Computer Science

COMPSCI 726: Network Defence and Countermeasures
Semester 2, City Campus

Recommended Preparation: COMPSCI 314 (Modern Data Communications), COMPSCI 340 (Operating Systems)
Lecturers: Rizwan Asghar (Course Coordinator) and Nalin Arachchilage


This course focuses on the use and deployment of protective systems used in securing internal and external networks. Its purpose is to provide a detailed understanding of 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, DNSSEC as well as covers infrastructure platform protocols including wireless security (IEEE 802.11).

It is a research-oriented course that explores current research and developments in the area of network defence and countermeasures.

Time and Location

  • Monday 12:00-13:00 hrs 302-G20
  • Wednesday 11:00-12:00 hrs ClockT018/105-018
  • Thursday 10:00-11:00 hrs ClockT018/105-018

Learning Outcomes

  • Give basic advice on securing communication networks (Themes 1-6*)
  • Criticise and appreciate technical literature on network security (Themes 1-5*)
  • Demonstrate technical skills to increase security of communication networks (Themes 1-6*)
  • Prepare and deliver an oral presentation on an advanced topic in network security (Themes 1,2,4, and 5*)
  • Develop novel problem solving and research-informed ideas (Themes 1-6*)

*All the themes are defined in graduate profiles.


  • 15% Individual Seminar: Your oral presentation must be a coherent explanation of an advanced topic in Network Defence and Countermeasures, showing your careful reading and understanding of a research article (from this list). Note that an article can be chosen by at most 2 students. The deadline to choose an article is: Friday, July 23, 23:59 hrs NZ time. Furthermore, you also need to review one assigned presentation within a week after that presentation. For more information, click here.
  • 25% Group Report: Your written report must demonstrate (i) your critical understanding of at least 5 research articles and (ii) a novel research idea in the respective topic your group has chosen (group size is 2). To see a potential list of articles, click here. At least one article in your report must be from this list. The deadline to submit your research proposal (including a tentative report title and your 1-paragraph research proposal) is: Friday, July 30, 23:59 hrs NZ time. The deadline to submit your final report is: Wednesday, October 20, 23:59 hrs NZ time. For more information, click here.
  • 60% Final Exam: The final exam will be based on lectures, seminars, and class discussions.


Apply now!


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