This course provides a one-semester overview of information security. It is designed to help students with prior computer and programming knowledge — both undergraduate and graduate — understand this important priority in society today. The technical content of the course gives a broad overview of essential concepts and methods for providing and evaluating security in information processing systems (operating systems and applications, networks, protocols, and so on).
In addition to its technical content, the course touches on the importance of management and administration, the place information security holds in overall business risk, social issues such as individual privacy, and the role of public policy.
Why Take This Course?
The course will be organized around a few broad themes:
Dissipate is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This appears to be an older course at Udacity taught by instructors from Georgia Tech. At Udacity it is described as "a graduate-level introductory course in information security" which "teaches the basic concepts, principles, and fundamental approaches...
This appears to be an older course at Udacity taught by instructors from Georgia Tech. At Udacity it is described as "a graduate-level introductory course in information security" which "teaches the basic concepts, principles, and fundamental approaches to secure computers and networks". A range of topics are touched on - software, OS and database security, crytopgraphy, malware, network threats. The recommended textbook is Computer Security Principles and Practice 3E.
Firstly, I have to say that the recommended text is in no way a textbook for beginners. There is a review of it on Amazon by a law student which explained his / her difficulty well.
As for the course, I decided not to waste any further time on it after three hours of lectures. All the lectures up to that point were given by someone with an Indian accent. The accent was not that strong but still a little hard to understand and I had to rely on subtitles. There were bits of broken English and sentences that did not make sense, making it seem as though the instructor was trying to explain concepts impromptu without having first sorted it out in his mind. Unfortunately there are no transcripts, so I had to reply certain parts of the video a few times to try and figure out what the instructor was trying to say. Many times, explanations and the slides were inadequate, for example, the explanation given for "non-executable stack coupled with address space layout randomization" was "uses OS / hardware support". Now what is that supposed to mean? How does it make use of OS / hardware support? Many many times I had to turn to external websites to search for better or more comprehensive explanations.
After those three hours of pain (plus two more hours of self-reading to supplement the videos), I dropped out and went for Pluralsight's Ethical Hacking course. It is really introductory, and the instructors explain things clearly and comprehensively, and do not hide behind terminology. Delivery is good, and there is no confusing impromptu type speech.
Udacity has built itself up as a brand but I think it really needs to set standards for the people who want to put up lectures on its platform.
Instructor isn't particularly good at explaining things and is difficult to follow. Lots of "this's" and "thats" and "its" and not enough naming or reminding the student of exactly what he's referring to. To compound the problem he points to blank spots on the slides when discussing them so I often have no idea to which part of the slide he's referring. Would be better if he explained things in a more linear fashion, for example, if he would finish explaining a term and its relevance immediately after introducing instead of introducing new terms and then fully explaining earlier ones later. Will probably not continue with this course.