New Linux class starting in spring quarter

The Computer Information Systems Department has announced that for spring quarter, a class entitled “Fundamentals of Linux Security” (CIS 255) will be held for the first time.

According to CIS professor Dr. Shirley Stallworth, the class will be taught by Mike Labissi, whom Dr. Stallworth called an “expert” of Linux security.  The prerequisites for the class are CIS 107, 231 and 232, and it is an elective.  It is a four credit hour course that will meet twice a week, one day for lecture and the other for lab.

Dr. Stallworth said the process of designing and planning the class began a year ago.  The CIS department, along with an advisory committee comprised of local Linux industry experts, designed the class to meet what the market is requiring of graduates.

“We network with Linux experts,” Dr. Stallworth said.  “We are teaching what those in the industry felt needed to be taught.  This class is the essentials.”

There is a demand, both in the job market and among students for Linux security skills.  Since 2006, the demand has increased, according to Dr. Stallworth.

She also said she believes “no one else in the area is offering Linux security” classes.

Linux is becoming a better option for companies because of its open-source nature.  It is very cheap to acquire, often free, and more affordable than most other options, according to Dr. Stallworth.

“The only cost is for support, like labor,” Dr. Stallworth said.

However, the concepts are difficult and Dr. Stallworth warns the class “isn’t for novices.”

“Linux is complex in nature, it requires skill,” Dr. Stallworth said.

The curriculum of the class will include topics that those working in the field would need to be familiar with.

“IP Tables, SE Linux and vulnerability skills,” Dr. Stallworth said.  “Plus, installing Linux servers, password hardening, working with AppArmor and other things.”

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