BTEC HND Level 5 Unit 17 Network Security Assignment Sample

Course: Pearson BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals in Computing Specification

The BTEC HND Level 5 Unit 17 Network Security is a detailed study of network security issues and technologies. The unit covers the principles of network security, including risk management, attacks and countermeasures, and cryptography. It also covers the design and implementation of secure networks, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Due to the increasing complexity of networks and the ever-evolving nature of security threats, it is essential that organizations have robust mechanisms in place to protect their data and systems. Network security is a critical component of overall IT security and involves policies, processes, and technologies aimed at safeguarding an organization’s network infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, or damage.

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We are discussing some assignment activities in this unit. These are:

Assignment Activity 1: Examine Network Security principles, protocols and standards.

Network security principles are the foundation upon which effective security measures are designed and implemented. These principles include confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, and non-repudiation.

  • Confidentiality: Data confidentiality is the security principle that ensures information is accessible only to those authorized to view it. Information can be confidential even if it is not classified or sensitive. For example, employee payroll information is confidential because it should only be viewed by the affected employees and their managers.
  • Integrity: Data integrity refers to the security principle that ensures information is unchanged or unaltered from its original state. This involves protecting data from unauthorized modification, destruction, insertion, or corruption. For example, if a hacker attempts to change an employee’s salary in a company’s payroll database, the data integrity principle would be violated.
  • Availability: The security principle of availability ensures that authorized users have access to information and resources when they need them. This includes ensuring data is not lost or destroyed, and that systems are available when needed. For example, if a power outage prevents employees from accessing company systems, the principle of availability would be violated.
  • Authentication: The security principle of authentication ensures that only authorized users are able to access a system or perform actions within that system. This involves verifying the identity of users, devices, applications, and other entities before granting access to resources. For example, employees may be required to authenticate themselves with a username and password before being able to access company systems.
  • Non-repudiation: The security principle of non-repudiation refers to the ability to prove that an event or action took place. This is important in ensuring that parties cannot deny performing an action, such as sending an email or transferring funds. For example, if an employee claims they did not send an email containing confidential information, non-repudiation would be used to prove that the email was indeed sent by the employee.

Network security protocols are the rules and standards that govern how computer networks communicate with each other. These protocols define how data is formatted, transmitted, and received. Common network security protocols include Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): TCP/IP is a set of protocols that define how data is transmitted over a network. It is the most common protocol used on the Internet and is used to connect computers and devices to networks of all types.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): HTTP is a protocol that defines how web pages are formatted and transmitted over the Internet. It is the most common protocol used on the World Wide Web and is used to connect web browsers and web servers.
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP): SMTP is a protocol that defines how email is formatted and transmitted over the Internet. It is the most common protocol used for email and is used to connect email servers and clients.

Network security standards are the guidelines that define how network security should be implemented. These standards help ensure that data is properly protected and that access to resources is restricted to authorized users. Some common network security standards include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), ISO/IEC 27000 series of standards, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.

Assignment Activity 2: Design a secure network for a corporate environment.

To design a secure network for a corporate environment, we will need to consider a variety of factors. The first step is to identify the key stakeholders and their security needs. In this case, we will focus on the IT department, finance department, marketing department, and executive team.

Once we have identified the key stakeholders, we will need to evaluate their current network security protocols and standards. This will help us determine any security weaknesses or gaps that may need to be addressed. Some common areas of concern include authentication, encryption, data access controls, web filtering, antivirus and anti-malware protection, and firewalls.

Once we have identified any potential vulnerabilities in the existing network security, we can begin to design and implement appropriate measures to address these issues. This may include implementing network access controls, deploying firewalls and intrusion detection systems, using data encryption tools and techniques, and establishing strong authentication protocols.

In addition to securing the corporate network itself, we will also need to focus on securing the various devices and endpoints that connect to the network. This may include restricting access to sensitive data, implementing strong authentication and encryption, and implementing regular software updates and patches.

Overall, designing a secure network for a corporate environment requires careful planning, implementation, and ongoing maintenance. By following best practices for network security and collaborating closely with key stakeholders, we can help ensure that the corporate network is safe and secure.

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Assignment Activity 3: Configure Network Security measures for the corporate environment.

There are a variety of network security measures that can be configured to help secure a corporate environment. Some common measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data encryption tools, and strong authentication protocols.

  • Firewalls: Firewalls are devices that control traffic between networks. They can be used to block incoming traffic from unauthorized sources, restrict access to specific ports and protocols, and monitor network traffic for potential threats.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): IDS are systems that detect unauthorized network activity or suspicious patterns of activity. They can be used to monitor and analyze network traffic, identify malicious or unusual behaviour, and trigger alerts when a threat is detected.
  • Data Encryption Tools: Data encryption tools are used to encode data so that it can only be accessed by authorized users. This helps protect sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
  • Strong Authentication Protocols: Strong authentication protocols are used to verify the identity of users before they are granted access to network resources. This helps ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data or systems. Some common authentication protocols include two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication, and biometric authentication.

In addition to these measures, it is also important to regularly update software and patches, implement strict security policies and standards, and conduct regular risk assessments and vulnerability scans. By taking all of these steps, network administrators can help ensure the security and integrity of the corporate network.

Assignment Activity 4: Undertake the testing of a network using a Test Plan.

In order to test a network, we will need to create a Test Plan. This plan will outline the steps that need to be taken in order to properly test the network. It should include information such as the types of tests that need to be conducted, the tools and methods that will be used, and the criteria that will be used to evaluate the results.

Once the Test Plan is created, we can begin to test the network. This may include conducting functional testing to ensure that the network is able to properly handle traffic and data, performance testing to ensure that the network is able to meet demands, and security testing to ensure that the network is secure from potential threats.

After the tests have been conducted, we will need to evaluate the results and make sure that the network meets all of the requirements outlined in the Test Plan. If there are any issues or concerns, we will need to address them before putting the network into production.

Network testing is an important part of ensuring that a network is properly configured and functioning as intended. By following best practices, we can help ensure that the network is safe and secure for all users.

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