Data Security and Networking

  • Level 5
  • 20 credits

Select a start date

Start date 18 January 2018
Duration 12 weekly meetings
Days and times Thursdays from 18:00 to 21:00 plus 1 Saturday Day School
Tutor Dr Mike Evans
Course code COM17A4663A
Fee £450.00
Concessionary fee £405.00 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

This module aims to introduce students to the major problems of security in running a public service computer system.

The topics covered in this module include a discussion of the basic internet protocols (TCP, UDP, ICMP) and network applications (Telnet, FTP, e-mail),  an introduction to network and host security, network design and implementation, the anatomy of computer viruses, practical networking,  common topologies, components, testing  and use of logs from backups to investigate breaches of security.

This module includes a practical class that allows students to try termination of fibre-optics and  setting up a small local area network.   On completion of the module, a student should be able to control access to services on a workstation and analyse TCP/IP network traffic using a protocol analyser.

This course is ideal for the student who wants a good general introduction to Data Security and Networking.

Learning and teaching

This module includes a mix of traditional lectures and laboratory sessions.  Each meeting starts with a lecture and finishes with a laboratory session.  This module includes a practical class that allows students to try both termination of fibre-optics and setting up a small local area network.

On completion of the module, a student should be able to control access to services on a workstation and analyse TCP/IP network traffic using a protocol analyser.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects. Students will sit a written class test at the end of the course.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

The syllabus will cover:

  • Introduction to both Windows and UNIX
  • Redirection of input and output and piping
  • Discussion of factors that impact on a centralised backup over the network
  • Demonstration of centralised backup over the network
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Disabling services on a workstation
  • Controlling access to services on a workstation using the TCP wrapper package
  • Using Secure Shell (ssh) and Secure FTP (sftp) instead of telnet and ftp so that data is encrypted before it is transmitted over the network.
  • Use of the cron facility on UNIX and the Windows scheduler to schedule regular jobs on a server to save logs which may be required when there is unauthorised access to a system
  • Discussion of the layers of the Internet model
  • Explanation of the 48 bit station address used by the Ethernet protocol
  • Discussion of the differences between the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
  • Explanation of the terms netmask, default router and DNS server
  • Discussion of the Domain Name service (DNS) database structure
  • The default allow and default deny security policies
  • Firewall and packet filtering router rules to permit or deny a connection
  • Authentication and authorisation
  • Discussion of common services (FTP,SMTP,DNS and HTTP)
  • Discussion of format of headers from e-mail messages
  • Network components and topologies
  • Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)
  • Study of star, bus and ring network topologies.
  • The role of repeaters/hubs  in a network
  • Comparison of a switch and a hub
  • Comparison of a bridge and routers in a network
  • History of computer viruses.
  • Boot Sector, File viruses, Worms and Macro viruses
  • Modes of infection. Methods of eradication.

Reading suggestions

  • Santifaller, M (1994) TCP/IP and ONC/NFS (2/E). Addison Wesley

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.


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