IT 424

Network Security (3 credits)

Text:  Network Security Essentials: Applications and Standards, 6th edition by W. Stallings, Pearson, 2011

Course Information: This course covers the fundamental concepts, principles, and mechanisms in network and distributed system security. The topics that will be covered include: network security primitives, distributed authentication, key management, secure communication protocols, firewalls, intrusion detection, traffic monitoring and analysis, email and Web security, etc.

Prerequisite: IT 340 and IT 422

Required/Elective: Elective

Course Outcomes:

Students should be capable of:

  1. Understanding the cryptographic primitives adopted in network security solutions.
  2. Discussing the basic concepts and principles of network security and identifying risks and vulnerabilities.
  3. Understanding and describing authentication and secure communication protocols such as Kerberos, IPSec, SSL/TLS.
  4. Describing popular network attacks such as Eavesdropping, IP spoofing, Man-in-the-Middle, DDoS, Botnet, SQL injection, cross site scripting and discussing the countermeasures.
  5. Deploying and configuring network security protection tools such as firewalls, traffic monitoring and intrusion detection tools, spam filters.

Student Outcomes: 

A. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program’s student outcomes and to the discipline

E. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities

J. An ability to use and apply current technical concepts and practices in the core information technologies

M. An understanding of best practices and standards and their application

Course Topics:


  1. Review of cryptographic primitives: secret key cryptography: DES, AES; public key cryptography: RSA, Diffie-Hellman; secure hash functions, message authentication
  2. Risks and vulnerabilities
  3. Network authentication, key management, PKI, Kerberos
  4. Protocols: SSL/TLS, SSH, and IPsec
  5. Eavesdropping, IP spoofing, Man-in-the-Middle attacks
  6. Distributed deny of service attacks
  7. Firewall, intrusion detection
  8. Worms
  9. Zombies and botnets
  10. Web security: HTTP/HTTPS, WWW-authenticate, SQL injection, XSS
  11. Email security: Email signature, PEM, S/MIME, spam

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today