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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.
After studying this course, 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.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Terminology and abbreviations
- 2 Background to network security
- 3 Threats to communication networks
- 4 Principles of encryption
- 5 Implementing encryption in networks
- 6 Integrity
- 7 Freshness
- 8 Authentication
- 9 Access control
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Communication networks are used to transfer valuable and confidential information for a variety of purposes. As a consequence, they attract the attention of people who intend to steal or misuse information, or to disrupt or destroy the systems storing or communicating it. In this unit you will study some of the main issues involved in achieving a reasonable degree of resilience against network attacks. Some attacks are planned and specifically targeted, whereas others may be opportunistic, resulting from eavesdropping activities.
Threats to network security are continually changing as vulnerabilities in both established and newly introduced systems are discovered, and solutions to counter those threats are needed. Studying this unit should give you an insight into the more enduring principles of network security rather than detailed accounts of current solutions.
The aims of this unit are to describe some factors that affect the security of networks and data communications, and their implications for users; and to introduce some basic types of security service and their components, and indicate how these are applied in networks.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 3 study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Systems (Computer) courses or view the range of currently available OU Systems (Computer) courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 17th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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