MPCS 56511 Introduction to Computer Security (Autumn 2021)

Section 1
Instructor(s) Rossell, Shelley (shelley)
Location Online Only
Meeting Times Wednesday 5:30pm - 7:45pm
Fulfills Core Systems Elective



This course introduces security principles and practices. Topics will range from encryption to network and application threats and controls. The course will emphasize both offense (i.e., attacker mindset) and defense (the importance of implementing both technical and non-technical controls).


  • ●  Threat Landscape

  • ●  Encryption

  • ●  Authentication and access control

  • ●  Endpoint (host) security

  • ●  Network security

  • ●  Web and application security

  • ●  Risk management

  • ●  Monitoring and incident response

  1. Coursework

    • ●  Homework assignments

    • ●  Labs

    • ●  Quizzes

    • ●  Final project


  1. Textbook

     There isn't a course textbook, but there will be required readings from free online sources. 

Course Prerequisites

MPCS 54001: Networks (recommended, but not required)

Other Prerequisites

Familiarity with Linux command line (recommended, but not required)
Familiarity with TCP/IP and network routing recommended

This course requires competency in Unix and Linux. Please plan to attend the MPCS Unix Bootcamp ( or take the online MPCS Unix Bootcamp Course on Canvas.

Overlapping Classes

This class is scheduled at a time that conflicts with these other classes:

  • MPCS 52011-2 -- Introduction to Computer Systems
  • MPCS 53112-1 -- Advanced Data Analytics
  • MPCS 50103-1 -- Mathematics for Computer Science: Discrete Mathematics
  • MPCS 51240-2 -- Product Management
  • MPCS 56520-1 -- Advanced Security Topics
  • MPCS 52555-1 -- Backends for Applications

Eligible Programs

Masters Program in Computer Science Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 2: Professionally-oriented - CS Majors) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 3: Profesionally-oriented - Non-CS Majors)