Careful scrutiny of online crypto-related courses

Background: Given the rapid rise of cyber threats, the dire need of having secure systems cannot be overstated. To impede data thefts either in transit, in use, or at rest, one of the most reliable approaches is to use cryptography. Nonetheless, fatal mistakes in cryptography have inflicted irreversible damage on major businesses. The root cause of such grave mistakes can be found either in the complexity of crypto libraries or the inadequate knowledge of developers in the cryptography domain. Recent studies have unveiled that average developers are inundated with various options when working with crypto libraries and are not also aware of the pernicious effects of misusing cryptography.

One way to alleviate the problem is to provide developers and computer science students with crypto-related materials at universities. Unfortunately, studies have shown that cryptography and secure development commonly are not part of the curriculum of universities. On the bright side, there are a number of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in computer security that can raise the awareness of a large number of developers. In this seminar project, we aim at understanding what concepts are covered and other aspects of crypto-related courses presented on a number of online platforms (e.g., Coursera, Udemy, edX). Moreover, we plan to compare our findings with the existing problems of developers identified by previous research.


Mohammadreza Hazhirpasand