Credit points


Campus offering

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ITEC614 Introduction to Cyber Security OR ITEC640 Information Systems Security

Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit covers theoretical foundations, UNIX programming, current state of cryptography, and the topics related to the fundamental concepts needed to understand the advanced and sophisticated security issues in a networked environment. The unit contents include networking concepts, classical cipher design and analysis, key management, digital signatures and hash algorithms, wireless security, web security, email security and data stewardship. The aim of this unit is to provide students a good understanding of network security issues and the importance of data stewardship, as well as the knowledge and practical skills they need to plan, design or implement in order to secure a networked environment.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Synthesise knowledge on security services, security attacks, a wide range of vulnerabilities, potential threats to networks and systems (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Apply knowledge and skills in selecting appropriate cryptographic tools to provide the required security services and ensure common good through data stewardship (GA2, GA5)

LO3 - Collaboratively design a host-based intrusion detection system (IDS) using shell script to detect malicious attacks on a system (GA5, GA7)

LO4 - Comprehensively analyse and evaluate complex network systems, discover and mitigate vulnerabilities and threats (GA5, GA8).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • Introduction to network security
  • Unix programming and shell script
  • Networking concepts: Internet, cloud, blockchain
  • Data stewardship
  • Key management
  • Advanced cryptography
  • Authentication and Password
  • Firewall and IDS
  • Email security
  • Wireless security
  • Access control
  • Security tools

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will be delivered in attendance mode over a twelve-week semester or equivalent study period. Students will have access to all primary learning materials online through LEO, along with formative and summative assessments, all of which will be available online, to provide a learning experience beyond the classroom. While there are no formal classroom lectures for this unit, students will be required to attend weekly three-hour workshops, which will include a seminar and specific tasks related to achievement of the unit learning outcomes. Workshops facilitate learning by doing, which is particularly effective for information technology units as technical skills can be better learned through hands on practices.

Students should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit, including class attendance, readings, online forum participation and assessment preparation.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The first assessment provides students with an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills. The second assessment is a group assessment that gives an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and skills to design a practical security solution. The last assessment provides students with an opportunity to test their grasp of theoretical and practical aspects of the unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Lab Assessment

This assessment consists of a series of weekly lab exercises where students are required to apply different network security tools and techniques to solve practical problems. The feedback from this assessment will help students to understand critical concepts of network security and their applications. 

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Lab Practical task

Artefact: Source Code/Lab report


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Practical Project – Designing an Intrusion Detection System using Shell Script

This assessment task consists of Shell Code and a 1500-word report. This task requires students to develop professional skills through the application of theoretical knowledge and understanding of Unix programming concepts. The students are expected to develop an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) in Shell script to detect anomalies.

The purpose of this assessment is to assess the students’ ability to apply their theoretical knowledge and design an effective solution to countermeasure security threats through collaborative learning.

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Implementation & Test report

Artefact: Shell Code and Report (1500 words)



GA5, GA7

Assessment Task 3: Problem Solving

This assessment task tests the students’ grasp of both theoretical and practical aspects of the unit. The students will study several case studies, critically analyse them and answer a number of open-ended questions. They also have to use network security tools to investigate the given scenarios and justify the outcomes.   

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Assignment

Artefact: Assignment solutions


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Stallings W 2016, Cryptography & Network Security: Principles and Practice, 7th edn, Pearson US

Pfleeger C & Pfleeger S & Margulies J 2015, Security in Computing, 5th edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Stallings W & Brown L, 2018, Computer Security: Principle and Practice, 4th Edn, Pearson US.

Anderson, R 2020, Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems, 3rd edn, Wiley.

Whitman, M & Mattord, H 2016, Principles of Information Security, 5th edn, Cengage, Boston. 

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