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OnDemand

SEC301: Intro to Information Security

  • Training Length: 50 Hours
  • Access Period: 4 months
  • Included: Books
  • Price: $4,395

This introductory certification course is the fastest way to get up to speed in information security. Written and taught by battle-scarred security veterans, this entry-level course covers a broad spectrum of security topics and is liberally sprinkled with real life examples. A balanced mix of technical and managerial issues makes this course appealing to attendees who need to understand the salient facets of information security basics and the basics of risk management. Organizations often tap someone who has no information security training and say, "Congratulations, you are now a security officer." If you need to get up to speed fast, Security 301 rocks!

We begin by covering basic terminology and concepts, and then move to the basics of computers and networking as we discuss Internet Protocol, routing, Domain Name Service, and network devices. We cover the basics of cryptography, security management, and wireless technology, then we look at policy as a tool to effect change in your organization. In the final day of the course, we put it all together with an implementation of defense in-depth.

If you're a newcomer to the field of information security, this is the course for you! You will develop the skills to bridge the gap that often exists between managers and system administrators, and learn to communicate effectively with personnel in all departments and at all levels within your organization.

Notice:

This course has been revised to incorporate practical hands on exercises and a short practice certification test on the last day. This course will require a laptop for all classes after December 1, 2013.

Course Syllabus
Course Contents
  SEC301.1: A Framework for Information Security
Overview

Information security is based upon foundational concepts such as asset value, the CIA triad (confidentiality, integrity, and availability), principle of least privilege, access control, and separation. Day one provides a solid understanding of the terms, concepts, and tradeoffs that will enable you to work effectively within the information security landscape. If you have been in security for a while, these chapters will be a refresher, providing new perspectives on some familiar issues.

Exercises

Create a Standard User account, configure the laptop and external drive directory structures, and install, configure, and use Password Safe to store their passwords in an encrypted 'vault'. Attendees will then have a secure way to create and store unique passwords for every account they use.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

 
  SEC301.2: Securing the Infrastructure
Overview

To appreciate the risks associated with being connected to the Internet one must have a basic understanding of how networks function. Day two covers the basics of networking (including a review of some sample network designs), including encapsulation, hardware and network addresses, name resolution, and address translation. We explore some of the various types of malware and associated delivery mechanism. We conclude with a review of some typical attacks against the networking and computing infrastructure as well as discussing human-based attacks.

Exercises

Using SyncBack software, attendees will back up data from their laptop to an external drive using software that precludes the need to manually track which files have been backed up. After installing and configuring Secunia Personal Software Inspector, attendees will update non-Microsoft applications to the latest revision level as well as add third party programs not serviced in the default configuration so that the additional programs are updated as well.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

 
  SEC301.3: Cryptography and Security in the Enterprise
Overview

Cryptography can be used to solve a number of security problems. Cryptography and Security in the Enterprise provides an in-depth introduction to a complex tool, (cryptography) using easy to understand examples and avoiding complicated mathematics. Attendees will gain meaningful insights into the benefits of cryptography (along with the pitfalls of a poor implementation of good tools). The day continues with an overview of Operational Security (OPSEC) as well as Safety and Physical Security. We conclude the day with a whirlwind overview of wireless networking technology benefits and risks, including a roadmap for reducing risks in a wireless environment.

Exercises

Attendees will use Trucrypt software to create an encrypted partition on the laptop hard drive and use it to store sensitive information. After installing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, attendees will scan the laptop drive (and the external drive) and remove from them spyware and adware that might not be detected by typical anti-viral software.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

 
  SEC301.4: Information Security Policy
Overview

Day four will empower those with the responsibility for creating, assessing, approving, or implementing security policy with the tools and techniques to develop effective, enforceable, policy. Information Security Policy demonstrates how to bring policy alive by using tools and techniques such as the formidable OODA (Orient, Observe, Decide, Act) model. We also explore risk assessment and management guidelines and sample policies, as well as examples of policy and perimeter assessments.

Exercises

Attendees will install, configure, and use KillDisk to overwrite the free space on an external disk and learn how to verify that the information has been overwritten. They will then overwrite the entire external disk and verify that it contains no usable data. This will provide the attendees with a tool that can be used to overwrite a hard disk prior to disposing of it, significantly reducing the risk of disclosing sensitive data when they dispose of a personal computer.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

 
  SEC301.5: Defense In-Depth: Lessons Learned
Overview

The goal of day five is to enable managers, administrators, and those in the middle to strike a balance between "security" and "getting the job done." We'll explore how risk management deals with more than just security. We discuss the six phases of incident handling as well as some techniques that organizations can use to develop meaningful metrics.

Exercises

Attendees will take an abbreviated version of the certification exam to gain insight into the nature of the exam and the mechanics of the testing process. At the end of the test, attendees will have a better understanding of their collective grasp of the course material.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

 
Additional Information
 
  Testimonial

Here's what recent attendees had to say about this course:

"This class is great for IT professionals looking for their first step towards security awareness. I have been in IT for 17 years and I learned a lot on this first day of class." - Paul Beninati, EMC

"Good basic information for someone just coming into the field." - Bryce Richert, SUH

"It's a very good course if you need the basic foundation. It's a very helpful class to take because it expands on some basic concepts." - Shruti Iyer, DCS Corporation

 
  Lab Requirements
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (or later) operating system. (Exercises have been developed on W7 Home Premium; expect that they will work on Windows 8 (and likely Windows XP), but not tested)
  • Optical drive for reading the CD
  • Local administrator account (with the capability to create local accounts on the computer)
  • Wireless network capability
  • NOTE: Do not bring a regular production laptop for this class! When installing software, there is always a chance of breaking something else on the system. Students should assume that all data could be lost
  • External drive-The attendees will need an external drive (e.g., USB thumb drive or USB hard drive) with a capacity of at least 1 GB.

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact laptop_prep@sans.org.

 
  Who Should Attend
  • Persons new to information technology who need to understand the basics of information assurance, computer networking, cryptography, and risk evaluation
  • Managers and Information Security Officers who need a basic understanding of risk management and the tradeoffs between confidentiality, integrity,and availability
  • Managers, administrators, and auditors who need to draft, update, implement, or enforce policy

 
  Why Take This Course?

Which Course Is Right For You?

This is the track SANS offers for the professional just starting out in security. If you have experience in the field, please consider our more advanced offerings such as Security Essentials, SEC 401.

 
  You Will Be Able To
  • Create a Standard User account on a computer using Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Install and use Password Safe to securely store passwords to multiple accounts
  • Install and use SyncBack to backup and synchronize files to an external drive
  • Install and use Secunia Personal Software Inspector to manage patches for third party applications in a Microsoft OS environment
  • Install and use TrueCrypt software to create an encrypted partition on a laptop hard drive
  • Install and use KillDisk to securely erase an external drive
  • Discuss and understand risk as a product of vulnerability, threat, and impact to an organization
  • Apply basic principles of information assurance (e.g., least privilege, separation of risk, defense in depth, etc.)
  • Understand how networks work (link layer communications, addressing, basic routing, masquerading)
  • Identify the predominant forms of malware and the various delivery mechanisms that can place organizations at risk
  • Identify the capabilities and limitations of cryptography
  • Evaluate policy and recommend improvements
  • Identify and implement meaningful security metrics
  • Identify and understand the basic attack vectors used by intruders

 
  What To Take Next?

Courses that are good follow-ups

  • SEC401
  • MGT512

 

Author Statement

A good friend of mine once said, "A little security is better than no security." If your organization is in either situation (little or no security) and you want to make a difference in a positive way, this course is a great place to start. If your organization has already made an investment in security, this is a great opportunity to compare notes with others and identify how to maximize the return on your investment. In 1995, I agreed to fill the position of "number one spear catcher" (the head security guy) for our organization. I asked about training and my predecessor told me that the agency would provide training, but suggested that I work for six months to get some "real-world experience to compare against the theory." It was a long and frustrating six months and the training was less than helpful. A few years later when SANS offered to let me help write and teach this course, I literally jumped at the opportunity. Every time I teach it, I'm excited and I enjoy it as much as the attendees. It's been very gratifying.

- Fred Kerby

Additional Resources

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$4,395