Network Security Hardening

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CNS 171

       Course Name: Network Security Hardening

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommend: CNS 105 or consent of instructor, coordinator, or program chair

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides students with the technical knowledge and skills in scripting required for “tighten down” security in computer network and systems. Course includes practical knowledge and step-by-step directions for securing a diverse network with multiple devices and operating systems. This course also assist students in preparing for the appropriate Network or Information Security Certification examinations. Recommend CNS 105 or consent of instructor, coordinator or program chair.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will have learned to:

  1. Change Default Account Settings
  2. Use Administrator Accounts for Administrator Tasks Only
  3. Identify and Disable/Shut Down/Remove Unused and Unnecessary Services and Daemons
  4. Remove Rogue Connections: Wireless and Dial-Up
  5. Set Up Filters for Malicious Content for Each Operating System
  6. Test Backup and Restore Procedures
  7. Identify and Select a Segmentation Model
  8. Use Identity Management to Enforce Corporate Access Control Policies
  9. Manage Identities Through Workflow and Audit Processes
  10. Use Strong Authentication to Harden Passwords and Protect Sensitive Resources
  11. Design  Security Requirements for Your Web Services
  12. Establish and test Policy to Secure Your Organization’s Services-Oriented Architecture
  13. Review and Implement Products that Protect Web Services
  14. Defend Your Environment from Mobile-Connectivity Risks
  15. Determine What Why, Where to Encrypt
  16. Configure and test for “Un”real-Time Encryption
  17. Use Sound Practices to Secure Data, Applications, Backups and Archives
  18. Determine Permissions Required for Resources
  19. Configure and Harden Cross-Platform Tools for Secure, Seamless Access Control
  20. Use Encryption to Harden Your Data Transport
  21. Configure and Modify Harden Your Wireless WAN

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Do These Seven Things Before You Do Anything Else!
  2. Break the Network into Common Areas of Functionality for Security
  3. Hardening with Identity Management Systems
  4. Cross-Platform Authentication
  5. Securing Web Services
  6. Defending Mobile Environments
  7. Beyond Access Controls—Protecting Stored Data
  8. Protecting Database Access from the Web
  9. Designing & Testing Cross-Platform Access Controls
  10. Data Transport Encryption
  11. Design & Secure Remote Clients
  12. Plan & Secure Wireless Networks

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lectures, class exercises, and discussion.  Also included will be “hands-on” lab exercises and projects.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Read course materials - textbook and current journals before the class
  2. Frequent attendance and participation in class lecture and lab
  3. Complete required assignments, exercises, and examinations
  4. Complete LAB projects
  5. To ensure success of the Course and certification all Students should use practice self-test. Below are some Internet sites to help you get certified, please share other websites, with class:
  6. Industry Certificate Testing Information:
    The following sites are the Certificate Providers please contact them directly to schedule to take the certification examination. These test providers have helpful hints and advice for successfully taking the test. Study guides, objectives, requirements for the examination and other helpful hints are available:

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Hardening Network Security by John Mallery et al. McGraw-Hill/Osborne (c) 2005 (624 pages)

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include quizzes, examinations, completion of lab assignments and special exercises.

Final grades are determined through a weighted average of examinations, quizzes, laboratory assignments, homework assignments, class participation, and attendance. After your numerical grade has been calculated, your letter grade will be determined as follows:

A 90–100% of the total percentage points possible
B 80–89% of the total percentage points possible
C 70–79% of the total percentage points possible
D 60–69% of the total percentage points possible
F Less than 60% of the total percentage points possible.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Responsible Use of Computers and Information Technology
    Rules for computer use are posted in computer labs as well as available in writing in each of the labs. Lab assistants and tutors are available to assist you in the lab regarding software and hardware questions. If you have a question about an assignment, however, you should contact the instructor.

    Users of the College’s information technology facilities and resources, including hardware, software, networks, and computer accounts, are expected to use computer resources responsibly and appropriately, respecting the rights of other information technology users and respecting all contractual and license agreements.

    Under no circumstances is any of the software used at Oakton to be copied. Copying software is in violation of Federal law and College policies. Suspected violations will be vigorously investigated and, if warranted, appropriate penalties applied. Specifically, you do not have the right (1) to make copies of software for yourself or others, (2) to receive and use unauthorized copies of software, or (3) copy all or parts of a program written by someone else.

    Oakton Community College recognizes the broad diversity of religious beliefs of its constituencies. The College has embraced a practice of shared responsibility in the event a religious observance interferes with class work or assignments. Students who inform instructors well in advance of an intended absence for a major religious observance will not be penalized. The instructor will make reasonable accommodations for students, which may include providing a make up test, altering assignment dates, permitting a student to attend another section of the same course for a class period or similar remedies. Instructors are not responsible for teaching material again.

    In response to Columbine and the NIU tragedies police agencies in Illinois have developed training for law enforcement and the public school systems. These Nationally accepted law enforcement response plans have been adopted by Oakton's Public Safety Department. Your actions will influence others therefore, Oakton is asking you as a student to:
    1. stay calm
    2. secure the immediate area; lock, block, & barricade
    3. call 911 and:
      1. report your specific location
      2. number of people at your location
      3. injuries
      4. assailants; location, number, race, gender, clothing, physical features, type of weapon
    4. Side Note: There is a phone for emergency purposes placed in each classroom.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.