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Network security

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Encryption of files and firewalls are just some of the security measures that can be used in security. This free course, Network security, which assumes you have a substantial knowledge of computing, helps to explain the intricacies of the continually changing area of network security by studying the main issues involved in achieving a reasonable degree of resilience against attacks.

Ideally, after studying this unit you should be able to apply the material appropriately in unfamiliar circumstances. In particular, you should be able to describe some threats to the security of communication networks and some of the countermeasures employed. The following learning outcomes are an indication of the level of knowledge you should have. You should be able to:

  • Identify some of the factors driving the need for network security.
  • Identify and classify particular examples of attacks.
  • Define the terms vulnerability, threat and attack.
  • Identify physical points of vulnerability in simple networks.
  • Compare and contrast symmetric and asymmetric encryption systems and their vulnerability to attack, and explain the characteristics of hybrid systems.
  • Explain the implications of implementing encryption at different levels of the OSI reference model.
  • Explain what is meant by data integrity and give reasons for its importance.
  • Describe methods of providing assurances about data integrity.
  • Describe the use of hash functions and explain the characteristics of one-way and collision-free functions.
  • Describe and distinguish between different mechanisms to assure the freshness of a message.
  • Explain the role of third-party agents in the provision of authentication services.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of passwords in access control and the influence of human behaviour.
  • Identify types of firewall implementation suitable for differing security requirements.
  • Apply and explain simple filtering rules based on IP and TCP header information.
  • Distinguish between firewalls based on packet-filtering routers, application level gateways and circuit level gateways.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 25 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 11th December 2013
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Systems (Computer)
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Network security

Learning outcomes

Unit image

Ideally, after studying this unit you should be able to apply the material appropriately in unfamiliar circumstances. In particular, you should be able to describe some threats to the security of communication networks and some of the countermeasures employed. The following learning outcomes are an indication of the level of knowledge you should have. You should be able to:

  • Identify some of the factors driving the need for network security.

  • Identify and classify particular examples of attacks.

  • Define the terms vulnerability, threat and attack.

  • Identify physical points of vulnerability in simple networks.

  • Compare and contrast symmetric and asymmetric encryption systems and their vulnerability to attack, and explain the characteristics of hybrid systems.

  • Explain the implications of implementing encryption at different levels of the OSI reference model.

  • Explain what is meant by data integrity and give reasons for its importance.

  • Describe methods of providing assurances about data integrity.

  • Describe the use of hash functions and explain the characteristics of one-way and collision-free functions.

  • Describe and distinguish between different mechanisms to assure the freshness of a message.

  • Explain the role of third-party agents in the provision of authentication services.

  • Discuss the effectiveness of passwords in access control and the influence of human behaviour.

  • Identify types of firewall implementation suitable for differing security requirements.

  • Apply and explain simple filtering rules based on IP and TCP header information.

  • Distinguish between firewalls based on packet-filtering routers, application level gateways and circuit level gateways.

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