Modern IT systems are connected to other systems and their environment in many ways. This makes them vulnerable to attack: To rob a bank, weapons are no longer needed, an Internet connection is enough; to uncover a person's intimate secrets, it is no longer necessary to break into their home, if you can access their web browser; to forge a signature, it is enough to spy on a PIN. From the central computer of a major bank over the computers in satellites to smartphones: IT systems must first of all function reliably. They must not contain any serious programming errors, should tolerate erroneous inputs and work without interruption in the long term. The weekly bug fixes and service packs for operating systems prove that truly reliable IT systems are not the norm at present. Even space missions have already failed due to programming errors.
Current information about the modus operandi of intelligence services shows that a free democratic social order and fair industrial competition cannot be maintained without massive effort in the area of IT security. The demand for university graduates with detailed expertise in this area is huge and it is save to assume it will increase even more. In the development of complex systems, the effort required to guarantee security and reliability testing will demand an ever-increasing share. The aim of this study program is to enable students to acquire the relevant expertise to analyze safety and reliability problems and to solve them with suitable tools. Thereby, both aspects are treated to about the same extent.
Both the Bachelor's and Master's degrees in IT Security remain computer science study programs. This is taken into account by a solid education in the most important fundamental areas of theoretical, practical, and technical computer science as well as mathematics. While general computer science content naturally still predominates in the bachelor's program, the master's focuses strongly on options from the areas of IT security and reliability.
Being a small university, the University of Lübeck offers excellent teaching through direct supervision as well as excellent research that is closely intertwined with teaching. Students of IT Security have the opportunity to participate in our exchange program with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the USA in addition to the usual ERASMUS programs for European exchange.
| Fiona Schnüttgen