Advanced Computer Science: Multi-Core Computing [MSc]

Cyber Security

Unit code: COMP61421
Credit Rating: 15
Unit level: Level 6
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit?: Y




The course unit covers risk, human factors, and compensating technologies by considering the requirements of cyber and information system security with a systemic view of the development process from the 'Acquisition' through to the 'Disposal' stages.


The spectacular growth of the Internet and wireless communication amidst a constantly transforming threat landscape has spawned an increased need for awareness in security techniques. This course unit covers a broad range of security issues in relation to networked environments, ranging from risk assessment, threat modeling, business continuity management, to security policy specifications, from threats and vulnerabilities to practical countermeasures through the ‘kill chain’.

Teaching and learning methods


40 hours: Lectures and group work.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are detailed on the COMP61421 course unit syllabus page on the School of Computer Science's website for current students.

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Group/team working
  • Innovation/creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Written communication

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 50%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 50%


Information assurance: the need for computer and network security

  • Security Breaches
    • Mistakes, criminality and cyber terrorism
  • System Life cycles
    • Plan-do-check-act
    • Propose, direct, monitor
  • Trustworthy software
  • Vulnerabilities
    • Technological
    • Human vulnerabilities in computer and network security

Cyber and information security management

  • Risk management
    • Threats and breaches
    • Risk and threat modelling
  • Technologies and countermeasures
    • Entity identification and authentication
    • Access control in computer systems and in networks
    • Communication security, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Web security
    • Wireless network security
    • E-Commerce/cloud computing security

Controls and regulators

  • Protection
    • Security Policy
    • Secure System Development and Maintenance
    • Security Organisation
    • Asset Management
    • Access Control
    • Physical and Environmental Security
    • Human factors
  • Operation
    • Communications and Operations Management
    • Security Incident and Event Management
    • Business Continuity Management
  • Self preservation
    • Kill-chain disruption
    • Intrusion prevention
    • Intrusion detection
    • Recovery
  • Compliance
    • Cyber and information security management standards
    • Laws and regulations
    • Audits reviews, and inspection
    • Vulnerability scanners
    • Penetration testing
    • Computer forensics

Recommended reading

COMP61421 reading list can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Feedback methods

Via question/answer session during lectures and course works.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 20 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 15 hours
  • Independent study hours - 70 hours

Teaching staff

Ning Zhang - Unit coordinator

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