Information Security
Tutor: Jonathan Johnson
Email: Jonathan.Johnson@Symphero.consulting
Length: Full Year Class PeriodWednesday, period 1
Description: The rapid growth of network technology and services continues to transform human culture in a new generation of Internet users, who collectively make up roughly half of the world's population. Wired and wireless network devices are modern essentials for communication, social interaction, education, commerce, entertainment, employment and government. Consider, however, that the exact same technology is used as a vehicle for gambling, pornography, any kind of non-physical abuse, crime, terrorism, surveillance (legally sanctioned or not), and warfare. This calls for wisdom!

The Information Security class trains students to understand the essential goals of confidentiality, integrity, availability, and accountability as they relate to technology, while personally maintaining godliness, personal liberty, privacy, and safety. The building blocks are as follows:

  1. A foundation of biblical ethics and values

  2.  Learning the basic design of computer and network technology, including desktop, laptop, and handheld devices; operating systems; network devices; wired and wireless networks and common network protocols; and networked applications on local- and wide-area networks

  3.  Studying the design and use of common security concepts such as authentication, authorization, encryption, layered security, fault tolerance, disaster recovery, malware and vulnerability detection, firewalls, threats, attacks, and incident response

  4.  Implementing the concepts described above through hardened systems, backups, encrypted communication, security assessments, and the study of how vulnerabilities are exploited

  5.  Adopting a security mindset for recognizing potential vulnerabilities in the way things work, and forming habitual practices that decrease or eliminate the risks involved in entrusting personal data to vulnerable information systems

  6.  Making a commitment to a personal security policy for safe and secure Internet use

  7.  Becoming a security practitioner that benefits others

Note:  Information Security is now offered as one course spanning both Fall and Spring semesters, with an added emphasis on individual research projects and presentations during the Spring semester.

Tutor: Jonathan Johnson is an IT professional with 25 years of experience, a homeschooling father of seven, and an unabashed “geek.” He earned his B.A. in Computer Science from Carleton College in 1991, and he has since worked for small, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 businesses in addition to operating his own independent consulting company. His information security know-how has accumulated through experience in software development and quality assurance, system and network administration, IT service management, monitoring, and security training. He is currently pursuing security industry certification; he enjoys reading, bird watching, geocaching, and observing cultural technology trends; as a disciple-maker, he hopes his skills as an open source technologist will open doors for both local and international ministry opportunities.

Level: Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: Students will need to have:

  • a laptop computer capable of running VirtualBox (see virtualbox.org)
  • beginner-level or better computer experience
  • willingness to make a serious study of technical concepts
  • the maturity to use powerful security tools ethically and for the common good

Homework: 2-4 hours per week
Text: None (all material will be in an electronic format)
Supplies: Software used in the class is free to download, but families may opt to contribute to the ongoing development of the software favored by their students.