Welcome to CS406: Information Security. General Information about this course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer:  Dr. Bhanu Kapoor

Course Description: Introduction to the fundamentals of information security, computer security technology and principles, access control mechanisms, cryptography algorithms, software security, physical security, and security management and risk assessment. 

Getting Started

After familiarizing yourself with the following course syllabus, enroll in this course using the "Enroll me in this course" button located on the left hand toolbar. Once enrolled, navigate to Unit 1 of the course to read the unit introduction and then access the "Unit 1 Activities" page, which provide all links and instructions for unit specific course resources.

Earning College Credit

This course provides students the opportunity to earn actual college credit. It has been reviewed by Brandman University and can applied as credit towards a degree by students who are currently enrolled or plan to enroll at Brandman. You can read more about this special program here.

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Evaluation and Minimum Passing Scores

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. 

You will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, we recommend that you work through the materials in each unit. Throughout the course you may find practice quizzes or other assignments that will help you master material and gauge your learning. Scores on these assignments are informational only and do not contribute to your overall course grade. 

If you are seeking to earn college credit at Brandman, you must take and pass the version of the exam titled "Proctored Final Exam." That exam will be password protected.

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it’s advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.  

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor’s tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.


There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This courses does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $5 per session.

Time Commitment

While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 76 hours to complete this course. Each overall unit within the course is similarly tagged with an estimated time advisory. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunits 1.1 and 1.2 (a total of 2.5 hours) on Monday night; subunits 1.3 and 1.4 (a total of 2.5 hours) on Tuesday night; subunits 2.1 and 2.2 (3 hours) on Wednesday; subunits 2.3 and 2.4 (a total of 2.5 hours) on Thursday; etc.


Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed. 

Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.

As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.

CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I, CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II are suggested prerequisites for this course. If you are having trouble with the concepts of CS406, go back and strengthen your knowledge and skills in CS101 and CS102.

Pay special attention to Unit 1, as it lays the groundwork for understanding the more advanced material presented in the latter units.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • explain the challenges and scope of information security;
  • explain such basic security concepts as confidentiality, integrity, and availability, which are used frequently in the field of information security;
  • explain the importance of cryptographic algorithms used in information security in the context of the overall information technology (IT) industry;
  • identify and explain symmetric algorithms for encryption-based security of information;
  • identify and explain public-key based asymmetric algorithms for encryption-based security of information;
  • describe the access control mechanism used for user authentication and authorization;
  • describe Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as a common solution enabling security of many applications, including all Internet-based commerce;
  • describe securing Internet Protocol (IP) communications by using Internet Protocol Security (IPSec);
  • explain the importance of physical security and discuss ways to improve physical security of an enterprise;
  • explain the use of such security tools as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems;
  • explain malicious software issues such as those introduced by software-based viruses and worms;
  • explain common software security issues such as buffer overflow; and
  • describe the basic process of risk assessment in the context of overall IT security management.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in eachunit. You can use the learning outcomes to help you organize your learning and gauge your progress.

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:

  • have read the Saylor Student Handbook;
  • feel comfortable writing, compiling, and executing your own programs; and
  • have completed the following courses:
    • CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I,
    • CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II,
    • CS202: Discrete Structures (optional, but knowledge of the basics of discrete mathematics concepts will be a significant help in this course),
    • CS303: Algorithms (optional)

Last modified: Monday, December 4, 2023, 3:32 PM