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Innovative Network Security Course Development

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.738.1 - 14.738.12



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Paper Authors


Hetal Jasani Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Hetal Jasani is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Northern Kentucky University. His research interests include mobile and wireless networks, distributed systems and network security. He has published many publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings and given presentations at a variety of conferences. He is a professional member of various technical organizations such as ACM, IEEE and ASEE.

Dr. Jasani received the Ph.D. from Florida International University in 2006. He also worked as assistant professor at Michigan Technological University before joining NKU. At NKU, he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in the area of computer networks and network security. He has chosen academic career since he believes that by teaching he can contribute towards community development.

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Wei Hao Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Hao came to NKU in August 2008 from Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, where he worked as a software engineer. He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2007. He brings both academic and industrial expertise, having also worked for Motorola and Alcatel. His research interests include Web Technologies (such as web caching, web services, and web-based systems), Computer Networks, and Operating Systems.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Innovative Network Security Course Development Abstract

Network security courses become increasingly popular in colleges (including community colleges) and universities. This paper discusses about developing the novel course of network security using laboratory activities. It elaborates innovative projects that are suitable for laboratory work in network security curriculum. It explores both hardware and software components that are now being used for practical exercises in network security courses. Most often these laboratory exercises include many hands-on activities.

In learning the concepts of network security via hands-on labs, students have ample opportunities to understand the underlying security technologies that prepare the engineers and technologists of the next generation. This paper discusses the hands-on labs for network security technologies, especially configuring the firewall (Access Control List - ACL), VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems) on various devices such as Cisco routers and Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA). In addition, this paper also discusses the wireless network security which is also very important part of the course due the growth of wireless LAN.


The field of network security is dynamically changing due to the advances in the technologies. It becomes more and more vital as people spend more and more time connected to the Internet. Intruding into networked resources is often much easier than compromising physical or local security. Many areas of network security demand highly trained personnel to solve the new challenges such as firewall, VPN, IDS (intrusion detection system), IPS, wireless LAN security, etc. There is a great demand of technicians and engineers who can maintain and secure the networked environment.

While theory oriented electrical and computer engineering and computer science curriculums offer students few network security courses, this may not be enough to train network engineers with the proper background on the newer security technologies. Although many courses on computer and network security have been developed in these programs, they are primarily focused on in-depth mathematics, algorithms, and theory. Most of these courses are not focused on hands-on experiments that are very useful to gain the understanding of fundamental concepts. Since computer information technology (CIT) program emphasizes the hands-on learning, the previous approach taken by computer engineering programs is not suitable for CIT program. As mentioned earlier, due to the high demand and need of network security education, our CIT program curriculum includes few courses related to the network and computer security.

The goal of the network security (CIT484) course at our university is to familiarize students with several different network security technologies through a series of laboratory experiments using small-scale test beds although the network devices for performing laboratory experiments with the newest technologies are expensive and change constantly. Consequently, it is very difficult to upgrade and continuously enhance these laboratories. However, hands-on experiments are the .

Jasani, H., & Hao, W. (2009, June), Innovative Network Security Course Development Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5291

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