On this course you will examine the theory and practice of network fundamentals from the defender’s and attacker’s perspectives.

You will have the opportunity to use tools for networking that allow you to query services, test routing and more. At the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to challenge yourself to a network security boot camp – can you work with a virtual networked device to make it secure?

This short course is the introductory two-week course for the program in Network Security which forms part of the MSc Cyber Security online degree at Coventry University delivered on FutureLearn.

This program is made up of ten weeks (five short courses that each last two weeks), taught on FutureLearn, followed by an additional period to submit your assessment (details of which can be found on the Assessment tab of the program page). In addition to the courses in FutureLearn, the program page gives you access to live tutorials, student support sessions and further study resources and services.

This week

Through this week’s activities you will:

  • Explore the basic principles of computer networks, network topologies and basic network devices
  • Investigate cyber attacks and the potential issues that these can cause on network operations
  • Discuss the principles and basic solutions in network security
  • Scan and analyse the exposure of a server with and without a basic security solution, known as a firewall

Meet the team

Your lead educators are Christo Panchev, Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security at Coventry University, and John Filippas, Senior Lecturer in Computer Networking at Coventry University.

You can follow your lead educators by selecting the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘Follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.

Checking your progress

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘To do’ list.

You can check your progress page by clicking the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.


At FutureLearn we believe in the power of learning through conversation, and we have developed our learning platform to enable this. Instead of having separate forums or discussion boards, you can leave comments, share your thoughts and have a conversation on almost every step of a course. You can ‘Like’ comments made by other learners, you can filter comments in a variety of ways including ‘Most liked’ and you can ‘Bookmark’ comments too. As well as following your lead educators, you can also follow other learners on the course.

To see all the recent comments on the course, just select the Activity icon. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show only the comments of people you’re following or show those comments that you’ve bookmarked.

To get the very best learning experience from FutureLearn, find out more from these 5 tips and tools for social learning. Don’t forget, while robust debate is encouraged, it’s important that you follow the FutureLearn Code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

The Coventry Way

Coventry University believes that a good student experience is central to learning at a world-class standard. To reflect our success we were recently awarded the title of University of the Year by Times Higher Education and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

We aim to produce learning that is both innovative and cutting edge with a supportive environment to ensure student success.

For that reason we have created these courses that offer students a chance to learn in a flexible manner. Through online delivery we offer an engaging and dynamic experience.

We have teamed up with FutureLearn to offer students world-class courses with all the rigour and support offered in our face-to-face courses but with the ability to study in a manner best suited to your needs.

Getting started

Over the next two weeks you will be working closely with your colleagues on the course, so take this chance to introduce yourself to both your educators and your colleagues. If you wish, you may share what has brought you to take part in the course through Coventry University.

Note: any external links in this course will take you to third-party websites, which may ask for your personal details. Please read our privacy policy for more information.

Your task

In the comments section below, introduce yourself to the rest of your group and tell us what you are most looking forward to in this course.

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This article is from the free online course:

Basics of Network Security

Coventry University