CS3TZ4-Network Security

Module Provider: Computer Science
Number of credits: 10 [5ECTS credits]
Level: 6
Terms in which taught: Spring
Module Convenor: Dr M Evans
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2010/1

Email: sis02mpe@reading.ac.uk

The module covers the major threats and risks that affect the security of a network and the systems that rely on it, and explores the ways in which a network and its systems can be protected.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module, the student should be able to:
1. Identify ways of countering different types of threat
2. Produce strategies to minimise risks of security breaches in a range of network environments
3. Critically analyse the shortcomings of a range of security strategies
4. Describe and apply the principles of key cryptography
5. Apply appropriate access controls and authentication techniques at different levels
6. Critically analyse the security, privacy, and ethical issues surrounding messaging systems

Additional outcomes:
1. Recognise the role of privacy in computer security
2. Recognise the role of ethics in computing

Outline content:
The module comprises three parts:
Overview of computer security
This part of the module provides an overview of the issues involved in computer security in general, focusing on cryptography, the theories underlying computer security, authentication and access control.
Network security
This part of the module focuses on the role the network plays in computer security, including its vulnerabilities, and the techniques that can be used to make the network secure. The part covers security issues related to general networks, the web, and system threats in general, such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses.
Security issues with Messaging Systems
This part of the module adds detail to the background covered in the other parts by focusing on security issues with messaging systems. In particular, security issues involving Enterprise Messaging Systems and Unified Messaging are covered, together with techniques for blocking unsolicited email.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be two, one hour lectures each week. The lectures will cover the theoretical aspects of the course, reinforced by demonstrations and group discussions in the seminars. The seminars will also be used for question and answer sessions on the assignment. There will be a number of revision lectures in the summer term

Contact hours:

  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 4
Other contact (eg study visits)      
Total hours   20 
Number of essays or assignments    
Other (eg major seminar paper)      

Formative coursework shall be included in the form of tutorial sheets that pose security problems the students must answer. These problems may be algebraic or algorithmic (for the cryptographic sessions), essay or short answer-based (for general security-related issues and enterprise messaging), or technical (for the Network Security sessions).
Summative coursework shall include a technical project that requires the student to use the encryption techniques discussed, and identify any weak points in their solution.
Relative percentage of coursework: 40%
One 2-hour paper
Requirements for a pass:
Pass at 40% in combined coursework and examination.
Reassessment arrangements:
Examination in August/September.

Last updated: 10 May 2010

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