Cloud Computing Security (AIT 670)

Spring 2018. Online

Dr. Massimiliano Albanese & Dr. Sushil Jajodia, Department of Information Sciences and Technology

Contact Info. Email: ; . Phone: (703) 993-1629.

Office Address. Research Hall, Suite 417, Fairfax Campus.

Office hours. By appointment via Skype (ID: albanese.gmu). Emails receivd M-F will be responded within 48 hours.


George Mason University

Catalog Description

This course offers a survey of security and privacy issues in Cloud Computing systems, along with an overview of current best practices and available technologies. The course examines the Cloud Computing model, the threat model, and security issues related to data and computation outsourcing, and explores practical applications of secure Cloud Computing.

Course Goals

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:


Registration in MS, Applied IT program or permission of Instructor.

Course Expectations

Online Learning Community

This online course is taught via Blackboard Courses (log into myMason, select the Courses Tab, and the course can be found in the Course List). This course is offered completely online. Each week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. In our online learning community, we must be respectful of one another. Please be aware that innocent remarks can be easily misconstrued. Sarcasm and humor can be easily taken out of context. When communicating, please be positive and diplomatic. You are encouraged to learn more about Netiquette.

Course Format

The course will employ lectures, a mid-term exam to assess progress, and a final exam. Students will be required to write a technical paper on a topic which must be approved in advance by the instructor.

Textbooks and Reading Materials

Required Textbook

Securing the Cloud

Securing the Cloud
Vic (J.R.) Winkler
ISBN: 978-1-59749-592-9
Syngress, 2011

The required textbook is available electronically through the Safari Tech Books Online collection. You can access this book by following these steps:

Recommended Readings

Recommended readings include publications from standardization bodies such as NIST, government agencies, and the research community. Below is a partial list of recommended readings.

Additional readings and lecture slides will be made available by the instructor through Blackboard.

Course Outline

Below is an outline of the weekly modules. During Week 1, students are expected to familiarize with the course, the syllabus, and the tools available to them.

Course Tools

The following tools will be used in this course.

Additional Resources & Information

Below is a list of additional and useful resources.

Grading Policy

Grading will be based on class participation, assignments, and exams. Points for course activities will accrue as follows:

Activity Points
Class participation (discussion forums, access to class materials) 150
Mid-term exam 150
Term paper (waived for students passing the CCSK or the CCSP between 1/22/2018 and 5/6/2018) 150
Final exam 150
Total 600

Final letter grades are assigned as follows:

Point % range Letter grade
97% - 100% A+
93% - 96.9% A  
90% - 92.9% A- 
87% - 89.9% B+
83% - 86.9% B  
80% - 82.9% B- 
70% - 79.9% C  
  0% - 69.9% F  

Extra Credits. Students who wish to recover credits lost in any course activity can volunteer to give short presentations (4-5 content slides, 8-10 minutes) on a topic of their choice. Each short presentation will earn up to 25 points, for a maximum of two presentations per student during the entire course. Students must notify the instructor in advance of their intention to prepare a short presentation. Topic of the presentation must be approved by the instructor. Presentations must be submitted as narrated PowerPoint slides. No other extra credit opportunities beyond those mentioned here will be offered to students.

Assignments. Students will be held responsible for all material covered in class. Exams are administered during the dates specified in the syllabus. Failure to take any exam during the exam window or to submit an assignment by the due date will result in a score of zero, unless cleared in advance with the instructor and arranged for a makeup plan.

Final Grades. Final grades are non-negotiable, and cannot be disputed once posted. Any request to adjust grades after they have been posted will be denied unless there has been a factual error on the instructor's side.

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