03SM22MI0022 - Computer Network Security Principles (CNSP)


Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller
Dr. Bruno Rodrigues
Dr. Alberto Huertas


Dr. Bruno Rodrigues

Scope: Lecture with exercises, MSc 
ECTS 6.0
Classes: Wednesdays, 10:15 - 11:45
Exercises: Thursdays, 10:15 - 11:45

Type: written exam.
Date: Jan 18, 2023.
Time: 10:15 - 11:15 (60 mins)

Additional Links: VVZ page

BIN-2.A.01 (Wednesdays)

BIN-1.D.29 (Thursdays)


 This class on “Computer Network Security Principles (CNSP)” involves the study of mechanisms related to security in computer network environments as well as studies of protection mechanisms, policies, security culture, and necessary mitigation options of attacks. Furthermore, it includes selected aspects of practical relevance, such as viruses, fraud, cryptography, and unauthorized access. Students will be able to enhance their competencies with respect to their understanding of the design, development, and prototyping of security policies, being essential to managing security in computer networks. For this, a variety of mechanisms are discussed, such as basic security concepts, cryptographic principles on different layers, network security guidelines and information risk management, intrusion detection and prevention combined with network forensics based on Artificial Intelligence, security policies, and metrics, and selected cybersecurity aspects and systems. In consequence, the design and management of security mechanisms for information systems as well as the determination and deployment of mitigation approaches in case of certain attacks will be possible.

Learning objectives

Students will deepen their knowledge on basic concepts and applied cryptography of network security principles, in particular to (a) understand basic principles of network security (such as confidentiality, integrity, availability), major threats, cryptography mechanisms (symmetric and asymmetric), essentials of cloud security, existing security guidelines and risk assessment frameworks, as well as to understand the intersection between Machine Learning (ML) and Cybersecurity; (b) identify basic and advanced (i.e., basics of penetration testing) network security problems and propose associated solutions, being necessary the evaluation and classification of risk, as well as the association of basic mitigation measures, and (c) apply basic security concepts (such as security policies, access control mechanisms, firewalls and intrusion detection systems) in different network architectures and protocols, as well as detailing advanced security mechanisms for communications.  At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate the following skills: (a) know and apply security protocols based on thread models defined, (b) elaborate access control policies for networks and IT systems, (c) prepare failure recovery and incident response plans, and (d) install and configure security tools for computer networks and their devices.


This lecture [ideally] requires bachelor-level knowledge in networking basic concepts, such as:
●    Basics of networking architectures and protocols
●    ISO/OSI protocol stack
●    TCP/IP protocols

Thus, especially, the class on “Computer Networks and Distributed Systems (CNDS)” is highly recommended to be taken before. The attendance of “Computer Engineering and System Software (CESS)” is considered to be useful as well. The “Communication Systems Lab” can be either taken after or before CNSP. 

Course Material

Mandatory literature will be announced in the first lecture. Lecture slides and additional material can be found here, too. Details on the exercises can be found here as well.


The final grade is composed of the final written exam (E) considering bonus/malus, and the challenge task (CT). The written exam has a weight of 60% (bonus/malus can be applied based on exercises, check the page here) and 40% of the challenge task.


The information contained on this page complements the official page at the Vorlesungsverzeichnis (VVZ). In case of doubt, the official information from the VVZ is always considered valid.