework assessment gives a chance to assess practical skills on a more realistic and open-ended problem.
The examination involves the correct interpretation and analysis of precise formal models. Its duration is set to allow time for this to be done accurately.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 40%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 40%.

Reading Lists