SECURE SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION

SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2G425834
Module Leader Kenneth Ovens
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Cyber Security and Networks
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Introduction to Computer Networking or equivalent. Fundamentals of Computing or equivalent.

Summary of Content

Network and system administrators are responsible for system access control, auditing, operation and maintenance with the purpose of ensuring high availability, integrity and security for the systems they manage. This module aims to provide a detailed introduction to server operating systems, including associated security concepts. How to analyse risks to networks and the steps needed to select and deploy the appropriate countermeasures to reduce exposure to physical and network threats. Enhance skills and knowledge needed to identify and counter some fundamental security risks and requirements. Learn advanced network security skills pertaining to network threat identification and prevention. A programme of lab sessions is included with a focus on allowing students to gain hands-on experience of installing, configuring, using, and securing servers.

Syllabus

Introduction to Linux: Understand Linux as an operating system. Explain some of the considerations for choosing an operating system. Understand some of the basics of open source software and licensing. Learn basic Linux command line skills and how to use help commands and navigate help systems when using Linux. How to work with Linux files and directories, including searching and extracting data from Linux files. Basic scripting. Querying vital network settings for a Linux computer on a Local Area Network. Identifying various types of users on a Linux system, as well as creating users and groups. Managing Linux file permissions and ownership. Understanding special Linux directories and files. Systems administration and security: Analyse the operation of network protocols and services - DNS, DHCP, SFTP, ICMP and HTTP. Network hardening - minimising attack surface and secure configurations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:1 - Explain and implement security methods used to protect servers on a network.2 - Install, configure, secure and evaluate a server to a given set of advanced and complex requirements.3 - Describe how security operations such as backups, logging and auditing are used to ensure the security of a running system and high availability of services.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The university 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. This course implements a "practice as you read" approach to learning. Each student has hands-on access to a Linux virtual machine to practice, explore and trial Linux command line concepts. The student is provided prescriptive step-by-step labs. These labs provide a learning environment where students interact with the Linux operating system and build on their skills and knowledge as they progress through the course. Rich multimedia content, including interactive activities, videos, games, and quizzes, addresses a variety of learning styles and help stimulate learning and increase knowledge retention. GCULearn will also be used to provide access to a range of relevant learning resources and materials to enhance the teaching strategy. In addition, students will be encouraged to access NETLAB, an innovative hands-on online lab learning environment providing access to live systems and network devices. Regular and frequent assessments provide immediate feedback to support the evaluation of knowledge and acquired skills.

Indicative Reading

Linux Essentials - Cisco Networking Academy & NDG Introduction, In Network and System Security (Second Edition), John R. Vacca, Syngress, Boston, 2014, (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124166899000228) William E. Shotts, Jr. (2013), The Linux Command Line 2nd Internet Edition

Transferrable Skills

B1 - The ability to specify design and construct computer based systems. B1 - The ability to evaluate systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem. B3 - Ability to recognise any risks or safety aspects that may be involved in the operation of computing and information systems within a given context. B5 - Use appropriate and practical processes to specify and design, implement and verify and maintain computer-based systems including working with technical uncertainty. C1 - Logical thinking and problem solving. C2 - Critical analysis. D1 - Communication skills (electronic, written, oral and listening) necessary to make effective presentation of a technical nature (information, ideas, problems and their solutions) to a range of audiences. E2 - Creativity, innovation and independent thinking. E6 - Ability to prioritise tasks and time management (organising and planning work).

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 36.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 01 n/a 50.00 35% Class Test
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Practical Research / Laboratory Work