Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 12

V12 N2 Pages 18-28

March 2014

Computer Security Primer: Systems Architecture, Special Ontology and Cloud Virtual Machines

Leslie Waguespack
Bentley University
Waltham, MA 02452, USA

Abstract: With the increasing proliferation of multitasking and Internet-connected devices, security has reemerged as a fundamental design concern in information systems. The shift of IS curricula toward a largely organizational perspective of security leaves little room for focus on its foundation in systems architecture, the computational underpinnings of processes and protection. Yet these architectural features are the foundation of systems security for all the layers above that they enable. They are also the prototypical mechanisms of protection that must be modeled throughout systems design to realize system security: confidentiality, integrity and availability. This paper presents a learning unit that proposes a special ontology of computer system architecture to explain computer security on the host-level and by extension the emerging standard security architecture of the cloud, the virtual machine. The ontology appears as a prose tutorial, a set theoretic model, and a two-page study reference that facilitates a security discussion ranging from host architecture to web-services. This treatment is a concise, self-contained module for standalone use or embedded in a systems course (analysis, modeling, design, database or systems architecture) where complete operating system or computer organization coverage may not be feasible.

Keywords: computer protection, computer security, IS pedgogy, special ontology, systems architecture, cloud virtual machine

Download this article: ISEDJ - V12 N2 Page 18.pdf

Recommended Citation: Waguespack, L. (2014). Computer Security Primer: Systems Architecture, Special Ontology and Cloud Virtual Machines. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(2) pp 18-28. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2013)