OnDemand: FAQ

OnDemand System Requirements and Technical Support

What are the system requirements for using the SANS OnDemand online training system?

Students must use a compatible Operating System and Web Browser to access the SANS OnDemand online training system.

We highly recommend that you test your training computer(s) on our OnDemand training system by trying our OnDemand Course Demos at http://www.sans.org/ondemand/demos.php. This step will allow you to pre-evaluate how the OnDemand system will work for you and also allow you to report any compatibility issues you may experience prior to beginning your training.

The following Operating System and Web Browser combinations will provide a Java-free, HTML5 OnDemand course platform:

  • Windows: Chrome, Firefox 4+, Internet Explorer 9+
  • Mac OS X: Chrome, Firefox 4+, Safari 5+
  • iPad iOS (5.0+): Mobile Safari 5.1+
  • Android 3.x: Firefox 10+

You must set your browser to allow pop-ups from ondemand.sans.org in order for the course videos to load automatically in the slide panel, and for the course evaluation at the end of each Section to automatically open in a new window or tab.

Other software may be needed to view course handouts of certain formats; some of the more common file formats that may be used are .pdf, .xls, .zip

What should I do if I experience any problems with the OnDemand course platform?

Send an email to ondemand@sans.org with the following information so we can work on resolving your issue:

  1. Detailed description of what you are experiencing.
  2. Screenshot of your course interface if there is anything that may help us understand your issue.
  3. Operating system name and version.
  4. Browser name and version.
  5. If on a tablet, the tablet's make and model.
  6. Specifically where in the course you are experiencing the issue? (Include details, e.i., course, section, module, learning object, slide)
    For example: SEC401.1.2, Slide 13: OSI Protocol Stack

Is there a tutorial on how to use the functions in my OnDemand course platform?

Yes. To familiarize you with the OnDemand Course Platform, we have created a guided video tour of the course interface, features and functionality. Click here to access the video tour.

What if my course freezes and won't allow me to resume in my course?

We recommend that you completely restart your browser and then try to access your course again. If the problem persists, report your issue to ondemand@sans.org as described above.

What is the minimum network connection I need for an OnDemand course?

We recommend a standard wired broadband connection. Wireless will work but can introduce audio and video lag in some cases.

General Info

How do I get an OnDemand Course Certificate of Completion if I no longer have access to the course?

Because you are only able to access your OnDemand Course Certificate of Completion from within your OnDemand course interface, you must write to ondemand@sans.org to request a Certificate of Completion once your course access has expired.

Who are your instructors?

A select group of IT professionals who are the technology leaders shaping the future of information security. We have recorded the voices and stories of some of SANS top-rated instructors like Dr. Eric Cole, Ed Skoudis and Stephen Northcutt.

How much hands-on practice is provided?

Hands-on exercises are provided throughout the course to demonstrate the use of specific tools or skills used in the course. Our users are able to do the hands-on exercises right in their home or office using their own computer systems.

Where does the courseware come from?

Our courseware is created by our leading instructors and are updated on a regular basis as technology evolves. OnDemand is also proven to be one of the most effective ways for preparing for GIAC certifications ( https://www.giac.org/certifications ).

Does OnDemand train for certification or competency?

We do both with OnDemand. Every Learning Objective has an outcome statement that describes what knowledge or skill is encompassed in that Learning Objective. Assessment tests and hands-on exercises are given throughout the training to determine competency. At the end of the course the student may attempt the GIAC certification.

What is the purpose of OnDemand Quizzes?

  • OnDemand quizzes will reinforce what you learn in the SANS OnDemand course.
  • OnDemand quizzes are not intended to be GIAC certification exam prep. GIAC Practice Tests should be used to help ensure you have a clear understanding of the content that will be covered on the GIAC exam. Please visit http://www.giac.org/exams/preparation#practice to review your GIAC practice test options.

How big are your classes?

There is a class size of one since all classes are completely Internet-based and we are also available by email or telephone if a student is having problems. Our program allows you to learn at your own pace, and at times convenient to you, instead of attending a class based on a set schedule and timetable.

How can I control cost while maintaining convenience?

Through our online security training program, we basically come to you over the Internet whenever, wherever you want to access training. Because many of the Learning Objectives are fairly short, even ten to fifteen minutes can be enough to make progress on your coursework.

Who should I contact should I have trouble with registration or the online course?

You may contact Customer Support at (301) 654-7267. Our folks are available Monday – Friday from 9am to 8pm EST. You may also send an email to us at ondemand@sans.org.

What courses are available via SANS OnDemand?

For a complete list of OnDemand courses available, please visit https://www.sans.org/ondemand/courses.php

How do I access my SANS OnDemand course?

A SANS portal account is required to access your SANS OnDemand course. Log into the SANS portal at portal.sans.org. Click on the "SANS OnDemand" link below the banner ad on your page.

How long will I have to complete a course?

You will have four (4) months from the date your payment is received to complete your OnDemand course.

How and when do I receive course materials (books or manuals) for my OnDemand course?

Your course materials will be mailed to the mailing address that you entered at the time of registration. As soon as payment has been received, it should take 3-5 business days for materials to be received depending on the shipping method that you choose during registration. The OnDemand online material will become available approximately 24 hours after payment has been received.

Can I share my class materials?

No. Users may not copy, reproduce, distribute, display, modify or create derivative works based upon all or any portion of the courseware in any medium whether printed, electronic or otherwise, without the express written consent of the SANS Institute. Without limiting the foregoing, user may not reproduce, distribute, re-publish, display, modify, or create derivative works based upon all or any portion of the courseware for purposes of teaching any computer or electronic security courses to any third party without the express written consent of the SANS Institute.

If I did not include the exam in my OnDemand registration, may I add the exam to my registration at a later date?

If you did not include the exam at the time that you registered for your OnDemand course, you may add the exam to your registration provided it is still within your first 30 days of access to the course. Once your first 30 days of access have passed, you will need to purchase a Challenge exam. For more information on the Challenge exam, please visit http://www.giac.org/registration/challenge

Does SANS provide PDF copies of the course materials?

Unfortunately, due to the increase in intellectual property theft, SANS no longer provides PDF copies of our course materials.

How are OnDemand Labs and Hands-on Exercises conducted?

Labs will pop-up in a window as the student progresses through the online course.
Labs are videos of the instructor doing the labs, so students are able to follow along.
Hands-on exercises are also included in the course where the instructor will have the student to do an exercise, or the courseware itself will have exercises for the students.
Depending on the course, there may be no pop-up labs, but there may be exercises. Our less technical courses may have no labs or exercises, due to the nature of the course content.

If I purchased the GIAC exam with my course how long do I have to complete my exam?

If you have purchased the GIAC exam with your OnDemand course, you will have 4 months to complete your GIAC exam as well. Therefore, your OnDemand course and your GIAC exam will have the same expiration date.

If I have questions about the course materials during my course, who can I contact?

Throughout your course, the Online Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your course content, including your course books, labs, lectures, quizzes.

SMEs are a team of GIAC-certified individuals who will be able to assist you by e-mail, phone, instant messaging or online meeting, depending on the type of assistance you need.

To contact the SMEs:

  • Send an e-mail to online-sme@sans.org at any time. You will receive a response within 2 hours during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9am - 8pm EST, and within 24 hours during other times.
  • For instant assistance, LiveChat support is available in your course during the following hours:
    • Monday through Thursday, 7pm - 10pm EST
    • Wednesday and Friday, 9am - 5pm EST

Can I request for an extension if I am unable to complete my course within my 4-month access period?

Yes. Your access can be extended beyond your original 4-months of access by purchasing an extension. You can purchase 30-day extensions to your course for $249. Due to periodic updates to our online training software, you are restricted from purchasing extensions beyond one year from your original date of access since your version of the course may not be compatible with our updated online training software.

If you have not purchased the GIAC Certification with your OnDemand course, please click on the 'SANS OnDemand Extension Agreement' link below to download the OnDemand Extension Agreement form. All OnDemand Extension Agreements must be completed and faxed to (808) 822-4810. If you wish to phone in your payment for your OnDemand extension, please call (301) 654-7267, Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm EST.

SANS OnDemand Extension Agreement

OnDemand Extensions will be available for up to 30 days after your expiration date. The option to extend your course will no longer be available after the 30-day grace period.

If I have purchased the GIAC exam with my course am I able to purchase an OnDemand Extension?

No. If you have purchased the GIAC Certification attempt with your course, you must purchase a 45 day GIAC extension.

GIAC Certification Attempts have a time limit of 4 months (120 days) to complete. If you need additional time, you may purchase a 45-day extension for $319 by clicking on the GIAC Certification Portal link, "Certification Attempts" and then "Purchase Extension." The "Purchase Extension" link is available 15 days before your certification attempt deadline, through 30 days after your certification attempt deadline. The extension will add 45 days to your current expiration date, regardless of when you purchase the extension. Once purchased, certification attempt extensions are non-refundable and non-transferable. Your OnDemand course will be extended to match your new certification expiration date. However, please note that your OnDemand course access will only be guaranteed for a total of one year, regardless of the number of certification attempt extensions you purchase.

Please note that purchasing an extension does not automatically cancel your scheduled exam appointment. You must cancel or reschedule your exam appointment at least 24 business hours prior to your exam appointment by logging into your SANS account and clicking on "Certification Attempts," "View Proctor Details" and then "Change." If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam less than 24 business hours in advance or do not show for your scheduled exam appointment, you will be charged a $150 seating fee.

A maximum of 10 extensions can be purchased per certification attempt. Once you have reached this limit, your attempt cannot be extended any further.

Is there a limit on the amount of times I am able to access each assessment in the course?

You will have access to each assessment for as many times as it takes you to complete each assessment three (3) times with an 80% or better.

Will there be something I can give my employer that shows I completed the course successfully?

Yes. You will be able to:

  1. Print a progress report at anytime throughout your course that shows your up-to- the-minute course progress.
  2. Print a Certificate of Completion once all slides have been viewed and all assessments are successfully completed.

What are the OnDemand requirements to receive a Certificate of Completion for my OnDemand course?

Effective April 10, 2014, the requirement to obtain a Certificate of Completion for OnDemand courses has changed to the following:

  • You must view 80% of the slides.


  • You must pass 80% of the quizzes with a score of 80% or better.

How do I submit OnDemand training as CPE credits for my CISSP certification?

You will be able to print your own Certificate of Completion which notes the CPE Credits once you have completed the entire course.

Once you have completed the course and assessments, you can submit your SANS CPE credits by logging in to : https://www.isc2.org/cgi-bin/login.cgi.

What does it mean when a course shows "Assessments not yet available"?

"Assessments not yet available" means that the assessments are in the process of being developed and are expected be added within 4-6 weeks. If the assessments are not available when you start your course, you will be provided a time extension to the course for the duration that the assessments were not available to you. So in essence, we will still allow you to have a complete 4 months of access to your course & assessments once the assessments are made available.

What does it mean when a course shows "Only available in version 2.0 system"?

"Only available in version 2.0 system" means that the course is in the process of being rebuilt into our new & upgraded OnDemand training system, which we refer to as "version 3.0". Although the course content is the same in both versions, version 3.0 offers an enhanced student experience.

Free course demos are available for all OnDemand courses, so you may preview what a course will look like whether in version 2.0 or 3.0. All courses in the OnDemand course library are available in version 3.0, EXCEPT for MGT 411: SANS 27000 Implementation & Management which is only available in version 2.0 system":

  • Version 2.0 courses are also not compatible with the iPad.
  • Free Course Demos are available at https://www.sans.org/ondemand/demos.php

I received an iPad from SANS OnDemand and need information regarding it's warranty

iPads come with a 1 year warranty and 90 day phone support. You can purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan for iPads that will extend both of these to two (2) years. The price is $79.00. To purchase you would need to call 800 MY APPLE. This is the same number you would call if you have warranty or repair issues.


Does OnDemand offer Group Discounts?

Yes. If you are interested in receiving a group price quote or if you would like to have an Account Manager contact you to discuss your options, write to ondemand@sans.org.

Also, see our current specials at https://www.sans.org/security-training/flexpass.php

Does OnDemand offer Alumni Discounts?

Yes. If you have taken a course with SANS and wish to take the same course again in our online training format, you are eligible for a 50% alumni discount. To receive this discount, please contact SANS Customer Support at 301-654-SANS (7267).

Can I use two different discount codes when registering for a SANS course?

No. When registering for any SANS training, only one discount code can be applied in Step 3 of the registration process. OnDemand will frequently offer specials throughout the year. These offers have a specific deadline and payment will need to be made before the deadline expires.
A discount is available if you are interested in taking 4 or more courses at a savings with the Individual Flexpass, which will allow you to stock up on SANS training with the best discounts available! Our individual flex passes are designed for those who have the desire to flex their brain and training dollars with continuous training throughout the year.
A group discount may be obtained by purchasing a Flex Pass which allows companies the flexibility to purchase a deeply discounted 12-month online training pass of multiple courses to be used among employees, at the convenience of the company and employees' schedules.
For more information on our OnDemand Flex Pass programs, visit http://www.sans.org/security-training/flexpass/

Can I take advantage of a discount/offer when paying for my course using a voucher account or Flex Pass Agreement?

No. Only one offer can apply at a time. Because you or your company receive a generous discounted offer when purchasing the Voucher or Flex Pass, no other offers can be combined with your registration.

What are Job-based courses and Skill-based courses?

Job-Based (Long) Courses

These courses address a range of skill sets including entry level information security and broad based security essentials, as well as advanced subject areas like audit, intrusion detection, incident handling, firewalls and perimeter protection, forensics, hacker techniques, and Windows and Unix operating system security.

  • Audit 507 :: Auditing Networks, Perimeters, and Systems
  • Developer 522 :: Defending Web Applications Security Essentials
  • Developer 541 :: Secure Coding in Java/JEE: Developing Defensible Applications
  • Developer 544 :: Secure Coding in .NET Developing Defensible Application
  • Forensics 408 :: Computer Forensic Investigations - Windows In-Depth
  • Forensics 508 :: Computer Forensics, Investigation and Response
  • Forensics 610 :: Reverse-Engineering Malware: Malware Analysis Tools and Techniques
  • Legal 523 :: Legal Issues in Information Technology and Information Security
  • Management 411 :: SANS 27000 Implementation & Management
  • Management 414 :: SANS +S Training Program for the CISSP Certification Exam
  • Management 512 :: SANS Security Leadership Essentials for Managers with Knowledge Compression
  • Security 301 :: Introduction to Information Security
  • Security 401 :: SANS Security Essentials
  • Security 501 :: Advanced Security Essentials - Enterprise Defender
  • Security 502 :: Perimeter Protection In-Depth
  • Security 503 :: Intrusion Detection In-Depth
  • Security 504 :: Hacker Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling
  • Security 505 :: Securing Windows
  • Security 506 :: Securing Unix/Linux
  • Security 509 :: Securing Oracle
  • Security 542 :: Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
  • Security 560 :: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
  • Security 566 :: Implementing and Auditing the Twenty Critical Security Controls – In Depth
  • Security 617 :: Assessing and Securing Wireless Networks
  • Security 660 :: Advanced Penetration Testing, Exploits, and Ethical Hacking

Skill-Based (Short) Courses

Skill-based courses address a specific skill set in audit, legal, management and security.

  • Developer 536 :: Secure Coding for PCI Compliance
  • Management 305 :: Technical Communication and Presentation Skills for
  • Management 404 :: Fundamentals of Information Security Policy
  • Management 421 :: SANS Leadership and Management Competencies
  • Management 438 :: How to Establish a Security Awareness Program
  • Security 351 :: Computer and Network Security Awareness
  • Security 569 :: Combating Malware in the Enterprise: Practical Step-by-Step Guidance
  • Security 580 :: Metasploit Kung Fu for Enterprise Pen Testing