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Information Security

Short name: INSEC
SITS code: COIY045H6
Credits: 15
Level: 6
Module leader: Igor Razgon
Lecturer(s): Igor Razgon
Online material:


Information security is about protecting information (and information systems) against unauthorised access and tampering. Avoiding security breaches has a high priority for organisations storing and handling confidential data. This module provides students with an introduction to information security. This covers technical aspects, such as cryptography, but also extends to management aspects, such as security policies, as having the technical infrastructure in place is only part of the solution. Students will learn how to employ technical solutions effectively in an organisation-wide context.


  • Overview of Information Security
  • Access Control Matrix Model
  • Security Policies
  • Social Engineering
  • Basic Cryptography
  • Identity Management
  • Access Control Mechanisms
  • Confinement
  • Assurance and Trust
  • Network Intruders and Intrusion Detection
  • Firewalls and Malicious Software
  • Cryptographic Protocol Concepts




Indicative timetables can be found in the handbooks available on programme pages. Personalised teaching timetables for students are available via My Birkbeck.


Two-hour written examination (80%) and practical coursework (20%).

Recommended reading

  • Keith M. Martin, Everyday Cryptography: Fundamental Principles and Applications, 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-969559-1
  • Ross Anderson, Security Engineering 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-06852-6
  • William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security 5th edition, Pearson, 2010, ISBN 978-0136097044
  • Matt Bishop, Computer Security: Art and Science, Addison-Wesley, 2002, ISBN 978-0201440997
  • Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, John Wiley & Sons, 1996, ISBN 0-471-11709-9