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CIS8710 Human Factors in Cyber Security

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Human Factors Cyber Security
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Management and Enterprise
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 020399 - Information Systems not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Scott Sorley


Co-requisite: CIS5100


Cyber security is not just a technology problem, it is also a people problem as people are central to both the risk relating to many cyber threats, and also to mitigating this risk. This course provides insights, strategies and skills in mitigating control weaknesses relating to human behaviour in the organisation that exposes business to cyber security threats.


This course introduces students to finding and fixing vulnerabilities, encryption, intrusion detection and managing cyber risks. The application of appropriate work practices that support good cyber security posture in software applications development, systems administration and information system professional areas are reviewed.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply specialised knowledge relating to the roles that humans play in causing, enabling and mitigating cyber security risks.
  2. Analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex issues, information, problems, concepts and theories relating to the role that people play in cyber security, and how this relates to process, technology and policy.
  3. Examine and then apply specialist knowledge and skills in managing human factors and behaviour to counter cyber threats.
  4. Research and review sources of specialist human behavioural knowledge relating to cyber security knowledge, and how these can be applied towards improved cyber security controls.
  5. Interpret, articulate and communicate complex issues relating to human factors in cyber security to achieve targeted outcomes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Human Behaviour 10.00
2. Social Engineering 20.00
3. Phishing and related attack vectors and exploits 20.00
4. Human focused controls 20.00
5. Insider Threats 10.00
6. Effecting behavioural change programs 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There is no prescribed textbook for this course, required materials will be packaged with lecture content and materials.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 65.00
Private Study 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Online Test 20 10 02 Aug 2019
Written Assignment 100 40 13 Sep 2019
Open Exam 100 50 End S2

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An open examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

Conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.