COMPSCI 726 : Network Defence and Countermeasures


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on the use and deployment of protective systems used in securing internal and external networks. Examines in detail the widely used protocols including SSL, IPSec, DNSSEC as well as covers infrastructure platform protocols including wireless security (IEEE 802.11). Explores current research and developments in the area of network defence and countermeasures. Recommended preparation: COMPSCI 314, 315

Course Overview

This course focuses on protective systems used in securing internal and external networks. It covers a range of security technologies such as firewalls, NAT, IDS, honeypot, and a host of other security mechanisms for providing security at different TCP/IP layers. It examines in detail the widely used protocols including SSL, IPSec, and DNSSEC as well as covers topics related to securing the infrastructure including wireless security (IEEE 802.11). This course also explores the current research and developments in the area of network defence and countermeasures. The research aspect is mainly covered in individual seminars, which are based on recent research articles published at top-notch venues. There is a group report, which typically extends the presented articles. Finally, there is a final exam based on lectures and seminars.

The skills developed in this course are particularly useful for those wishing to have a career involving cybersecurity. The course project will be helpful for those who are planning to develop expertise in writing research reports.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Give basic advice on securing communication networks (Capability 3 and 5)
  2. Criticise and appreciate technical literature on network security (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Demonstrate technical skills to increase security of communication networks (Capability 3, 6 and 8)
  4. Prepare and deliver an oral presentation on an advanced topic in network security (Capability 6)
  5. Develop novel problem solving and research-informed ideas (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Seminar 15% Individual Coursework
Project 25% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam


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Key Topics

  • Cryptography and PKI
  • OSI and TCP/IP Models
  • DNS and DNSSEC
  • DoS and DDoS
  • Firewall
  • IDS and Honeypot
  • Wifi Security
  • IPv4, IPv6, and IPSec
  • BGP and SDN

Special Requirements

Each student must deliver a seminar in class and peer review one seminar.
The group project must be completed in a team of 2.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, each week you can expect:

  • 3 hours of lectures
  • 3-4 hours for group projects each week
  • 4-5 hours of reading and thinking about the content
As well as,  approximately 20 hours for individual seminars across the semester.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including seminars to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including seminars and group discussions.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

  • Network Security Essentials - Applications and Standards, Fourth Edition, William Stallings, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-706792-5

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

There are no proposed changes for this year.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 06/11/2023 08:36 a.m.