CS 5710 – Network Security Fundamentals


Course Syllabus




Part 1: Course Information

Term: Fall 2018

Instructor: Jason Eric Johnson

Office: Parkview B-256

Phone: (269) 276-3103

Email: jason.e.johnson@wmich.edu

Office Hours

Time: By appointment

Location: Parkview B-256

Do not hesitate to send me an email if we need to talk so we can agree on a convenient time for a phone call, chat session, or a meeting.

Forums Versus Email

If you have a question about course content or mechanics, I encourage you to post it to the Microsoft Teams chat. Doing so gives students in the course an opportunity to help one another and allows everyone to benefit from answers to your questions. Of course, don’t hesitate to email me directly if your concern is of a personal nature.

Email Response Time

Generally I will respond to emails within 2-3 days of receiving them. If I plan to be away from my computer for more than a couple of days, I will let you know in advance.

Please include the course ID (CS 5710) in the subject line of your email so I will know to attend to it quickly.

Course Description

This course examines the network security fundamentals needed for a basic understanding of the Information Security discipline. The course covers basic attacks and vulnerabilities against an organization’s network infrastructure as well as their mitigations. This course will help students understand network addressing, protocols, and vulnerabilities. Finally, students will learn to capture and analyze network traffic to monitor for potential attacks. Practical exercises and labs will be used during this course to allow the students to apply these concepts in real-world scenarios.

Textbook and Course Materials

Required Text

Title Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach
Author Kurose
Edition 7
ISBN 978-0-1335-9414-0
Publisher Addison Wesley

Recommended Text

Title Network Security Bible
Author Cole
Edition N/A
ISBN 978-0-4705-0249-5
Publisher Wiley

Other readings will be made available in Elearning (See Learning Modules)

Course Requirements

Computer Hardware

  • In order to participate in any WMU Department of Computer Science online course, you should have easy access to a computer that meets the Department Laptop Requirements. A desktop system that meets the requirements will be fine as well. You can find the requirements here: http://wmich.edu/cs/laptop-requirements
  • You are expected to be proficient with installing and using basic computer applications and have the ability to send and receive email attachments.


The following media software may be required to access the materials contained in your online course:

  • Adobe’s AdobeReader
  • QuickTime Player
  • Flash Player
  • Microsoft’s Windows Media Player
  • TechSmith Relay
  • VMWare Fusion
    • You can obtain VMWare Fusion free of charge from our Department webstore. Click on the FREE VMWARE DOWNLOAD button on the Department of Computer Science System Administration website: http://wmich.edu/cs/sys-admin

Course Structure

This Elearning course will be delivered entirely online through the course management system Desire 2 Learn (D2L). You will use your BroncoID account to login to the course from the Elearning login page (http://elearning.wmich.edu) or from GoWMU.

The course is organized into topics of instruction, called Learning Modules, as outlined in the Course Schedule and Due Dates. Each learning module is listed by its main topic and may contain required readings, videos, mini lectures, discussions, assignments, or collaborative group work.

Discussion Forums

You will use Microsoft Teams to discuss course content, both with each other and with the instructor.


Unless indicated otherwise in Learning Modules, you will submit assignments using the Dropbox tool. The due dates in Dropbox match the due dates in the schedule.


Short quizzes are employed to check your understanding on various modules and sub-modules. You will have one attempt at each quiz in this class.

Elearning Access

This Elearning course will be delivered online through a course management system named Desire 2 Learn (D2L).

To access this course on Elearning you will need access to the Internet.

Technical Assistance

If you need technical assistance at any time during the course or to report a problem with Elearning you can contact the WMU Help Desk www.wmich.edu/helpdesk/

Back-Up Plan If Something Goes Wrong

If you find that some part of our online course is not working, please follow these steps until the issue is resolved:

  1. Don’t panic! We will solve the problem and make adjustments.
  2. First check to see if you have missed an availability date. Some course items may only be available during a certain window of time.
  3. Try checking the Problem Solver discussion to see if any of your classmates are experiencing the same issue.
  4. Check to see if I have posted any announcements in the course News on the course homepage or emailed the class.
  5. If you still have difficulties, contact the help desk at 269.387.HELP (4357), help.desk@wmich.edu, or http://www.wmich.edu/helpdesk/. They will attempt to identify the problem and route your concern for the quickest resolution. They will contact me if necessary.
  6. Send me an email with the course number and issue name in the subject line and a description of the issue in the body before the due date of an assignment.
  7. Do not automatically email your assignments if technology is not working. I can make adjustments to the course in various ways to accommodate an issue. You will be able to complete the course requirements.
    Continue to watch for email or postings in the News widget on the course homepage for adjustments to the normal course procedures.

Part 2: Course Objectives

  • Apply the concepts and fundamental principles of network security.
  • Explain the fundamentals of network communication.
  • Explain network addressing (IPv4 and IPv6)
  • Explain the usage and vulnerabilities of common network protocols.
  • Apply various tools used in network reconnaissance against single systems.
  • Decode network packets to identify protocols used and potential attacks.

You will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course:

  • Watch online lectures.
  • Complete practical assignments using information security tools.
  • Participate in discussions of course material with your classmates and instructor.

Part 3: Module Outline/Schedule

Important Note: Refer to the course calendar for specific meeting dates and times. Activity and assignment details will be explained in detail within each learning module. If you have any questions, please contact your instructor.

See the “Course Schedule” page in the “Course Information” content module in Elearning for the course schedule.

Part 4: Grading Policy

Graded Course Activities

Visit the Dropbox link in Elearning for details about each assignment. Click on Quizzes to access quizzes and exams.

Late Work Policy

Be sure to pay close attention to deadlines—there will be no make up assignments or quizzes, or late work accepted without a serious and compelling reason and instructor approval.

Viewing Grades in Elearning

Points you receive for graded activities will be posted to the Elearning Grade Book. Click on the Grades link on the top navigation to view your points.

Your instructor will update the online grades each time a grading session has been completed—typically 3 days following the completion of an activity.

Grade Types and Weights

Assessment Weight
Labs 35%
Quizzes 30%
Tests 20%
Final Exam 15%

Grade Thresholds

Start % Letter Grade
93% A
88% BA
83% B
78% CB
73% C
68% DC
63% D
Below 63% E

Important note: For more information about grading at WMU, visit the academic policies and grading section of the university catalog.

Part 5: Course Policies


Online courses require your active participation. Here are some tips for success:

  • In discussions, you learn from one another by posing questions, justifying your comments, and providing multiple perspectives. When you prepare for discussions through thoughtful reflection, you contribute to your own successful learning experience as well as to the experience of your peers.
  • Log in to the course frequently (daily is best) and check the news widget on the course homepage. This will keep you apprised of any course updates, progress in discussions, assignment information, and messages requiring immediate attention.
  • Be aware of and keep up with the Course Schedule.

Build Rapport

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or other aspects of the course, make sure you let your instructor know as early as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in informing your instructor when difficulties arise during the semester so that I can help you find a solution.

Complete Assignments

All assignments for this course will be submitted electronically through Elearning unless otherwise instructed. Assignments must be submitted by the given deadline or special permission must be requested from instructor before the due date. Extensions will not be given beyond the next assignment except under extreme circumstances.

Conduct and Civility

Students are expected to contribute to the learning environment by respectfully interacting with their colleagues and professor regardless of any difference of opinion. When students voice opinions with which you do not agree, feel free to voice your opinion in a polite and civil manner. This approach can help us enhance the free flow of ideas. Students must not interfere with the learning of their colleagues.

Use proper etiquette. Typing in all capital letters is considered shouting in an online environment. Rude or belittling statements made to other students in discussions is clearly unacceptable.

Communication Skills

All students must have adequate writing skills to communicate content in a professional and concise manner. Students must be proficient in their written presentations including strategies for developing ideas, citing scholarly references, writing style, wording, phrasing, and using language conventions. Students must follow APA guidelines, use non-racist, non-sexist, and non-ableist language, and include sufficient references to support their thesis and ideas in a paper.

Time Commitment

Online courses are typically just as time intensive as traditional courses. In fact, many students claim that online courses require more time and commitment. As you begin this course, you would be wise to schedule 8 or more hours per week for studying materials and completing assignments.

Falling behind in this course is particularly problematic because the concepts we cover are cumulative. This means that not becoming proficient with information and objectives presented and assessed in a particular week can lead to low scores for that week as well as in subsequent weeks.

Understand When You May Drop This Course

It is the student’s responsibility to understand when they need to consider disenrolling from a course. Refer to the WMU Course Schedule for dates and deadlines for registration. After this period, a serious and compelling reason is required to drop from the course. Serious and compelling reasons includes:

  1. Documented and significant change in work hours, leaving student unable to attend class, or
  2. Documented and severe physical/mental illness/injury to the student or student’s family.

Incomplete Policy

Under emergency/special circumstances, students may petition for an incomplete grade. An incomplete will only be assigned if [insert condition here]. All incomplete course assignments must be completed within [insert timeframe here].

Inform Your Instructor of Any Accommodations Needed

If you have a documented disability and verification from the Disability Services for Students (DSS), and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact your instructor as soon as possible. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of disability to DSS and meet with a DSS counselor to request special accommodation before classes start.

DSS is located in Woodlawn Place at 2210 Wilbur (across from Rood Hall and behind Fetzer Center) They can be contacted by phone at:

  • (269) 387-2116 (Voice)
  • (269) 387-0633 (Fax)

Commit to Integrity

As a student in this course (and at this university) you are expected to maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the classroom.

WMU Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures
“Our mission is to enhance student learning and personal development by creating an educationally purposeful, disciplined and caring community.”

Read more about WMU Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures

Other Resources:

Office of Student Conduct

Registrar’s Office


At WMU, “cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.”

Plagiarism is intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge.”

Source: Office of Student Conduct

Important Note: Any form of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, may be reported to the office of student conduct.

Course policies are subject to change. It is the student’s responsibility to check Elearning for corrections or updates to the syllabus. Any changes will be posted in Elearning.


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