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Introduction to CIS-175

Presentation slides can be found here

  1. The need for information security
  2. Jobs in InfoSec
  3. Pick partners
  4. Class technology

Course Introduction

Information security is the practice of balancing information risks with information controls. Information is valuable. Businesses use customer records to operate efficiently (e.g. digital patient records), they also use techniques and procedures that differentiate them from their competition, their "secret sauce." Most business information loses it's value if it's not kept secret. Leaking information like patient records can be a crime, if a poor job was done to protect them, or can cost the business money in the form of lawsuits and a bad public image.

To protect your data you must first assess it. What data does your organization keep? Where is it located? How valuable is it? Your assessment should include an analysis of what threats your organization faces. Are you located in earthquake country? In a flood plane? Does your information have value to hackers or foreign governments? The goal of the assessment is to figure out what your information risks are. Once you have a handle on risks you have the basis for implementing information controls. Controls are mechanisms for keeping your data private. Controls may be workplace policy (e.g. requiring users to not use work computers for personal business) or they may be technological (e.g. encrypting laptop hard drives) or they may be both (e.g. forbidding the use of thumb drives in work computers). 

In this class we'll study both risks and controls. Each class session will have an in-class lab that will focus on an important security technology so that you become familiar with the tools of the trade. Every two to three weeks there will be a project due that will require you to apply what you've learned. Projects should be worked on outside of class. 

Team Work 

This class requires that you work in teams. For local students find a meeting time outside of class that suits the group. Remote students should pick a videoconferencing platform that suits every group member. Google Hangouts and Skype are both good options. Your teams will be required to present to the class. Be ready to turn on your camera and microphone in CCC Confer on presentation days. Only one member of the group is required to present. If you're not comfortable presenting to the class be sure you pick a group with someone who is! Your groups must have three or four members. 

Class Technology

We will use the following sites and technologies in class:
  • CCC Confer
  • Blackboard
  • Netlab+
  • Team video conference
This class is in person and online. Online students should make arrangements to watch the class in a place that's free from distractions and be ready to answer questions in the CCC Confer chat window. Your grade will be available on Blackboard. You should be familiar with it enough to know how to view your grades. I make mistakes when grading, if you spot one please email me directly. I'm always happy to give points back when I was wrong.