COIT20262 - Advanced Network Security

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will learn how to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and network services in business organisations. You will study the fundamental cryptographic techniques that many of the security mechanisms are built upon. You will also study network security attacks, including malware, denial of service, and application vulnerabilities, and the corresponding countermeasures. Through computer laboratory activities, you will gain hands-on experience in analysing attacks and deploying defences, including securing web applications, establishing access control mechanisms, and applying encryption in wired and wireless networks.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: COIT20261 Network Routing and Switching

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2022

Term 2 - 2022 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 35%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 25%
3. Written Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.6 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 63.86% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student evaluations
Lab activities should be improved as it was too hard to work on online. Some in-class quizzes must be given more time.
Consider offering brief step-by-step guidance and short video demonstration to complete the tutorial activities and have ample time to complete in-class quizzes.
Action Taken
In the weekly zoom lecture after the lecture, some tutorial tasks have been discussed with demonstration. This benefitted the students. The current quiz completion time (in-class: 15 mins, out-class: 30 mins) is sufficient to complete the quiz.
Source: Moodle forum posts by students and staff feedback
Virtual network (virtnet) running on VirtualBox sometime gives unexpected error.
Explore the possibility of migration to the cloud environment from VirtualBox
Action Taken
In Term 1, 2021, VirtualBox 6.0 was used. Students did not complain about the unexpected error. However, in the future, we will move to the cloud environment.
Source: Student feedback
The best aspects of the unit: working with WEKA and virtnet.
Continue working with WEKA and consider adding more WEKA-based activities related to network security.
Action Taken
Source: Teaching team, Self-reflection.
Tutorial tasks in the first few weeks are hard and time-consuming
Add more supporting resources and short videos.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain vulnerabilities and attacks, as well as their countermeasures
  2. Use and compare cryptographic techniques for securing computers and networks
  3. Design security controls for organisations, such as firewalls, authentication, and access control
  4. Develop and deploy network security technologies, including encryption software, VPNs and wireless security
  5. Assess emerging threats and security controls.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) recognises the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). SFIA is adopted by organisations, governments and individuals in many countries and provides a widely used and consistent definition of ICT skills. SFIA is increasingly being used when developing job descriptions and role profiles. ACS members can use the tool MySFIA to build a skills profile.

This unit contributes to the following workplace skills as defined by SFIA 7 (the SFIA code is included):

  • Information Security (SCTY)
  • Security Administration (SCAD)
  • Information Assurance (INAS)
  • Specialist Advice (TECH)

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Written Assessment