Cryptosystems and Data Protection

queen's prize


This module focuses on the technology and concepts behind data protection and in particular the numerous cryptosystems and protocols that allow us to keep communications private. We also focus on the use of encryption technology to provide authorisation and access control systems. Throughout the module we disentangle often complex protocols to begin to understand how they work.


  1. To develop an awareness of how encryption technology is used to protect data and achieve security objectives.
  2. To develop a broad understanding of data-centric protection, data-leakage threats and vulnerabilities, and key prevention and detection technologies.
  3. To develop the ability of candidates to understand not only data-protection techniques, but also how they contribute to an overall information and network risk-management strategy.

Indicative Syllabus

  1. Encryption Theory. Symmetric/Asymmetric Encryption systems. Key management issues. Mathematical concepts related to encryption theory
  2. Hashing and Message Authentication Codes
  3. Digital Signatures. Constructing and Deconstructing digital signatures.
  4. Certificates. Understand WHY we need an infrastructure in place (Seminar). The basic constructs of a digital certificate. The components of at PKI: Registration Authority, Certificate Authority, Certificate Server. Understand how a certificate is obtained and constructed. Understand why we need time stamping. Certificate Revocation. Extended Validation (EV) certificates
  5. SSL. The SSL handshake. SSL overheads. The Protocol Stack. The Handshake Protocol. Generating the Master secret and key material. The SSL key exchange Method. States and Connections. TLS (Transport Layer Security)
  6. Kerberos
  7. IPSEC. Criticisms of IPSec. IPSec configuration. IPSec in AH (Authentication Header) Mode and ESP (Encapsulating Security Payload) Mode


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