Security Informatics

If you’re interested in going beyond

technology to consider the social and practical aspects of protecting data, privacy, and other assets, the security informatics track may be for you. In this track, you’ll focus on topics such as:

  • The economics of security
  • User-centered design of security
  • Cryptography
  • Security modeling
  • Threat assessment and analysis
  • Network security
  • Privacy
  • Security and computer forensics

To better protect today’s computer systems and sensitive data, security professionals must understand the people as well as the technology. That’s why you’ll not only get a technical foundation in designing, implementing, and managing secure information technology systems, you’ll also gain insight into the social, legislative, and economic considerations affecting decisions people and businesses make about their own security.

Security professionals are in high demand in a wide variety of industries, so you can expect to have abundant career options when you graduate.

Learn about related research

Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SPICE) is the branch of informatics that studies and supports the design, evaluation, and implementation of technologies that enable control over information.

Learn more about SPICE

Track Guide

Primary Track Faculty

Informatics Appointments

Professor L. Jean Camp, is co-Director of the Center for Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Her research areas include security, social informatics and proactive health informatics. Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy.

Computer Science Appointments

Assistant Professor, Yan Huang’s research interests include computer security and privacy, applied cryptography, programming languages, data mining and artificial Intelligence. Ph.D. Computer Science.

Associate Professor Apu Kapadia, is the Associate director of Cybersecurity Academic Programs.  His research focuses on computer security and privacy issues in the context of social networks and wearable and sensor-enabled computing.  Ph.D. Computer Science.

Assistant professor Xiaojing Liao's research interests include data-driven security, web security and privacy, with the specific focus on the investigation of cybercrime and cyber threat intelligence. Ph.D in Computer Engineering.

Professor XiaoFeng Wang, is co-Director of the Center for Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. His research focuses on system security and data privacy, particularly in mobile and cloud computing and the dissemination and computation of human genomic data. Ph.D. in Computer Engineering.

Assistant professor Luyi Xing's research focuses on the security of a wide range of systems, including mobile OSes, desktop OSes, IoT, Web, Cloud and applications on these systems.  Ph.D. in Security Informatics.


Required Courses

All required courses provided by faculty in the Security track, including the I609 Advanced Seminar, are open to students with sufficient background from other tracks and programs.

A student must successfully complete ninety (90) credit hours of graduate-level course work. The specific track requirements are below.

  • Informatics Coure Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I501 Introduction to Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I502 Human-Centered Research Methods in Informatics (3 cr.)
  • Security Core Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I520 Security for Networked Systems (3 cr.)
    • INFO I533 Systems and Protocol Security and Information Assurance (3 cr.)
  • Seminar Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I609 Seminar I in Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I709 Seminar II in Informatics (3 cr.)

NOTE: A student must take I609 and/or I709.

  • Research Rotation Requirement (6 cr.)
    • INFO I790 Informatics Research Rotation (3 cr.)

NOTE: A student must complete two rotations of I790. A third roation will not count for course credit.

  • Theory and Methodology Requirement (12 cr.)

NOTE: These courses must be appropriate for a Ph.D. in Informatics.

  • Minor (6-15 cr.)

NOTE: A student must complete an internal or external minor approved by the University Graduate School and the School. If a student selects an individualized minor, prior to taking courses, the University Graduate School must approve the proposed minor course list. There is no typical minor; however, students in the Security Informatics track have pursued minors in Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics.

  • Electives (12-30 cr.)

NOTE: A student must have all electives approved by the student's advisor and the Director of Informatics Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course.

  • Thesis Reading and Research (minimum 21 cr. maximum 30 cr.)
    • INFO I890 Thesis Readings and Research

Optional Courses

In addition to required courses, faculty in the track offer courses that provide more targeted training is specific areas.

  • INFO I521 Human Robot Interaction
  • INFO I525 Organizational Informatics and Economics of Security
  • INFO I536 Foundational Mathematics of Cybersecurity
  • INFO I537 Legal and Social Informatics of Security
  • INFO I538 Introduction to Cryptography
  • INFO I539 Cryptography Protocols
  • INFO I590 Past topics have included: Security and Privacy in the Internet of Things, Advanced Topics in Privacy, and Usable Security