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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

CSC8520 Securing Networks

Semester 2, 2023 Online
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Mathematics, Physics & Computing
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 28 May 2023


Course Coordinator: Zhaohui Tang


Co-requisite: CSC5050 or CSC8100


In today’s interconnected world, existing and emerging threats to privacy and security are of ever-growing concern. Security is an integral part of every aspect of information technology, including the network, server infrastructure and even the implementation of programming code. The skills to understand the nature of security threats, and acquire knowledge of the techniques and tools available to mitigate these threats are critical for today’s information technology professional.

The course seeks to provide grounding in advanced security concepts and advanced knowledge of techniques and tools in securing information technology infrastructure. In addition to identifying threats, vulnerabilities and human factors in the security space, the course also focus some hands-on practical skills for improving security in servers and networks. Concepts around information privacy are discussed, as are mechanisms and tools used to implement basic privacy in communications across the internet. Ethics and professional conduct as a security professional are identified as a key component of the course, as it the relationship between security professionals and parts of the organisation or society in general.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply the knowledge of what security and privacy are by explaining the meaning of security and privacy in the information technology context;
  2. Analyse information about security and privacy threats by providing simple strategies for mitigating those threats;
  3. Utilise simple security tools, such as password crackers, live CDs, and log analysis scripts to perform basic security analysis;
  4. Design and implement firewall rules on servers and/or networks;
  5. Relate roles in security to the ACS Code of Ethics;
  6. Draw workflows and show how the security professional or security team interfaces with other areas of an IT or business organisation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Security and privacy concepts 10.00
2. Human factors in security 10.00
3. An introduction to cryptography 15.00
4. Basic threat analysis and simple mitigation techniques 20.00
5. Firewalls in the network and on the server 20.00
6. VPNs and their use 5.00
7. An introduction to security tools 10.00
8. Ethics and conduct as a security professional 5.00
9. Security professionals and their role in the organisation 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Practical Practical 1 No 20 1,2,5,6
Assignments Practical Practical 2 No 30 2,3,4
Assignments Practical Practical 3 No 50 1,2,3,4,5,6
Date printed 28 May 2023