MN502 - Overview of Network Security

Credit Points: 20 credit points

Workload: 60 hours

Prerequisite: N/A

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a core unit out of a total of 6 units in the Graduate Diploma of Networking (GDNet) and 12 units in Master of Networking  (MNet). This unit addresses the course learning outcomes and complements other courses in a related field by developing students’ specialised knowledge in network security and applying critical skills in Information Technology. For further course information refer to:, and This unit is part of the AQF Level 8 (GDNet) and level 9 (MNet and MEng(Tel)) courses.

This unit provides students with a comprehensive overview of the field of network security, security risks and countermeasures associated with network connectivity. Students will gain knowledge and skills to understand, apply and manage network security. There are some activities designed to develop students’ abilities to protect network data that include protecting the usability, reliability, integrity, and safety of network and data. 

The unit will help students to identify, analyse, and compare common security vulnerabilities, threats and in depth analysis of these threats that network users often face. It will help students to respond to and recover from security incidents through case studies/workshops.

The unit will cover the following areas:

  • Introduction of Network Security
  • Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption Techniques
  • Authentication
  • Transport Level and IP Security
  • Intruders and Malicious Software
  • Firewalls
  • Case Studies

Learning Outcomes

4.1 Course Learning Outcomes
The Course learning outcomes applicable to this unit are listed on the Melbourne Institute of Technology’s website: 

4.2 Unit Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Analyse and discuss the main security issues and emerging trends in information security;
  2. Analyse and discuss common emerging threats, attacks, mitigation and countermeasures in networked information systems;
  3. Explain the major methodologies for secure networks and what threats they address;
  4. Identify and report network threats, select and implement appropriate countermeasures for network security;
  5. Use security policies to manage operational security, and then administer those policies to ensure compliance by users in an organization;
  6. Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour with regard to network security.

Weekly Topics

This unit will cover the content below:

Week Topics
1 Lecture 1 - Introduction to Security
2 Lecture 2 - Malware & Social Engineering Attack
3 Lecture 3 – Basic Cryptography
4 Lecture 4 – Advanced Cryptography and PKI, Mid-term Review
5 Lecture 5 - Networking and Server Attacks
6 Lecture 6 - Network Security Devices, Design, and Technology
7 Lecture 7 - Administering a Secure Network, Cloud Security
8 Lecture 8 - Authentication and Account Management.
9 Lecture 9 - Access Management - ethical behaviour of security
10 Lecture 10 - Vulnerability Assessment
11 Lecture 11 – Risk Mitigation
12 Review


Assessment Task Due Date Release Date A B Learning Outcomes Assessed
Formative Assignment 1 Week 3 (10/4/2022) Week 1 5%   a
In-class test (On Campus, Face to Face) Week 5 (20/4/2022)     10% a-b
Assignment 2 Group Week 11 (2/6/2022) Week 6 25%   c-f
Class participation & contribution Week 2-11(8/6/2022) Week 2-11 10%   a-f
Final Examination (3 hours)       50% a-f
TOTALS     40% 60%  

Task Type: Type A: unsupervised, Type B: supervised.

Class Participation and Contribution

This unit has class participation and student contribution as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Textbook and Reference Materials

Text Book:

  • M. Ciampa, Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals. 6th ed., Cengage, 2018.
  • References:
  • W. Stallings, Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards. 6th ed., Prentice Hall, 2017.
  • J. M. Kizza, Guide to Computer Network Security (Computer Communications and Networks). 4th ed.,  Springers, 2017
  • M. McLafferty, W. Levesque, A. Salmon, Applied Network Security, Packt Publishing, 2017
  • M. E. Whitman & H. J. Mattord, Principles of Information Security. Cengage Learning, 2018.
  • D. Death, Information Security Handbook, Packt Publishing, 2017


Adopted Reference Style: IEEE

Students are required to purchase the prescribed texts and have them available each week in the class.

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.