Thursday, June 14, 2012

Information Assurance and Security :[BE: IT/Comp]

Information Assurance and Security is one of the most important, most interesting and an extremely useful subject you will come across in your Engineering Career. This subject is introduced as a regular subject for IT in the 7th Semester and as an elective subject for Computer Engineering in the 8th Semester with the name Network Information Security. The contents of the syllabus for both Computer and IT Engineering is almost the same with just a few minor changes.

 Never use any available local author books for this subject, I would suggest you to prefer only  References for this subject. The subject contains many security based algorithms, brief introduction to Digital Certificates, Digital Signatures and many other security related concepts. The subject is very interesting to learn and extremely easy. Scoring 65+ in this subject is an extremely easy task. Many students even score 70+ easily. Every year the question paper for this subject is a bit applicative and not that straight forward. But still students manage to score well as the subject is totally conceptual : no theory at all.

Let us have a brief analysis of the subject.

Unit 1:
Relatively simple unit. This unit includes the most important concept in Security : 'CIA' .You will find this principle applied whenever security comes into the picture in any subject. A very simple concept and extremely important. This unit includes basics of a few security implementation techniques and a few algorithms and theorems. Among the algorithms and theorems Modular Arithmetic, GCD, Euclid’s Algorithms  are extremely simple ,only the chinese remainder theorem is a bit confusing . We would be providing a detailed implementation of the Chinese Remainder theorem in the upcoming tutorials. Rest of the unit is very simple. Questions from this unit are easily predictable.

Unit 2:
Introduces to you cryptography and associated algorithms and its implementation techniques. This unit will be a little time consuming as it includes various new algorithms and not that easy to understand in the first go. AES , DES, RSA, Blowfish,SHA -1 and MD5 are a few algorithms in this unit. The first attempt to understand these algorithms will be a little time consuming process. But , we have provided animations for most of the tutorials in our website. You can easily understand these algorithms using our animations. But overall this unit is very intersting.

Unit 3:
Easier than 2nd unit. This unit introduces to you the basics of Key Management Techniques and a few protocols (easier ones, not like the previous ones).

Unit 4 :
A very important unit ,as it introduces to you to most widely used security implementations for the network : SSL , Transport layer security. IPSEC,  a few protocols and brief introduction to Intrusion Detection Systems. Easy to understand as there are huge examples and tutorials available over the net.

Unit 5:
Easiest unit. Most of you would not even require to read this unit as it includes all new technologies which are well known to the youth like Electronic Payment, Smart Cards, Payment over Internet, Mobile Payment, Electronic cash and related terms. Easy and extremely scoring unit.

Unit 6:
Again a very simple unit, gives you a short introduction to cyber crimes,forensics, IT Laws  and recovering electronic evidence etc. Very easy and most questions are easily predictable.


Verdict:
Very interesting, extremely important and easy to learn subject. Totally conceptual.
Difficulty Level : Easy to Learn
Scoring Pattern :  easy to score 65+

Books Recommended :


Local  Author
Only Technical Publications was available for 2012 Batch. This book should only be used for Question papers, few sums and a few important topics in the last unit. Rest should be referred from Reference Books.


References :


 From exam point of View :
 The most important books are
(For Units 1- 4)

Computer Security : Principles and Practices - William Stallings
or
Cryptography and Network Security - Behrouz Forouzan



(For Unit 5)

Network Security and Cryptography - Bernard Menzes
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Even though,  the university recommends Bruice Schneier's books, the language used in this book is not that lucid. William Stalling or Behrouz Forouzan would be the best choice for the first 4 units.

One book recommended for Information Security is  'Cryptography and Network Security - Atul Kahate'. this book even though not recommended by the university, this book has one of the most amazingly organized contents and easiest language used. The book is so easy to learn, that you would end up reading the entire book as a novel in no time. All concepts about security can be easily understood using this book. Users rating for the book by Atul Kahate is 5 star. Unfortunately, there are no PDF Ebooks of this book available for download . You can order one from Flipkart, it would cost RS 300 only. It is definitely worth spending 300 bucks for this book.
    
Books for Download



Cryptography and Network Security
William Stallings


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Applied Cryptography
Bruce Schneier


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