As cloud-based computing services become more popular,
the security and privacy of user data in outsourced environments is becoming a serious
concern. In this course, students will learn
about common cloud architectures, current security threats in cloud
environments, and the latest research on
preserving data privacy in the cloud. After taking this course, students will have
experience working with cloud
technology in a lab setting and will be prepared to participate in research
developing new security tools and
Topics covered include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS architectures;
Privacy-preserving computation techniques;
Co-location vulnerabilities and VM introspection; and
Authentication and data integrity in distributed environments
The course objectives are:
- Establish an understanding of basic cloud computing architectures and technology.
- Explore a wide range of current research trends in cloud security and privacy.
- Develop technical research skills through academic writing and experimentation.
There is no assigned textbook for the course, but students will be expected to keep up with
the assigned readings listed in the course schedule.
A detailed list of lectures, readings, assignments, due dates (subject
to change as the semester evolves) is available on the
Students will be evaluated based on the following breakdown:
- 15% Homework assignments
- 20% Exams
- 60% Course project
- 5% Class participation
Scale: 70 ≤ C < 77 ≤ C+ < 80 ≤ B- < 84 ≤ B < 88 ≤ B+ < 90 ≤ A- < 94 ≤ A
The course will include one midterm and one final exam. Students
will be responsible for material covered both in the readings AND
lectures. Attendance is therefore recommended as not all class
discussions will be covered in the text.
Pop quizzes may given at the beginning of class and will cover
topics from the preceding lecture and readings. It is strongly
suggested that students do the reading prior class, as a good
percentage of their grade will depend on them. Quizzes
missed because of absences
can not be made up unless arrangements
are made with
the instructor prior to the course
The main evaluation tool of the course is the term research project.
Students will be expected to work alone or in pairs to develop a new
tool or present a novel study of existing cloud technology to demonstrate
ability to perform independent research. All projects will culminate with
a report written in an academic journal style as well as a short in-class
The project grade will be broken down into the following components:
- 5% Project Topics
- 10% Related work search
- 10% Abstract and introduction
- 10% Methodology/architecture
- 5% Final presentation
- 20% Final report and presentation
Assignments and project milestones are assessed a 15% per-day late penalty,
with a maximum of 3 days. Unless the problem is apocalyptic, don't give me
excuses. Students with legitimate reasons who contact the professor before
the deadline may apply for an extension.
To do well in this course, students must take active and regular roles
in discussion and demonstrate comprehension of the reading and lecture
themes. Students are required to do the assigned reading before
class. This will be closely monitored by the professor, thereby
making a student's ability to demonstrate their comprehension of
material essential to a receiving a passing grade.
Disabilities and Learning Support
It is the policy of Villanova to make reasonable academic accommodations
for qualified individuals with disabilities. You must present verification
and register with the Learning Support Office by contacting 610-519-5176
or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Accommodations cannot be made
until verification is delivered to the professor, and cannot be enacted retroactively.
For physical access or
temporary disabling conditions, please contact the Office of Disability
Services at 610-519-4095 or email Stephen.email@example.com
Registration is needed in order to receive accommodations.
Academic Integrity Policy
All students are expected to uphold Villanova's Academic Integrity Policy and Code. Any incident of academic dishonesty will typically result in an "F" for the assignment and will be reported to the appropriate university officials. See the statement of the full policy on the
Graduate Arts and Sciences website. You can view the Academic Integrity Policy and Code, as well as other useful information related to writing papers, at the
Academic Integrity Gateway web site