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Network Security

Networking technologies play a critical role in almost all modern software-based systems, whether the fixed networks of computers we now regard as commonplace, or the growing cloud of pervasive devices which have increasingly diverse profiles of network connectivity. As a result, they provide a potential vector for many forms of attack, and are an ideal location for many threat mitigations and isolation technologies. Much benefit has been derived from a layered approach to network architecture, and most approaches to security are aligned to those boundaries. This course will consider the prevention, detection, mitigation and remediation of security problems in the network at each level of abstraction, as well as looking at cross-cutting concerns across the whole stack.


This course normally runs twice a year.

Course dates

11th November 2024Oxford University Department of Computer Science - Held in the Department13 places remaining.
20th January 2025Oxford University Department of Computer Science - Held in the Department12 places remaining.


The successful participant will

  • be able to explain how the architecture of the internet gives rise to security challenges;
  • know and understand the major classes of security technologies used in best practice to improve internet security;
  • understand how technology, practice, and procedure work together to deliver security in networked systems;
  • be able to extend their understanding to encompass the security of new and emerging kinds of network.


Network Fundamentals TCP/IP review; SSL/TLS review; tools for network analysis; routing and NAT; network attachment protections: RADIUS, EAP, NAP/NAC/TNC, 802.1X, etc.; wireless networks, WPA2.


Network Defence Forms of firewall; firewall behaviours and design; layered protection; deperimeterization.


Networked Application Security Application layer security protocols (e.g. ? POP, IMAP, SMB, Web Services Security)


Intrusion Detection Techniques for detecting abnormal patterns of behaviour.


Management Network management and operations; resilient design; incident response planning.


Mobile and Embedded Systems Security complexities introduced by mobility; limitations of lowpower, low-resource devices.


Participants should understand the terminology of systems security, cryptography, and security protocols, at least to the level covered in the SPR module.