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Module

CSC3124 : System and Network Security

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Charles Morisset
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Chris Napier
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To create awareness of the need for security in computer and communications systems, and to introduce techniques aiming at analysing and improving security.

By exploring topics such as the need for security, system and network security, cryptography, privacy and practical security, including hardware, software and human elements of security, this module aims to introduce the need for security in many components of a computer system: hardware, network, databases, web applications, operating systems and user interface.

Outline Of Syllabus

The need for security: threat and risk modelling.
System Security: authentication (password, biometrics), access control, malicious code execution, user behaviour.
Network Security: TCP/IP firewall, intrusion detection, routing attacks.
Cryptography: simple introduction to symmetric and asymmetric encryption, hashing and signature.
Privacy: k-anonymity.
Practical security: conduct attacks in a controlled environment.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials800:1520:00Lecture material (recorded videos max 15 minutes, interactive material, articles)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:3018:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Guided Independent StudyProject work201:0020:00Coursework (practical attacks)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion101:0010:00Active participation to discussion forum.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery101:0010:00Practical for the coursework (PiP or online)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Formative coursework (group work)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study101:0010:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk40:302:00Online talks given by the module leader
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture material is made available on Canvas, and consists of a selection of short recorded videos, interactive website and written content. Learners are expected to follow-up on this material and to actively participate to a discussion forum, prompted by some of the interactive material. 4 modules talk, spread evenly over the module, enable the module leader to discuss about key points of the module and to reflect on the ongoing forum discussions. The coursework consists of practical attacks done in a virtual controlled lab, with drop-in sessions where learners can ask question and get support for the exercises. A formative coursework is done as a group, where learners have to solve a critical thinking assessment.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination902A60Take-home exam.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M40Individual exercises to be completed during practical hours. 5-10 exercises.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MSecurity Analysis (group work, 1500 words).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination is an appropriate way to assess knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings and practical skills on small-scale problems. The examination involves application exercises and critical thinking.

The coursework assessment gives an opportunity to assess practical skills in a controlled environment, while the formative assessment is a security analysis (critical thinking) done as group work.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists

Timetable