KC6004 - Data Security and Governance

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What will I learn on this module?

This module is set in the context of today’s society and the organisations within. Social behaviour, often in the virtual environment, creates a range of ethical issues centering on information security and governance. In addition to exploring these social and ethical issues, legal and regulatory frameworks that have been developed in recent years to try to address these issues are examined. You will also learn about cybersecurity in organisations and will be introduced to a range of common threats and countermeasures. Topics include basic definitions of terminology alongside practical and theoretical frameworks to help you identify key governance and security issues, and explore potential preventative measures. You will be covering terms such as ‘governance’ and ‘cybersecurity’, frameworks which include the information life cycle, regulations and guidelines relating to professional conduct, privacy and data protection, surveillance, freedom of expression, and freedom of information and intellectual property. Cybersecurity topics will include user authentication, cloud storage, organisational security cultures, access control and encryption, social engineering, user privacy, organisational cyber-attack risk evaluation and breach reporting. Key topics are:

Organisational information and knowledge assets and Information Life Cycle
Corporate and information governance and professional conduct
Privacy, freedom of expression and surveillance
Data protection and freedom of information
Impact of globalisation on governance and security
Intellectual property
Cybersecurity and organisational security culture
Social Engineering
Attack and defence including user authentication, access control and encryption
Privacy and security in the cloud
Future of privacy and security
Cybersecurity risk evaluation and breach reporting

How will I learn on this module?

Lectures will be used to introduce the different topics to be covered. This includes some interaction to draw out your own experiences. If you are a part-time student, you will learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge from the module to your practice in the workplace, and you will receive guidance on any practical exercises you need to do online. There will be a range of seminars to explore and develop the topics further; including tutor and student led seminars. The use of debates will encourage further research, examining different viewpoints, development of logical argument and critical thinking through the use of peer-based feedback. The development of a governance document and a set of cybersecurity awareness materials will enhance your ability to support a range of organisations in their aim to ensure transparency, ethical behaviour, compliancy and data security. Materials will be hosted on the eLearning Portal. Student material will be added during the module, to share and extend their knowledge base. Lectures will include links to related online material. The workplace (as a part-time student, a student having completed a placement or as someone in part-time employment alongside your full time studies) provides opportunities for you to put your own knowledge and skills into practice (as well as thinking back to earlier experiences) and review your learning with your manager/mentor.


The standard delivery is Newcastle Campus class room based, however if your employer has a contract with the university that indicates you may study remotely then you will be able to attend the classes virtually. In this case, you will follow lectures via webcasts and attend online seminars / workshops. The use of Blackboard to collaborate (or similar) will be employed to enable this.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Some of the seminar time is scheduled specifically for assessment briefings and question and answer sessions, and you and your team will have an opportunity to run practice debates to familiarise yourselves with the format and approach to the assessment. These seminars could be to enable you to ask questions about how to proceed or to have feedback sessions after your student-led activities in order to help you evaluate your progress and identify what needs to be done for improvement. There is also opportunity for you to arrange to have either telephone tutorials or meetings with your tutors, either individually or in small groups. Queries and concerns may also be handled by e-mail. In addition, the university library offers an Ask4Help service for you if you are having difficulty or would like some advice when undertaking your own research on the module. IT support is also on hand if you are experiencing difficulties accessing university systems.

If you are studying for a Degree Apprenticeship additional support will be available from your work place mentor who will encourage you to reflect upon how your work and studies interact and complement one another.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

MLO1 You will be able to identify and apply relevant laws and regulations, recognising their significance for dealing with key ethical issues surrounding the creation, storage and dissemination of, and access to information, using ICTs (information and communication technologies), in the context of a globalised ‘information society’.
ML02 You will be able to identify the most common cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities encountered by organisations, and develop an understanding of technologies and methods to protect an organisation against these threats and vulnerabilities.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3 You will be able to critically evaluate a wide range of online behaviours in terms of their security and ethical impacts and dilemmas, and consider what might be the most ethical and professional response to such situations.
MLO4 You will be able to evaluate and develop logically thought out, complex ethical arguments, ensuring that these are clearly supported by evidence from trustworthy sources
MLO5 You will be able to develop practical resources to support organisations in ensuring good governance, and a strong organisational security culture


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO6 You will be able to reflect and make judgments on your own learning and professional development and contribute to helping your peers do the same.

How will I be assessed?

The final assessment product will take the form of an individual portfolio of work compiled throughout the year. This will include a combination of team and individually produced documents, presentations, a formal debate and a 3000 word reflective essay. Here you will have an opportunity to reflect on your learning and professional development. Although the debate and presentations are done in teams, the bulk of the actual assessment is individually assessed. You will be required to show evidence of research, preparation, delivery and post-delivery feedback on your performance in delivering a range of in-class and online activities. These will involve a debate, presentation of a working governance document for later amendments and annotations, and the presentation of cybersecurity awareness training materials. You will also be required to provide feedback and evidence of your own follow up research in response to other students’ work. If you are a Degree Apprenticeship student there will be the opportunity to include reflections from your work workplace as appropriate.

The feedback you obtain for the in-class and online activities will take the form of formative assessment, for you to then incorporate what you have learned from this, into your reflective essay and subsequent work. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a practice debate to familiarise yourself with the process (and again to obtain formative feedback).


Feedback will be given both in written form (electronically) and spoken – this could be in a class scenario or as pre-recorded audio feedback, as well as individual written feedback.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

Technological developments often move at a pace that makes it difficult for laws and counter-crime technologies to keep up. Even as you study this module there will be new ethical, legal and technical challenges for even the most experienced of professionals. Debates on the most appropriate ethical, technical, organisational and professional approach continue to grow more complex. The module will be enriched by the research that you will do for your assessment work, which you will share through team debates, development of governance documentation, and development and presentation of training materials to help organisations reduce risks of cybersecurity breaches. You will produce a portfolio of evidence and a reflective essay, which enables you to complete Kolb’s learning cycle in semester one, cybersecurity awareness training materials in second semester, and across the year you will develop an annotated governance document for an organisation of your choice. Through providing formative feedback to your peers for their performances, and receiving the same for your own performance, you will become better able to judge your own performance and identify both strengths and weaknesses emerging through attempting the different parts of your assignment.

Course info

UCAS Code G405

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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