Basic Networking (2020)

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The intent of the Basic Networking Knowledge Unit is to provide students with basic understanding of how networks are built and operate, and to give students some experience with basic network analysis tools. Students are exposed to the concept of potential vulnerabilities in a network.


To complete this KU, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the fundamental concepts, technologies, components and issues related to communications and data networks.
  2. Design a basic network architecture given a specific need and set of hosts/clients.
  3. Track and identify the packets involved in a simple TCP connection (or a trace of such a connection).
  4. Use a network monitoring tools to observe the flow of packets (e.g., WireShark).
  5. Perform network mapping (enumeration and identification of network components) (e.g., Nmap).
  6. Describe common network vulnerabilities.


  1. Networking models (OSI and IP).
  2. Network media (wired, optical, and wireless)
  3. Network Architectures and topologies (PAN, LAN/WAN, DMZ, Enclaves, VLAN, NAT, subnetting, supernetting)
  4. Common Network Devices and their role in the network. (Routers, Switches, Hosts, VPNs, Firewalls)
  5. Network Protocols introduction (IP, TCP, UDP, ICMP)
  6. Network Services and protocols introduction (DNS, NTP, VLAN, etc.).
  7. Network Applications and protocols introduction (SMTP, HTTP, VoIP, SSH, etc.).
  8. Use of basic network administration tools.
  9. Overview of Network Security Issues


  1. Install and configure computer network connections and networking components.
    • Apply proper addressing (IP, Network, subnet, default route).
    • Enable and configure network services (DNS, DHCP, etc.)
    • Test connectivity (ping, traceroute, etc.)
  2. Apply Wireshark, or equivalent, to capture and view network packets.
    • Identify the packets of a specific TCP session.
  3. Use a tool, such as nmap, to identify the devices and open ports on a network.
  4. Identify and close unneeded open ports.
  5. Troubleshoot basic network problems.
  • Adaptive
  • Design solutions
  • Interpersonal
  • Maintenance
  • Monitoring
  • Operating Systems
  • TCP/IP
  • Teamwork
  • Troubleshooting

NICE Framework Categories[edit]

Specialization Areas[edit]

See also[edit]

Related Knowledge Units

Original Knowledge Unit

Further reading[edit]

Suggested textbooks[edit]

Network+ Guide to networks

CompTIA Network+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting Networks by Mike Meyers

Suggested academic readings[edit]

Sample knowledge test[edit]

Sample skills test[edit]

Sample abilities test[edit]

Additional notes or materials[edit]

The following labs from Infosec Learning support outcomes 3 and 4 of this KU:

  • The OSI Model
  • TCP/IP Utilities
  • TCP/IP Protocols - The Core Protocols
  • Deep Dive Packet Analysis - Using Wireshark and Network Min
  • Examining Wireless Networks

This lab supports outcome 5

  • Vulnerability Scanners and Penetration Testing


Reference ID[edit]