Principles of Information Security

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CNS 170

       Course Name: Principles of Information Security

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommend: CNS 111 or consent of instructor, coordinator or program chair

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents balance between security management and technical components of security. Focus is on Security Systems Development Life Cycle (SecSDLC). Topics include structured methodology as supportive framework to guide students through examination of components of information domain of Information Security Network; preparation for appropriate Network or Information Security Certification examinations. Recommend: CNS 111 or consent of instructor, coordinator or program chair.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will have learned to:

  1. Explain and describe information security
  2. Specify and list how Information Security came to mean what it does today
  3. Trace and describe the history of Computer Security
  4. Understand and Demonstrate how Computer Security evolved into Information Security
  5. Identify and list the key terms and critical concepts of Information Security
  6. Outline and list the phases of the Security Systems Development Life Cycle (SecSDLC)
  7. Explain and describe the role of professionals involved in information security in an organizational

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to Information Security
  2. The Need for Security         
  3. Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues
  4. Risk Management              
  5. Planning for Security          
  6. Technology: Firewalls & VPNs       
  7. Technology: IDS and Access Control         
  8. Cryptography        
  9. Physical Security   
  10. Implementing Security       
  11. Security and Personnel
  12. InfoSec Maintenance

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lectures, class exercises, and discussion. Also included will be “hands-on” lab exercises and projects.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Read course materials - textbook and current journals before the class
  2. Frequent attendance and participation in class lecture and lab
  3. Complete required assignments, exercises, and examinations
  4. Complete LAB projects
  5. To ensure success of the Course and certification all Students should use practice self-test. Below are some Internet sites to help you get certified, please share other websites, with class:
  6. Industry Certificate Testing Information:
    The following sites are the Certificate Providers please contact them directly to schedule to take the certification examination. These test providers have helpful hints and advice for successfully taking the test. Study guides, objectives, requirements for the examination and other helpful hints are available:

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  • Current Information Security Textbooks
  • Software used for lab is Microsoft and Linux Operating Systems

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include quizzes, examinations, completion of lab assignments and special exercises.

Final grades are determined through a weighted average of examinations, quizzes, laboratory assignments, homework assignments, class participation, and attendance. After your numerical grade has been calculated, your letter grade will be determined as follows:

A 90–100% of the total percentage points possible
B 80–89% of the total percentage points possible
C 70–79% of the total percentage points possible
D 60–69% of the total percentage points possible
F Less than 60% of the total percentage points possible

XI.   Other Course Information

In response to Columbine and the NIU tragedies police agencies in Illinois have developed training for law enforcement and the public school systems. These Nationally accepted law enforcement response plans have been adopted by Oakton's Public Safety Department. Your actions will influence others therefore, Oakton is asking you as a student to:

  1. stay calm
  2. secure the immediate area; lock, block, & barricade
  3. call 911 and:
    • report your specific location
    • number of people at your locatio
    • injuries
    • assailants; location, number, race, gender, clothing, physical features, type of weapon

Side Note: There is a phone for emergency purposes placed in each classroom.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.