Department of Computer Science

The Volgenau School of Engineering

ISA 522 Information Security Essentials
Spring 2011



Instructor: Ahmed Alazzawe
Office Location: Engineering Building Room 5328 (5th floor)
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday 6:45 to 7:15 PM and by appointment

Office Number: (703) 993-3339

E-mail: aalazza1 at gmu dot edu (please prefix the subject of your message with ISA-522)


Course Description

ISA 522.001 CRN 20564 (3 Credits)
Tuesday 7:20 - 10:00 PM in the Art & Design Building L008

Prerequisite: An introductory information systems class or permission of instructor.
Note: This course does not count for MS programs in the Computer Science Department.

This course covers basic concepts and techniques in applied information security. Begins introducing the student to basic concepts of security including confidentiality, integrity, availability, and current concerns of anonymity, privacy and safety of web-based transactions, forensics investigations etc. Also covers the main safeguards available in security such as authentication, authorizations, and network security, and shows how these techniques are applied to the concerns of business, health care, nursing, sociology and law. (From GMU Catalog)

Class Schedule

A detailed schedule is available to registered students on Blackboard (

Textbook & Readings

Computer Security: Art and Science by Matt Bishop; ISBN: 0201440997



The grade consists of:

30%    Assignments/Quizzes
30%    Midterm Exam
40%    Final Exam





[98,100] = A+

[93,97]  = A

[90,92]  = A-

[88,89]  = B+

[81,87]  = B 

[77,80]  = B-

[65,76]  = C

  < 65   = F


Academic Integrity

GMU is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’ s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Disability Statement

If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with the Office for Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993-2474; to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.