Analyze Threats. Detect Anomalies. Stop Intrusions.
We continue to underestimate the tenacity of our adversaries! Organizations are investing a significant amount of time as well as financial and human resources trying to combat cyber threats and prevent cyber attacks. Despite this tremendous effort, organizations are still getting compromised. The traditional perimeter-focused, prevention-dominant approach to security architecture has failed to prevent intrusions. No network is impenetrable, a reality that business executives and security professionals alike have to accept. Prevention is crucial, and we can't lose sight of it as the primary goal. However, a new proactive approach to security is needed to enhance the capabilities of organizations to detect threats that will inevitably slip through their defenses.
SEC511: Continuous Monitoring and Security Operations will teach you how to strengthen your skills to undertake that proactive approach.
The underlying challenge for organizations victimized by an attack is timely incident detection. Industry data suggest that most security breaches typically go undiscovered for an average of seven months. Attackers simply have to find one way into most organizations, because they know that the lack of visibility and internal security controls will then allow them to methodically carry out their mission and achieve their goals.
The Defensible Security Architecture, Network Security Monitoring (NSM)/Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM)/Continuous Security Monitoring (CSM) taught in this course will best position your organization or Security Operations Center (SOC) to analyze threats and detect anomalies that could indicate cybercriminal behavior. The payoff for this new proactive approach would be early detection of an intrusion, or successfully thwarting the efforts of attackers altogether.
SANS is uniquely qualified to offer this course. Course authors Eric Conrad (GSE #13) and Seth Misenar (GSE #28) hold the distinguished GIAC Security Expert Certification, and both are experienced, real-world, practitioners who apply the concepts and techniques they teach in this course on a daily basis. SEC511 will take you on quite a journey. We start by exploring traditional security architecture to assess its current state and the attacks against it. Next, we discuss and discover modern security design that represents a new proactive approach to such architecture that can be easily understood and defended. We then transition to how to actually build the network and endpoint security, and then carefully navigate our way through automation, NSM/CDM/CSM. For timely detection of potential intrusions, the network and systems must be proactively and continuously monitored for any changes in the security posture that might increase the likelihood that attackers will succeed.
Your SEC511 journey will conclude with one last hill to climb! The final day features a defend-the-flag competition that challenges you to apply the skills and techniques learned in the course to detect and defend the modern security architecture that has been designed. The competition has been designed to be fun, engaging, comprehensive, and challenging. You will not be disappointed!
With your training journey now complete and your skills enhanced and honed, it is time to go back to work and deliver on the SANS promise that you will be able to apply what you learn in this course the day you return to the office.
This course will prepare you to:
- Analyze a security architecture for deficiencies
- Apply the principles learned in the course to design a defensible security architecture
- Understand the importance of a detection-dominant security architecture and Security Operations Centers (SOC)
- Identify the key components of Network Security Monitoring (NSM)/Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM)/Continuous Monitoring (CM)
- Determine appropriate security monitoring needs for organizations of all sizes
- Implement robust Network Security Monitoring/Continuous Security Monitoring
- Determine requisite monitoring capabilities for a SOC environment
While the above list briefly outlines the knowledge and skills you will learn, it barely scratches the surface of what this course has to offer. Hands-on labs throughout the course will reinforce key concepts and principles, as well as teach you how to use scripting to automate continuous monitoring. We look forward to seeing you soon!
SEC511 employs several different hands-on tactics that go well beyond simple lecture and instructor-led discussions, here is a sampling:
- Egress Analysis with Elastic Stack
- Passively decrypting TLS
- DNS over HTTPS (DoH)
- PCAP carving with Zeek
- Honey Tokens
- Application Control via AppLocker
- Sysmon Merlin Analysis
- Daily Immersive Cyber Challenges (NetWars game engine)
- NetWars-based Final Capstone
The meticulously crafted SEC511 Electronic Workbook serves as the starting point for hands-on elements in the course. The workbook-driven labs include multiple paths to complete each exercise. This multifaceted approach allows the labs to better accommodate diverse student backgrounds and technical exposure.
A more recent development is the SEC511 Portal/Electronic Workbook available within the class virtual environment. The portal provides students with electronic versions of the workbook labs.
Shall we play a game?
The NetWars game engine now permeates every single course day! Since the launch of SEC511, students have consistently found the NetWars-based Final Capstone to be great fun. Who would have guessed that a game would be fun, right? Students' praise did not stop at "fun" - they also found the game to be a tremendously successful way to further their learning. Taking this cue, we have now incorporated a game-style environment into every day, not just day six.
What Will You Receive
- Access to custom cloud-hosted challenges to further understanding
- MP3 audio files of the complete course lecture
- Licensed Windows 10 virtual machine
- A Linux VM loaded with tons of extra logs, PCAPs, and other resources
- A Digital Download Package that includes the above and more
Important! Bring your own system configured according to these instructions!
A properly configured system is required to fully participate in this course. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will likely leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course. Therefore, we strongly urge you to arrive with a system meeting all the requirements specified for the course.
This is common sense, but we will say it anyway. Back up your system before class. Better yet, do not have any sensitive data stored on the system. SANS can't be responsible for your system or data.
MANDATORY SEC511 SYSTEM HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS:
- CPU: 64-bit Intel i5/i7 (4th generation+) - x64 bit 2.0+ GHz processor or more recent processor is mandatory for this class (Important - Please Read: a 64-bit system processor is mandatory)
- CRITICAL NOTE: Apple systems using the M1 processor line cannot perform the necessary virtualization functionality and therefore cannot in any way be used for this course.
- It is critical that your CPU and operating system support 64-bit so that our 64-bit guest virtual machine will run on your laptop. VMware provides a free tool for Windows that will detect whether or not your host supports 64-bit guest virtual machines. For further troubleshooting, this article also provides good instructions for Windows users to determine more about the CPU and OS capabilities. For Macs, please use this support page from Apple to determine 64-bit capability.
- BIOS settings must be set to enable virtualization technology, such as "Intel-VT".
- Be absolutely certain you can access your BIOS if it is password protected, in case changes are necessary. Test it!
- 16 GB (Gigabytes) of RAM or higher is mandatory for this class (Important - Please Read: 16 GB of RAM or higher of RAM is mandatory and minimum.
- 100 Gigabytes of Free Space
- Local Administrator Access is required. This is absolutely required. Don't let your IT team tell you otherwise. If your company will not permit this access for the duration of the course, then you should make arrangements to bring a different laptop.
- Wireless 802.11 Capability
MANDATORY SEC511 HOST OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
- Host Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10 or macOS 10.15.x
- Please note: It is necessary to fully update your host operating system prior to the class
PLEASE INSTALL THE FOLLOWING SOFTWARE PRIOR TO CLASS:
- Download and install VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.X+, VMware Player 15.5.X+ or Fusion 11.5+ on your system prior to class beginning. If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, you can download a free 30-day trial copy from VMware. VMware will send you a time-limited serial number if you register for the trial at their website.
- Download and install 7Zip (for Windows Hosts) or Keka (macOS).
Your course media will now be delivered via download. The media files for class will be large, in the 20 GB range. You need to allow plenty of time for the download to complete. Internet connections and speed vary greatly and are dependent on many different factors. Therefore, it is not possible to give an estimate of the length of time it will take to download your materials. Please start your course media downloads as soon as you get the link. You will need your course media immediately on the first day of class. Waiting until the night before the class starts to begin your download has a high probability of failure.
SANS has begun providing printed materials in PDF form. This class uses an electronic workbook in addition to the PDFs. We have found that a second monitor and/or a tablet device can be useful for keeping the class materials visible while the instructor is presenting or while you are working on lab exercises.