Information Security

This class exposes students to the fundamental concepts of computer security and network security. The growing importance of networks and distributed systems, and their use to support safety-critical applications, has made computer and communication security a central issue for systems today. The class is built on three main parts: security foundations (which includes security terminology, core cryptograhic principles, and secure protocols); applied security (which discusses software security and web security); and privacy (which covers both technical and social aspects of privacy). Students learn to critically assess the security properties of a system and make informed decisions about implementing secure processes.  A somewhat shorter version of this class (Introduction to Information Security) was previously taught in the Bachelor program.

Teaching Mode

Two lectures per week with weekly homework and reading assignments, interspersed with lab sessions that allow students to gain basic knowledge in information security.



  • Cryptography and Network Security – Principles and Practices; William Stalling; 7th Ed., Pearson Intl., 2016

Supplemental Reading:

Additional handouts will be provided as needed, e.g., from:

  • Network Security: Private Communication in a Public World; Charlie Kaufman, Radia Perlman, Mike Speciner; 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, 2002
  • Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems; Ross Anderson; 2nd Ed., Wiley, 2008



ClassSemesterInstructorTeaching Assistant(s)
Information Security 2023 Spring
Information Security 2022 Spring
Information Security 2021 Spring
Information Security 2020 Spring
Information Security 2019 Spring
Information Security 2018 Spring
Information Security 2017 Spring
Information Security 2016 Spring

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Profs. S. Santini and M. Langheinrich
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
Faculty of Informatics
Via G. Buffi 13
6900 Lugano, Switzerland