CSIS 312 Computer Security & Digital Forensics

Course Description

In a highly connected, data-intensive and cost-focused business enrvironment, the practice of information security is not a business advantage; it is a customer requirement. Viruses, malware, trojans, denial of service attacks, phishing, and even Wiki leaks have become headline news. Failure to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data costs companies millions, if not billions, of dollars in legal settlements, lost business and trade secrets. In this breadth-based course, you will get an overview of information security principles and practices, including models, risk management, access controls, intrusion detection and prevention, cryptography, software vulnerabilities and ethical issues. This class will also provide an overview of digital forensics. Students will learn techniques behind digital forensic investigations and evidence collection and will cover the fundamental steps of the traditional computer forensic methodology. Topcis will include building forensic workstations, collecting evidence, extracting artifacts, identifying unknown files and reassembling evidence from network packet captures and device images Additional course fee required.


Dr. B. Wilson (bwilson at georgefox dot edu)
Office hours: Wood-Mar 224 (see schedule)





The goal of this course is to provide the student the theoretical and foundational knowledge of information security needs, securing today's information systems, information security standards, certification, and laws. The student will also be introduced to digital forensic concepts and methodologies. The vast majority of this class is theory... however, there are several assignments and projects during the semester that students will complete in small groups.

Course Organization

The course will consiste of lectures, homework, exams, and some in-class labs.

The course will include regular homework and/or programming assignments. Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due before midnight on the due date. There will be no credit given for late assignments (without an excused absence)—turn in as much as you can.

Reading assignments should be completed before the lecture covering the material. Not all reading material will be covered in the lectures, but you will be responsible for the material on homework and exams. Quizzes over the assigned reading may be given at any time.


See the GFU CS/IS/Cyber policies for collaboration and discussion of collaboration and academic integrity. Most students would be surprised at how easy it is to detect collaboration in programming—please do not test us! Remember: you always have willing and legal collaborators in the faculty.

Almost all of life is filled with collaboration (i.e., people working together). Yet in our academic system, we artificially limit collaboration. These limits are designed to force you to learn fundamental principles and build specific skills. It is very artificial, and you'll find that collaboration is a valuable skill in the working world. While some of you may be tempted to collaborate too much, others will collaborate too little. When appropriate, it's a good idea to make use of others—the purpose here is to learn. Be sure to make the most of this opportunity but do it earnestly and with integrity.

Engineering Your Soul

The mission and vision statement of the Computer Science & Information Systems (CSIS) program states that our students are distinctive by "bringing a Christ-centered worldview to our increasingly technological world."

As one step towards the fulfillment of this objective, each semester, the engineering faculty will collectively identify an influential Christian writing to be read and reflected upon by all engineering faculty and students throughout the term. As part of the College of Engineering, CSIS students participate in this effort, known as Engineering Your Soul (EYS). This exercise will be treated as an official component of every engineering course (including CSIS courses) and will be uniquely integrated and assessed at my discretion, typically as a component of the quiz grade.

Students should read the assigned reading each week. Regular meetings will be scheduled throughout the semester that can be attended for chapel elective credit. Students should attend these meetings prepared to discuss the assigned reading, or email a reflection on the assigned reading on or before each meeting date.

It is our hope that students will not view this as one more task to complete, but as a catalyst for continued discussion ultimately leading to a deeper experience of Jesus Christ.

Online Portfolio

All students in the College of Engineering are required to create and maintain an online portfolio on Portfolium to showcase their best work. Portfolium is a "cloud-based platform that empowers students with lifelong opportunities to capture, curate, and convert skills into job offers, while giving learning institutions and employers the tools they need to assess competencies and recruit talent."

Students will post portions of their coursework to Portfolium as directed by their instructor. For example, a portfolio entry might be PDF of poster or presentation content, screenshots or a video demonstration of a software or hardware project, or even an entire source code repository. In addition to required portfolio entries, students are encouraged to post selected work to their portfolios throughout the year.

Students will work with their faculty advisor to curate and refine their portfolios as they progress through the program. Students shall ensure that all portfolio entries are appropriate for public disclosure (i.e., they do not reveal key components of assignment solutions to current or future students).

University Resources

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office as early as possible so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. For more information, go to ds.georgefox.edu or contact Rick Muthiah, Director of Learning Support Services (503-554-2314 or rmuthiah@georgefox.edu).

My desire as a professor is for this course to be welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including students who are English-language learners, have a variety of learning styles, have disabilities, or are new to online learning systems. Be sure to let me know immediately if you encounter a required element or resource in the course that is not accessible to you. Also, let me know of changes I can make to the course so that it is more welcoming to, accessible to, or usable by students who take this course in the future.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) on the Newberg campus provides all students with free writing consultation, academic coaching, and learning strategies (e.g., techniques to improve reading, note-taking, study, time management). During the 2021 spring semester, the ARC is offering physically distanced, in-person appointments as well as virtual appointments over Zoom. The ARC, located in the Murdock Learning Resource Center (library), is open from 1:00–8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 12:00–4:00 p.m. on Friday. To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment, go to the online schedule at arcschedule.georgefox.edu, call 503-554-2327, email the_arc@georgefox.edu, or stop by the ARC. Visit arc.georgefox.edu for information about ARC Consultants' areas of study, instructions for scheduling an appointment, learning tips, and a list of other tutoring options on campus.

Coronavirus Protocol

For those who do not know me yet, I have a very medically fragile wife and daughter that live at home and both are considered extreme high risk for COVID-19. I have been able to keep them safe during the spring and summer, but I do not know what this fall holds. I need your help protecting my family.

Since we spend much/most of our time in the computer science laboratories the following protective protocol will be implemented at all times within our labs/classrooms:

If you feel you are unable to follow this protocol, contact me immediately. Any student who does not comply with this protocol, or otherwise exhibits behavior that I perceive as a safety risk to myself or others, will be asked to leave.


Grading Scale

Current Grades

The final course grade will be based on:

Tentative Schedule

Week 1


Wednesday: Notetaking
Friday: Current Event

Week 2

No Class - MLK Day

Wednesday: The Threat Environment - Ch. 1
Friday: Virtual Machines and VirtualBox

Week 3

VM's Continued

Wednesday: The Threat Environment - Ch. 1 cont.
Friday: 1/6 IR Presentations

Week 4


Wednesday: Planning and Policy - Ch. 2
Friday: Footprinting

Week 5


Wednesday: Planning and Policy - Ch. 2 cont.
Friday: No Class - mid-semester break (yes on week 5)

Week 6


Wednesday: Cryptography - Ch. 3
Friday: Cyberwar

Week 7


Wednesday: Cryptography - Ch. 3 cont.
Friday: Cyberwar

Week 8


Wednesday: Secure Networks - Ch. 4
Friday: Midterm Exam

Week 9


Wednesday: Access Control - Ch. 5
Friday: Footprinting Presentations

Week 10

Footprinting Presentations

Wednesday: Firewalls - Ch. 6
Friday: CTF

Week 11


Week 12

Digital Forensics

Wednesday: Host Hardening - Ch. 7
Friday: CTF

Week 13

Digital Forensics

Wednesday: Application Security - Ch. 8
Friday: CTF

Week 14

Digital Forensics

Wednesday: Data Protection - Ch. 9
Friday: DF Lab

Week 15

Digital Forensics

Wednesday: Incident and Disaster Response - Ch. 10
Friday: DF Lab

TBD - Final Exam

This page was last modified on 2022-04-15 at 11:27:21.

Copyright © 2015–2022 George Fox University. All rights reserved.