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Network Security - Protocols

4,765 people completed this program


This is the 5th course in the intermediate, undergraduate-level offering that makes up the larger Cybersecurity Fundamentals MicroBachelors Program. We recommend taking them in order, unless you have a background in these areas already and feel comfortable skipping ahead.

  1. Information Security - Introduction to Information Security
  2. Information Security - Authentication and Access Control
  3. Information Security - Advanced Topics
  4. Network Security - Introduction to Network Security
  5. Network Security - Protocols
  6. Network Security - Advanced Topics
  7. Penetration Testing - Discovering Vulnerabilities
  8. Penetration Testing - Exploitation
  9. Penetration Testing - Post Exploitation

These topics build upon the learnings that are taught in the introductory-level Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelors program, offered by the same instructor.

This is a self-paced course that provides a continuation of network security topics. Among the topics covered are cryptographic algorithms used in networking protocols, TLS/SSL, IPSec Layer 2 Security, and Wireless Security. The material is essential in later classes that will develop ethical hacking skills. Students are provided with a broad understanding of cryptography, from its classical applications dating from the Roman empire to modern cryptography, including the public key cryptography and hashing techniques today. Next, we take what we learned about cryptography and apply it as a tool against attackers. Specifically, we'll discuss IP Security, TLS/SSL, and its use in Virtual Private Networks. We follow up with coverage of Layer 2 security and vulnerabilities, such as MAC attacks, VLAN hopping attacks, DHCP attacks, ARP attacks, spoofing attacks, and attacks on other protocols. We'll also go over common countermeasures to these attacks. We conclude the course with an overview of how WiFi works, basic terminology and architecture, and how wireless networks are secured.

Industry Certification Preparation

This program covers much of the material that is assessed on the CompTIA’s Security+ certification exam. Upon program completion, verified track learners will receive a 36% discount code for the CompTIA Security+ exam.

  1. Define and apply a substitution cipher
  2. Define cryptanalysis
  3. Explain at a high level the process by which a plaintext message is encrypted, transmitted, and decrypted.
  4. Describe at least two strategies for breaking an encryption scheme
  5. Identify the differences between public key encryption, symmetric key encryption, and hashing
  6. List and summarize the characteristics of good ciphers
  7. Describe the vulnerabilities of stream ciphers
  8. Define AES and explain why it is recommended over 3DES
  9. Define cipher block chaining
  10. List the steps in creating an RSA public/private key pair
  11. Explain why RSA is secure
  12. Define message integrity and explain how it is ensured
  13. Define IPSec and list its services
  14. Define authentication header and ESP
  15. Explain the primary goal of IKE and describe its sub-protocols
  16. Summarize the five steps of IPSec Operation
  17. Summarize the history of SSL
  18. Explain how closure alerts can prevent a truncation attack
  19. Identify the protocols that make up the SSL architecture
  20. Describe how SSL/TLS provides protected channels
  21. State the differences between IPSec and SSL VPN connections
  22. Explain why it's important to consider Layer 2 security
  23. Define common Layer 2 attacks
  24. Identify tools used in Layer 2 attacks
  25. Describe countermeasures to Layer 2 attacks and security best practices to prevent attacks
  26. Explain the differences between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums
  27. Provide definitions of basic wireless terms
  28. Explain how 802.11ac differs from earlier 802.11 standards
  29. Identify and define the types of 802.11 frames
  30. List and define the states of 802.11 sessions
  31. List the steps in establishing an 802.11 session
  32. Summarize the existing wireless security protocols and state which protocols should not be used
  33. Summarize WPA, WPA Enterprise, and generalized WiFi attacks


Week 1 - Cryptography

Week 2 - TLS/SSL and IPSec

Week 3 - Layer 2 Security

Week 4 - Wireless Security

Week 5 - Final Exam

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Network Security - Protocols
5 weeks
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