About this course

Today, every aspect of our lives is influenced by computers. As IT systems are pervasively interconnected, proper network security becomes a critical component of IT security. In this course, you learn the principles of network and communication security, covering secure network design across the entire OSI stack. The lecture will cover security considerations, vulnerabilities and applicable countermeasures starting from securing the flow of bits and physical system hardware up to the detection and control of threats at the application layer. You will learn the concepts and fundamental reasoning behind today’s security designs, review common threats to today’s networks, and understand specific detection and mitigation techniques. Discussion in the course will not only cover the way things currently are, but following the conversation classroom and constructivist paradigm collaboratively also investigate the reasoning behind existing design decisions as well as exploring the pros and cons of alternative designs, enabling students for a deeper critique of security practices and current and future network designs.

Network Security covers

  • basic risk management techniques to evaluate the threat profile of an organization and its network,
  • strategies the adversaries use to get in,
  • vulnerabilities of networking protocols at the physical, link, network, transport and application layer,
  • the background to evaluate and design you own security solutions,
  • attacks and defense techniques in both theory and practice.

Course Content

The following shows the topics discussed in Network Security:

Physical Layer Security

Protection strategies for cables, wireless links and physical installations; Secure (network) device lifecycle management; physical asset control and datacenter security

Link Layer Security

ARP protocol and ARP vulnerabilities; switch design and switch protocols; port security; VLANs; The 802.11 protocol suite from a security perspective (WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA3, WPS); 802.1X port-based network access control, 802.1AE MAC security; cellular networks

Network Layer

Network design practices; network reconnaissance; IP protocol vulnerabilities such as address spoofing and associated network attacks; security of DNS system, detection of DNS attacks and protection techniques; virtual private networks; covert tunnels; firewall and packet filters; inter-domain routing security

Transport Layer

TCP protocol weaknesses. SSL/TLS; selected SSL/TLS protocol attacks (i.a., heartbleed, drown, poodle); certificate transparency

Application and Web Security

Intrusion detection and prevention systems; honeypots; DDoS mitigation; SSH; security of e-mail, VoIP, telephony, and messenger security protocols.


Traffic analysis; Mix networks and onion routing

Semester Schedule

The course is/was offered in these terms: