CYBR371 (2023) - System and Network Security


This course addresses key concepts, techniques and tools needed to provide security in computer and communications systems. Topics include the need for security, system and network security threats such as malware or denial-of-service attacks, secure systems design, identity management, authentication, access control, and computer network defence. Practical work will involve developing operating system and network security tools such as keyloggers as well as choosing and implementing appropriate security controls to meet a small organisation's network security needs. The examination will be related to the lecture material and learning during the assignments.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course will be able to:

  1. Define system and network security in terms of information properties and explain the importance of secure system design.
  2. List and explain common TCP/IP protocols' vulnerabilities, associated attacks and, identify and explain the existing countermeasures.
  3. Compare and contrast different approaches to network defence such as access control, cryptographic mechanisms, host-based protection, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems.
  4. Evaluate a small organisation's network security needs and deploy network defences to enforce appropriate network security policies.

Course content

This course is designed for in-person study, and students are strongly recommended to attend lectures, tutorials and labs on campus. In particular, some assessment items or practical hands-on labs will require in-person attendance, although exceptions can be made under special circumstances.
Queries about any such exceptions can be sent to

Required Academic Background

Students are required to have a basic understanding of security concepts (CYBR171), and have prior knowledge of networking and communication protocols (NWEN243) and operating system (Basic knowledge of Linux and Shell scripting).

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Dr Masood Mansoori (Coordinator)

Teaching Format

There are two lecture sessions per week and, a fortnightly lab/tutorial session for this course. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the lectures and lab/tutorial sessions in person.
Lab/tutorial sessions are not recorded! Instructions for each lab/tutorial session will be provided during or before the session date, on the course website. Students are required to read the lab/tutorial documents thoroughly, complete the tasks and submit them by the due date specified in each lab/tutorial document; per asssessments' schedule.

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 27 February 2023 - 02 June 2023
  • Break: 10 April 2023 - 23 April 2023
  • Study period: 05 June 2023 - 08 June 2023
  • Exam period: 09 June 2023 - 24 June 2023

Class Times and Room Numbers

27 February 2023 - 09 April 2023

  • Monday 16:10 - 17:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 16:10 - 17:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn
24 April 2023 - 04 June 2023

  • Monday 16:10 - 17:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 16:10 - 17:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn

Other Classes

Students must sign up in myAllocator for fortnightly (one-hour) lab/tutorial sessions. myAllocator schedule will be available for selection in the first week of the course.


Guide to Network Defense and Countermeasures, 3rd Edition by Randy Weaver, Dawn Weaver, Dean Farwood is primarily used throughout the course and includes most of the topics covered in this course.

Additional notes are provided before/after each lecture session accordingly.

Mandatory Course Requirements

In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of at least 50%, students must:

  • Achieve at least a D grade in the final assessment, as it assesses understanding of concepts and learning from assignments independently.
  • Submit at least three of the five lab exercises over the duration of the course.
  • Make a reasonable attempt at all major assessments/assignments.

If you believe that exceptional circumstances may prevent you from meeting the mandatory course requirements, contact the Course Coordinator for advice as soon as possible.


The assignments will apply the concepts learnt in the lectures and lab/tutorial sessions, while the final assessment wil be related to the lecture materials and learnings during the assignments.

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Assignment OneWeek 6CLO: 1,230%
Assignment TwoWeek 12CLO: 3,430%
Final Assessment (in person)TBACLO: 1,2,3,420%
Lab activities (5 labs, Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10)2 weeks after each lab is announced and released.CLO: 1,2,3,420%


Late assignment submissions will receive a penalty of 10% for each late day (pro-rata).


Each student will have three "late days" which you may choose to use for any assignments during the course. There will be no penalty applied for these late days.
You do not need to apply for these. Any late days you have left will be automatically applied to assignments that you submit late.

Submission & Return

All work is submitted through the ECS submission system, accessible through the course web page. Marks and comments will be returned through the ECS marking system; also available through the course web page.
Student submitted work may be used during the formal Engineering NZ re-accreditation visit to VUW scheduled for 2024, as part of the evaluation process for the programme.

Marking Criteria

All assessments are marked according to the scheme produced by the lecturers and specified in each assessment document.


The total workload for CYBR 371 is 150 hours. In order to maintain satisfactory progress in this course, you should plan to spend an average of 10 hours per week on this course. An approximate breakdown for these hours would be:

  • Lectures and laboratories: 4 hours per week
  • Consolidating lectured material, through readings, completion of exercises, worksheets: 3 hours per week
  • Assignments: 3 hours per week

Teaching Plan


Communication of Additional Information

All online material for this course can be accessed at

Offering CRN: 32072

Points: 15
Prerequisites: CYBR 171, NWEN 241, 243
Duration: 27 February 2023 - 25 June 2023
Starts: Trimester 1
Campus: Kelburn