Graduate Degree - Cybersecurity : Threats & Defenses


Cybersecurity is concerned with the security and integrity of all the interconnected electronic devices that form our current modern life, from large companies to individuals.

Critical installations including servers, industrial automation, nuclear power stations, cloud computing facilities, and even the basic infrastructure of the internet itself are under constant attack.

Stories of companies being harassed by viruses and malware are frequent; huge amounts of money can easily be stolen, and valuable infrastructure pirated in a few seconds.  Often this requires virtually no investment or risk on the part of attackers, which range from individuals to hostile state-sponsored agencies.

Closer to home, everyone now uses smartphones and computers, but we are also using more and more communicating "smart" objects in our everyday lives.  Connected to the internet, these essentially render the concrete walls of our homes and businesses as transparent and fragile as glass; every citizen's privacy and way of life is at stake.

The internet culture of rapid development and innovation encourages us (indeed, virtually forces us) to release products and systems that prioritise functionality over safety.  We rush to meet new needs and markets, without the time and resources required to ensure that products are safe against current attacks, let alone future hacking techniques and threat scenarios.

Reaching a universal state of security seems impossible, but the problems of security are universal: using your laptop and protecting your own data; enabling and protecting internet access; ensuring the privacy and integrity of communications between individuals and businesses; indeed, even simply ensuring that we are connecting to the service that we think we are, and not a hostile impostor.  The technical solutions to these problems involve the methods of modern cryptography.

While the fundamental notions of security (including concepts like 'protection', access restrictions, establishing and verifying identities, and managing and transmitting authority) are common across all sorts of contexts, the reality is that there is no unique way to set up or use connected systems.  The simplicity of our expectations as users and designers is confounded by the ultimate complexity and diversity of computer, network, and data architectures.  This dialogue between the absolutes of security and the diversity of everyday experiences is at the heart of cybersecurity research and practice.

The Cybersecurity: Threats and Defenses program is based on the École Polytechnique's trademark interdisciplinary approach, and provides you with necessary expertise in all aspects of cybersecurity -- be it hardware or software.  It is a complete program for future experts in computer security, and for all activities in which protecting data or privacy is essential. Adapting to new threats and finding new defenses will be your day-to-day challenge.

There is a large gamut of jobs in cybersecurity. For a small list: security auditor, controller or evaluator; security architect; secure systems developer; penetration test expert; security consultant; information system security manager.



The first part is concerned with building a common technical background for cybersecurity; adding security to this will be the task of the second period.

First period (mid-September to mid-December)

Three mandatory courses (3x4 ECTS)
INF557: From the Internet to the IoT: The Fundamentals of Modern Computer Networking
INF558: Introduction to Cryptology
INF559: A Programmer's Introduction to Computer Architectures and Operating Systems

One elective course to be chosen among (4 ECTS):
INF553: Database Management Systems
INF554: Machine learning I

Second period (January to March)

Three mandatory courses:
INF568: Advanced Cryptology
INF565: Information Systems Security
INF586: Network Security

Alternatively, 1 or 2 courses from among:
INF563: Introduction to Information Theory

Third period (March to June/August)

Research project or company internship (INF59119 ECTS

domaines d'enseignement



Unités d'enseignement

UE Type d'enseignement Domaines Catégorie d'UE Volume horaire Responsables Site pédagogique
HFC553 Topics in Science, Technology, and Society PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Luis Felipe Murillo
HFC555 Economic Sociology PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Olivier Pilmis
HFC556 Introduction to French Politics PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Pierre-Marc Renaudeau
HFC557 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Philosophy of Work PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Maël Pégny
HFC558 EU Governance & policies: focus on Research and innovatio... PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Lilian Cadet
HFC564 Sociology of energy transitions: innovation, socio-techni... PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Claire Le Renard
HFC567 Introduction to Political Philosophy: Philosophy of Work PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales
HFC569 Philosophy of Science Fiction PA - C8 Humanité et sciences sociales Jonathan Degenève
INF520 Projet de 3A de Cyber-sécurité PA - C8 Informatique François Morain
INF553 Database Management Systems PA - C6B Informatique UE d'approfondissement, UE de projet. 36 Pierre Bourhis,
Ioana Manolescu,
Benoît Groz
INF557 From the Internet to the IoT: Fundamentals of Modern Comp... PA - C4B Informatique Thomas Clausen,
Philippe Chassignet
INF558 Introduction to Cryptology PA - C5B Informatique François Morain
INF559 Architecture des ordinateurs et systèmes d'exploitation PA - C3B Informatique Francesco Zappa Nardelli
INF563 Théorie de l'information PA - C6B Informatique Jean-Pierre Tillich
INF565 Information Systems Security PA - C1B' Informatique François Morain
INF568 Advanced Cryptology PA - C5B Informatique Benjamin Smith
INF571 Distributed Computing PA - C7 Informatique Bernadette Charron-Bost
INF586 Sécurité des réseaux PA - C7 Informatique Julien Cervelle,
Dario Rossi
LGD01/02ESP Actualidad en el mundo hispanico Langues Langues Cristina Marinas,
Jean-Baptiste Thomas
LGD01ALL Deutschland: Alltag und Kultur (B2) Langues Langues Heidi Knörzer
LGD01ANG Critical Thinking Langues Langues Meghann Cassidy
LGD01FLE Langue française et civilisation (A1) Langues Langues Sabrina Petitjean
LGD02ANG Good News, Bad News, Fake News Langues Langues Julie Mc Donald
LGD02FLE Langue française et civilisation (A2) Langues Langues Brigitte Rémer
LGD03ANG Research Methods Langues Langues Marie des Neiges Léonard
LGD03FLE Langue française et civilisation (B1) Langues Langues Brigitte Rémer
LGD04ANG Negociations and Globalisation Langues Langues Aude Attuel-Hallade
LGD04FLE Langue française et civilisation (B2) Langues Langues Brigitte Rémer
MIE556 Marketing and Strategie Introduction PA - C6B Management, Innovation et Entrepreneuriat Philippe Ginier-Gillet
MIE562 Case studies on Innovation PA - C4B Management, Innovation et Entrepreneuriat Philippe Ginier-Gillet
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