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The University of Southampton

COMP2216 Principles of Cyber Security

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to give a multi-disciplinary overview of cyber security, emphasising the importance of considering not only technical measures and defences, but also the other subject areas that apply, including legal, management, crime, risk, social and human factors.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The importance of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to cyber security
  • The cyber threat landscape, both in terms of recent emergent issues and those issues which recur over time
  • The roles ad influences of governments, commercial and other organisations, citizens and criminals in cyber security affairs
  • General principles and strategies that can be applied to systems to make them more robust to attack
  • Key factors in cyber security from different disciplinary views including computer science, management, law, criminology and social sciences
  • Issues surrounding privacy, anonymity and pervasive passive monitoring
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assemble a literature review that highlights the different disciplinary perspectives of cyber security


The syllabus includes the following topics: - The cyber security threat landscape, history and evolution - Security surfaces; intelligence, case studies, trend analysis - Actors in cyber security; governments, organisations, citizens, criminals - The multidisciplinary nature of cyber security - Pervasive passive monitoring - ISPs as intermediaries DP - Principles of secure communications; digital signatures, PKI, encryption, hashing - Introduction to biometrics - Privacy and anonymity - Anonymity protocols; crowds, onion routing, ToR - Offensive cyber attacks, cyber war, hacktivism - Advanced Persistent Threats - Critical infrastructures - Case study: the Domain Name Systems - Case study: eCash, Bitcoin - Security aspects of social networks, the web science perspective - Management of cyber risks - Multilevel security, security policies - Security economics; investment, cost of breach - Data management - anonymisation and de-anonymisation - Cyber law, regulating the online environment - Computer access offences, data protection law

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures will be given by subject matter experts from the disciplines involved. Staff and resources from the University's Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research will contribute to the module.

Total study time28

Resources & Reading list

Hadnagy, C (2011). Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking. 

Andress, J. (2013). Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics and Tools for Security Practitioners. 

Clarke, R.A. (2012). Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do about it. 

Graham, J., Howard, R. and Olson, R. (2011). Cyber Security Essentials. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 70%
Literature review 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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