Election Security (IT 425 DL1)
Fall 2023. Online
Contact Info: (703) 993-1629.
Office Address: Research Hall, Suite 417, Fairfax Campus.
Office hours: By appointment via Microsoft Teams or in person. Emails receivd M-F will be responded within 48 hours.
Election Security Twitter Feed: @GMUElectionSec
Fair and secure elections are essential to democracy. Voting systems are as much a part of our nation’s critical infrastructure as are transportation, energy, and water systems. Thus, the importance of securing state and local voting systems that support both national and local elections cannot be underestimated.
This course provides an overview of the historical, cultural, and political significance of voting, the technical issues of securing election processes, and careers in service for public good. The course covers typical election system infrastructures, their operation, and the voting systems security guidelines and locality election security standards set by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Topics include risk assessment of registrar information systems, analysis of system and network documentation for accuracy, software patches, systems updates, configuring and deploying appropriate security software, and ensuring compliance with best practices in securing systems. This course may be taken independently or as the required gateway course for the Virginia Cyber Navigator Internship Program (VA-CNIP).
Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
IT 223: Information Security Fundamentals.
Online Learning Community
This online course is taught via Blackboard Courses (log into myMason, select the Courses Tab, and the course can be found in the Course List). This course is offered completely online. In our online learning community, we must be respectful of one another. Please be aware that innocent remarks can be easily misconstrued. Sarcasm and humor can be easily taken out of context. When communicating, please be positive and diplomatic. You are encouraged to learn more about Netiquette.
The course will employ lectures by the instructor and invited speakers, quizzes and a midterm exam to assess progress, homeworks assignments, and a final exam.
Textbooks and Reading Materials
Readings to be assigned from Internet-accessible resources or posted on Blackboard under Course Content in the respective weekly folders. Each reading will be marked as either required or recommended.
Below is an outline of the weekly course modules. All quizzes and exams will be administered online using the LockDown Browser, and you will be required to have your webcam on. Quizzes will be available online from Friday to Sunday. All homework and quizzes are due at the end of the week for which they are scheduled, by 11:59 PM on Sunday.
The following tools will be used in this course:
Additional Resources & Information
Below is a list of additional and useful resources.
Grading will be based on homework assignments, quizzes, class participation, a midterm exam, and a final exam.
Students will be held responsible for all material covered in the course. Exams are administered during the dates specified in the course schedule. Failure to take any exam during the exam window or to submit an assignment by the due date will result in a score of zero, unless cleared in advance with the instructor and arranged for a makeup plan. The instructor, at his discretion, may offer opportunities for students to earn extra credits (e.g., participation in workshops, competitions, seminars) during the semester. Any request to submit work for extra credit, outside of the opportunities offered by the instructor, will be denied.
Final Grades are non-negotiable, and cannot be disputed once posted. Any request to adjust grades after they have been posted will be denied unless the student can present evidence that the instructor made a mistake.
|Homework Assignments: 6 assigments @ 5 points each||30|
|Quizzes: 5 quizzes (5 points each)||25|
|Class participation: discussion forum closes on the last day of class, 12/02/2023||5|
|Midterm Exam: online from 10/05/2023 to 10/08/2023||20|
|Final Exam: online from 12/07/2023 to 12/10/2023||20|
|Point range||Letter grade|
|97 - 100||A+|
|93 - 96||A|
|90 - 92||A-|
|87 - 89||B+|
|83 - 86||B|
|80 - 82||B-|
|77 - 79||C+|
|73 - 76||C|
|70 - 72||C-|
|60 - 69||D|
|0 - 59||F|