Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in COMPUTER SCIENCE
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (56 hours), Exercise (24 hours)

Good knowledge of English. It is also recommended to have taken a basic security course.

Final Examination: 

The students learning extent is assessed through a written exam and a talk. The written exam lasts approx. 2 hours. Students are not allowed to consult any text book or other learning material during the exam. The written exam is divided into two parts. The first part consists of 5 open questions on the conceptual aspects of the course, whereas the second part consists of 3/4 exercises whose goal is to assess the ability of specifying access control/privacy policies with the models, languages, and tools learned during the course. The grade of each part of the written exam is given in thirtieths. The overall grade of the written exam is determined by the following formula: 1/3 * grade of the first part + 2/3 * grade of the second part. The written exam is passed if the student obtains a grade greater than or equal to 18 in both the parts. The talk has the goal of assessing what has been learned during the exercise classes. The grade of the talk is given in thirtieths and it is successful with a grade greater than or equal to 18. The final score of the course will be determined by the following formula: 1/3 * grade of the talk + 2/3 * grade of the written exam. To successfully pass the course, the student should have a grade greater or equal to 18 in both the talk and the written exam.

Voto Finale

The course has the main goal of illustrating the models, languages, and tools for the management of access control and privacy policies within a data management system. A part of the course will also be devoted to access control and privacy issues in innovative contexts (such as for instance IoT, social networks, Big Data and blockchain-based applications). More specifically, the main objectives of the course are the following:
1. Know the basic concepts and terminology related to DBMS cybersecurity and privacy.
2. Understand the main existing access control models and customize them according to the needs of specific application domains.
3. Know and be able to use the support provided by SQL for access control.
4. Have an in-depth look at the main access control services provided by the Oracle DBMS.
5. Know the main laws and regulations that pertain to data privacy.
6. Understand the differences between online and offline privacy and know the main techniques to achieve both of them.
7. Be aware of the main research trends and challenges in the field of cybersecurity and privacy.
Additionally, the expected course outcomes also include the ability to independently translate specific access control/privacy requirements with the languages/mechanisms seen in class, while also being able to choose the best solution for the considered domain when multiple options are possible. Judgement, analysis and communication skills will be acquired through guided discussions on topics agreed with the instructors. The knowledge provided by the course will facilitate individual deepening of student knowledge and development of new skills. For example, it should not be difficult for a student who has successfully followed the course, to independently learn the concepts underlying a new access control mechanism, or a new technique for privacy protection. This is also facilitated by the presentation of the main research trends in the area.

Lessons and exercises will cover the following topics:
Privacy and security in data management systems: basic concepts (6h, objective 1)
Access control within DBMSs (18 h, objective 2)
- basic concepts
- traditional access control models (DAC, MAC, RBAC)
- innovative access control models (e.g., ABAC, content-based, time-based, location-based)
Access control support in SQL (4h, objective 3)
Advanced access control services in Oracle (8 h, objective 4)
- Vault
Data privacy (16 h, objectives 5/6)
- basic concepts
- GDPR and US legislation
- off-line vs on-line privacy
- Hyppocratic DBs
- purpose-based access control
- data anonymization (k-anonimity, l-diversity, m-invariance, differential privacy)
Data privacy and security: research trends (28 h, objective 7)
- IoT
- social networks
- Big Data
- blockchain
- cloud computing
- web services

See the Course content section.

Since the course is on innovative topics, there is no reference textbook but a set of recommended readings, each covering a part of the course.
Suggested textbooks:
B E. Ferrari. Access Control in Data Management Systems, Synthesis Lectures on Data Management, Morgan & Claypool, 2010.
B. Catania, E. Ferrari, e G. Guerrini. Sistemi di Gestione Dati: Concetti e Architetture, CittàStudi Edizioni, 2006 (only the chapter on data protection).

For the part of the course covering the Oracle DBMS, it is recommended to refer to the documentation made available online by Oracle.
Lessons and exercises slides (in pdf format), scientific articles and further suggested readings are made available on the university e-learning website, as well as the text of previous exams.


The course consists of lectures (56 hours) and exercises (24 hours).
The lessons illustrate the basic concepts of cybersecurity and privacy, present the main existing access control models, both for traditional settings and innovative ones, with a particular focus on commercial data management systems. A part of the course is devoted to data privacy and privacy preserving data management techniques able to comply with current legislation.
The exercises focus on the main research trends in the field of cybersecurity and privacy and are aimed at stimulating the critical capacity and autonomy of the students. To this end, students will be assigned a set of scientific papers, targeting innovative issues in the field of cybersecurity and privacy. Each research topic will be associated with one or more students. The result of their study will be presented and discussed in class.

During the period in which the course is held, students can meet with the instructor on class days at the end of the lessons. In the remainder of the year, the students need to contact the instructor by email to set up an appointment. The instructor will only answer to emails sent by the domain.