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CSC8421 Network Security

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Network Security
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 020113 - Networks and Communications
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Zhongwei Zhang


Pre-requisite: Students must have completed CSC8419 or equivalent and be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MCOP or MPIT or MCOT or MCTE or MENC or MEPR or MENS or METC or MSST or MCTN

Other requisites

Recommended prior study: Know basics of programming in C, C++, Java, or other high level language such as obtained in the courses CSC1401 or CSC2402, or possess basic knowledge of any field related to internetworking.


Network security has become an important and challenging goal in the design of computer networks that involves all activities to protect the value and ongoing usability of assets and the integrity and continuity of operations. An effective network security strategy requires identifying threats and then choosing the most effective set of tools to combat them. This course provides students with key knowledge about the nature and challenges of network security, it covers theory and practice of computer security, focusing in particular on the security aspects of the web and Internet. It surveys authentication, TCP/IP, SSL, IPSEC, TLS, PGP, S/MIME, SET cryptographic and security protocols and systems, remote access technologies, email and web security, firewalls, intrusion detection and forensic computing.


The course gives a broad overview of methods of implementing network security based on security technology in today's communication networks. Topics to be covered include the fundamentals of contemporary security approach and its application to network services, such as advanced cryptography, access control, distributed authentication, TCP/IP security, firewalls. New ideas in IPSec, Virtual Private Networks, intrusion detection systems, and advanced topics such as wireless security, identity management are provided.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify, analyse and resolve issues surrounding compromised network security in a range of diverse situations.
  2. Evaluate and apply selected protocols to ensure network security is difficult/unable to compromise.
  3. Describe and apply algorithms that underpin current network security protocols.
  4. Analyse, evaluate and apply firewalls to different networks.
  5. Explain and evaluate different authentication and identity management approaches.
  6. Design and develop techniques and algorithms to implement network security protocols.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of computer networks and protocols 10.00
2. Review of Network Security 15.00
3. Network threats and TCP/IP vulnerability 15.00
4. Firewalls and Virtual Private Networks 15.00
5. Authentication and Identity management 15.00
6. Privacy protection in Network 15.00
7. Network security applications 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Goodrich, MT & Tamassia, R 2011, Introduction to Computer Security, 1st edn, Pearson Higher Ed, USA.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Cheswick, WR & Bellovin, SM 2003, Firewalls and internet security, 2nd edn, Addison-Wesley Professional.
Garfinkel, S & Spafford, G 2003, Practical unix and internet security, 3rd edn, O'Reilly & Associates.
(Online from Library.)
Goodrich M & Tamassia R 2011, Introduction to Computer Security, Pearson, New Jersey.
Finally, there are many relevant and interesting resources on the web, from newsgroups such as ci.crypt.research and comp.risks through hacker and CERT sites to organisations involved in crypto policy and, of course, researchers' home pages (

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 50.00
Project Work 70.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Project Proposal 24 24 13 Aug 2019
Project Implementation 26 26 01 Oct 2019
Final Research Report 50 50 29 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. It is students’ responsibility to discuss possible projects with the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  3. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  4. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  5. Supplementary assessment will be considered for offer by the Board of Examiners to a student who has undertaken all of the required summative assessments in a course who has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks or equivalent in the grading scale.

  6. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up) may be awarded.

Other requirements

  1. Students need to be conversant with and will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.