COMPX515-21B (HAM)

Security for Advanced Networks

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Department of Computer Science


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Paper Description

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Advanced network technologies, such as Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and the Internet of Things (IoT), are a reality. Exploiting vulnerabilities in such networks and on the Internet at large, attackers may compromise confidentiality, integrity and/or availability of systems to harm human beings, businesses or governments. Consequences include loss of human lives, of financial assets, and of user privacy. Thus it is crucial to understand how these novel technologies work, be aware of the security challenges they create, and be able to perform critical assessment of approaches proposed to protect them. Besides strengthening the students' background, this paper prepares them to conduct research in the topic.

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Paper Structure

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The paper begins with an overview and introduction to the latest developments in network technology. The rest of the paper is organised in 5 parts of equal size (two weeks), each covering one specific type of network. The parts cover core concepts about the corresponding network technology and discuss security issues for that specific type of network, based on the state-of-the-art.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Information-Centric Networks (CCN or ICN)
  • Software-Defined Networks (SDN)
  • Programmable dataplane networks (P4)
  • Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)

The materials (slides, scientific articles to read, etc) will be available on Moodle.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Enumerate the advances in computer networks in the last decade
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  • Understand the core principles behind the most relevant types of advanced networks
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  • Discuss main threats to security of advanced networks and the impact of attacks to them
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  • Discuss security principles and how they could be applied to protect such networks
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  • Understand the relevance of technical quality in security-related materials and apply it to selection of reliable sources
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  • Identify open areas of research in network security
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As the name implies, the in-lecture quizzes (12 points) can only be answered during the lectures.

Students are expected to physically attend the two lectures each week. When this is not possible, the student can participate via Zoom (should be prepared to contribute to the lecture by audio and/or chat).

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. In-lecture Quizzes
  • Other: Xorro
  • In Class: In Lecture
2. Self-paced Quizzes
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Literature review document
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Written Test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Readings are topical and based on scientific papers. The materials will be made available in moodle in advance for each lecture.
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Recommended Readings

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Complementary material, of topical nature, will be identified and made available to the students associated with each part of the paper.
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Online Support

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Online support will be provided via Moodle. Forums will be created for students to ask questions and contribute ideas and topics. Alternative communication channels will be discussed with the class. Lectures will be recorded and made available via Panopto. Complementary video materials will be selected from YouTube. Real-time questions will be asked using Moodle, or a platform like Xorro or Slido.
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Per week on average:

  • 2 hours: two 1-hour lectures
  • 5 hours: studying literature describing the state-of-the-art in the network security
  • 3 hours: answering quizzes
  • 2 hours: performing literature review and preparing corresponding write-up
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: COMPX304 and 30 points of COMPX papers at 300 level




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