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COMP38412 Cyber Security syllabus 2021-2022

COMP38412 Cyber Security

Level 3
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 139

Course leader: Ning Zhang

Additional staff: view all staff


  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP15111
  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP28112

Assessment methods

  • 100% Written exam
Sem 2 w20-27,31-34 Lecture Simon TH A Wed 09:00 - 11:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Mobile Computing and Networks


The course will provide an introduction to cyber security concepts, components, threats landscape and procedures as well as countermeasures, defences and challenges in tackling cyber threats. It will discuss systematic approaches to the identification and classification of system vulnerabilities, threats and attacks in the context. It will describe cryptographic methods and protocols, which are used to protect data, applications and systems. It will introduce cyber security solutions and defence measures, such as user identity, privilege and trust management, enterprise network defence and wireless security standards, application level security packages and software security issues and best practices.


This Course Unit introduces students to the landscape of cyber security and knowledge and skills to identify and address cyber threats at multiple levels. Particular attention is focussed on exploring security methods, protocols and other techniques to protect data and networked and distributed systems against cyber threats.


Introduction to Cybersecurity

Notion of Cybersecurity and domains, security threat analysis and classifications, Cybersecurity framework

Cryptographic Tools and Protocols

Confidentiality with symmetric encryption, message authentication and hash functions, public-key encryption, digital signatures, key management, security protocol design

Identity and Privilege Management

User identification and authentication, single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, access control mechanisms

Network and Distributed System Security

Enterprise network security, web security, email security, e-transaction security, Cloud and IoT security

Software Security

Malicious software, software vulnerabilities and exploitations, countermeasures and best proactices.

Teaching methods

Lectures and workshops: 22 in total, 2 per week


Coursework: there will be one coursework involving research and problem solving.

Feedback methods

Face to face feedback and coursework marking

Study hours

  • Lectures (22 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Innovation/creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Research

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

ILO1: Analyse, identify and classify vulnerabilities and security threats and attacks in a given setting.

ILO2: Describe and design system security solutions such as those for user identity, access and trust managements.

ILO3: Describe and design network security solutions such as those for protecting networked systems and devices.

ILO4: Describe, design and apply application security solutions such as those for protecting Internet-based services.

ILO5: Analyse, identify and describe software security issues, countermeasures and best practices.

Reading list

Computer Security: Principles and PracticeWilliam Stallings978-0134794105Pearson8 Aug. 2017
Effective Cybersecurity: A Guide to Using Best Practices and StandardsWilliam Stallings978-0134772806Addison-Wesley7 Nov. 2018
Computer Security: Art and Science | 2nd edition | Pearsonnullnullnullnull