Network Security

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
28 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BENGG420 Computer Networks,
BENGG421 Computer Networks (Including Year Abroad),
BENGI120 Computer Networks (Including Placement Year),
BSC GH56 Information and Communication Technology,
BSC GH5P Information and Communication Technology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC I102 Information and Communication Technology (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Based on the assumption that public networks will always be open to compromise, this course introduces techniques to secure transmitted data,
including the management of encryption systems and communication.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to consider the application of security to networked computers and systems, extending on the content of CE235 Computer Security (which examined security as applied to a single computer). It explains how to secure a network by applying methods to detect, mitigate and/or stop attacks.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to:

1. Identify and describe common network security vulnerabilities/attacks
2. Design computer network architectures that reduce security risks
3. Formulate firewall table rules and in general be familiar with network boundary protection.
4. Identify and describe the operation of security tools for network security applications
5. Propose suitable security techniques for encryption and authentication
6. Describe key management techniques required for encrypted communication/authentication.

Module information

Outline Syllabus


Principles of network security and privacy. Introduction to the different types of networkbased attack (or non-malicious problem) that may require attention.

Securing a computer network at the network layer

Techniques to identify network vulnerabilities and review of the relevant network layer protocols. Types of firewall. Configuring network firewalls and application gateways.

Computer architectures and topologies that reduce risk of attack. Network policies that support security. Securing wireless systems. Stopping network layer and DNS-based

Detecting and mitigating network based attacks

Network intrusion detection systems. Fake systems (honeypots) for attack
deflection/detection. Adapting network policy in reaction to attack.

Key management for encryption and authentication

Ticket-based authentication systems including Kerberos. Public key infrastructure (PKI). Securing Email communication. Secure network management.

Secure communication protocols

Securing application/transport layer protocols using secure socket layer (SSL) including secure HTTP web transfer. Securing network layer transmission through IP security (IPsec).

Virtual private networks (VPNs). Secure web-based applications (cookies, cross-site scripting, and spoofing).

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and Laboratory sessions


  • Stallings, William. (2017) Network security essentials: applications and standards, Harlow, England: Pearson.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework CE324 Log book 19/03/2020 20.0%
Practical Lab Test 1 (MCQ test open book) - Week 21 40.0%
Practical Lab Test 2 (MCQ test open book) - Week 25 40.0%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
30% 70%


Coursework Exam
30% 70%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Martin Reed, Dr Morteza Varasteh
CSEE School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

Dr Yunfei Chen
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 101 hours, 21 (20.8%) hours available to students:
80 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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