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Privacy and security for software systems

Individual course

Security, privacy, and data protection are increasingly important for software systems and information technology in general. None of the concepts can be separated from each other. Thus, after this course, the participants will have advanced and holistic understanding of privacy and data protection on one hand and security on the other.

In addition to exposing the participants to contemporary academic research on the subject matters, the course has a practical engineering focus for developing and maintaining secure and compliant software that conforms with recent regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in particular. In terms of security, the focus is on information security.

Course contents

  • Basic properties of software security (confidentiality, integrity, accessibility) and the forms of resources to be protected
  • Software security threats, broad set of basic countermeasures and software related techniques
  • A good understanding about information security, including software vulnerabilities and their manifestations in concrete software systems
  • The historical, philosophical, and legal background of privacy and data protection
  • Familiarity with the concept of privacy engineering
  • A thorough understanding of the GDPR with a specific focus on software development, compliance, and requirements
  • Acquaintance with data privacy and anonymisation, including k-anonymity, l-diversity, and differential privacy
  • Insights about state-of-the-art academic privacy research

Learning outcomes

After the course, the students

  • know the basic elements of software security and privacy
  • are familiar with secure software engineering practices and techniques
  • know a broad set of software security threats and possible countermeasures
  • have a good knowledge of software vulnerabilities, their discovery and manifestations in software
  • have a broad understanding of GDPR, its elements, with a specific focus on software development
  • know the historical, philosophical and legal background of privacy and data protection
  • are familiar with privacy engineering and its core concepts.

Completion methods

Lectures (online), weekly group work and report.

Presumed student’s workload is 135 h (5 x 27 h) which includes lectures 12 h, independent studying of lecture related materials 35 h, group work meetings 8 h, weekly assignments and report writings 80 h.

More info on University of Turku’s study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

Responsible teachers

University of Turku
Ville Leppänen, Professor
University of Turku
Jukka Ruohonen

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
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ICT studies
Information security
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0 €
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Host university:
University of Turku
Who can apply:
Adult learner,
Degree student
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General prerequisites:
Advanced courses or comparable knowledge on security, software engineering, and machine learning are recommended but not compulsory.
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