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Introduction to Cyber Security


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


As the digital world and physical world become more and more interconnected, it becomes increasingly important to develop methods to maintain security in the digital world. Governments, corporations and individuals all have different cyber security needs, and how we meet those needs is of critical importance in our modern world.

In this course, we will study the main issues surrounding cyber security. We will study the core principles of cyber security, debate the trade-off implications of different methodologies, and discuss critical topics that are relevant to our current understanding of cyber security.

More specifically, we will focus on:

  • understanding the key terms needed to discuss cyber security

  • the opponent and what they want

  • cryptography and cryptanalysis

  • attack and system modeling

  • security and risk management

  • privacy

This course is intended for students with a strong interest in security topics. While a background in computer science broadly may be beneficial, it is not expected nor required.

Course objectives

  • Students will develop an awareness of the main concepts and principles of cyber security.

    • Understanding of the key vocabulary
    • Understanding of basic attack structures
    • Understanding of basic defense structures
  • Students will identify technical security requirements for different types of systems and understand the trade-offs that arise due to these requirements.

    • Students can analyze structures for security requirements
    • Students can argue for the necessity of some security requirements over
  • Students will understand the socio-technical view on security and privacy that
    encompasses not only technical but also societal aspects.


Mode of instruction

Lecture, discussion, assignments and exam

Assessment method

  • There will be a written examination with close and short questions. There will also be 2 assignments.

  • The final grade for the course will be the weight average of 60% examination and 40% assignments. Both components need to be at least 5.0, and the final grade should be at least 5.5 to pass the course.

  • It will be possible to retake the exam.

  • It will not be possible to resubmit assignments.

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list

Recommended textbook: Ross Anderson “Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems”. Information is available here
Note that this textbook is recommended, but not required.

Other literature and reading materials will be announced during the course.


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Onderwijscoördinator Informatica, Riet Derogee


Interest in information technology and its security issues is desired.