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Teaching A Computer Security Course For Computer Engineering And Electrical Engineering Technology Programs

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations in Computer Engineering Technology Curriculum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1141.1 - 13.1141.7



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Paper Authors


Xuefu Zhou University of Cincinnati

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Xuefu Zhou is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at the University of Cincinnati. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and 2006, respectively. His research interests lie on wireless communications, wireless and mobile networks, wireless network security. He is a member of IEEE and ASEE.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching a Computer Security Course For Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology Programs


During the past decade, computers and networks, particularly the Internet and wireless technologies, have become an integral part of our lives. With the explosive growth of computer systems and Internet applications, there has been a steady rise in occurrence of security attacks which resulted in significant attentions on computer security and the imperative need for its education and training. A computer security course usually has been considered as an abstract academic discipline in most of science and engineering programs, and thus it is still not commonly offered in related engineering technology programs, i.e. computer engineering and electrical engineering technologies. Since security defense occurs at different levels, from personal level to corporate and national levels, it will be imperative to teach the EET/CET students the knowledge and skills of computer security and prepare them for the future jobs since most of them are working in the industry to develop, to maintain and operate the computers and networks. This paper describes such a course developed for EET/CET programs including the objectives, course content and lab exercises.

1. Introduction

The explosive growth of computer systems and Internet applications has increased our dependence on the information stored and its transmission. Computer system security is more than 30 years old. Despite its many intellectual successes, the large amount of deployed computer systems, networks, and smart devices together with the Internet has made computer security defense more difficult than before. In addition to its technical difficulty, the unmatched awareness of security defense by most of the computer users cause flaws in the computer systems. According to the annual survey (2007) [1] conducted by America's Computer Security Institute (CSI), the estimated average loss has nearly doubled to $350k per organization per annum; financial frauds caused the greatest financial losses and 29% of organizations reported security incidents to law enforcement. This survey also indicates training individuals with responsibility for sensitive enterprise databases is clearly part of the security agenda. However, The survey found that almost half (48%) of the organizations spend less than one percent of their security dollars on awareness programs. Meanwhile, the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace considered the security awareness as one of the key priorities. Since most of the graduates from EET and CET programs are going to practice in the industry to develop computers, to maintain and operate computer systems and networks, it will be extremely important to help them understand the fundamental concepts of computer security. This will be immediately beneficial to themselves and their employers as well.

Although courses on computer security (or network security, for the brevity purpose, the computer security term used here include the topics related to network security as well) have been well developed in most Computer Science or Engineering programs, they are not commonly offered in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) programs


Zhou, X. (2008, June), Teaching A Computer Security Course For Computer Engineering And Electrical Engineering Technology Programs Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3742

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