Welcome to SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud
Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud is focused on providing you the essential information security skills and techniques you need to protect and secure your organization's critical information and technology assets.
SEC401 will show you how to apply the knowledge you gain, forming it into a winning defensive strategy in the terms of the modern adversary. This is how we fight; this is how we win!
You will learn:
- To develop effective security metrics that provide a focused playbook that the IT department can implement, auditors can validate, and executives can understand
- To analyze the risk to your environment in order to drive the creation of a security roadmap that focuses on the right areas of security
- Practical tips and tricks that focus on addressing high-priority security problems within your organization and doing the right things that lead to security solutions that work
- Why some organizations win and why some lose when it comes to security and, most importantly, how to be on the winning side
- The core areas of security and how to create a security program that is built on a foundation of Detection, Response, and Prevention
This course will show you the most effective steps to prevent attacks and detect adversaries with actionable techniques that can be used as soon as you get back to work. You'll learn tips and tricks designed to help you win the battle against the wide range of cyber adversaries that want to harm your environment.
Is SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud the right course for you?
STOP and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you fully understand why some organizations become compromised and others do not?
- If there were compromised systems on your network, are you confident that you would be able to find them?
- Do you know the effectiveness of each security device and are you certain that they are all configured correctly?
- Are proper security metrics set up and communicated to your executives to drive security decisions?
SEC401 provides you with the information security knowledge needed to help you answer these questions for your environment, delivered in a bootcamp-style format reinforced with hands-on labs.
Test your security knowledge with our free SANS Security Essentials Assessment Test.
LEARN TO BUILD A SECURITY ROADMAP THAT CAN SCALE TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE
SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud is focused on providing you the essential information security skills and techniques you need to protect and secure your organization's critical information and technology assets. SEC401 will show you how to apply the knowledge you gain, forming it into a winning defensive strategy in the terms of the modern adversary. This is how we fight; this is how we win!
PREVENTION IS IDEAL BUT DETECTION AND RESPONSE IS A MUST
With the rise in advanced persistent threats, it is inevitable that organizations will be targeted. Defending against attacks is an ongoing challenge, with new threats emerging all the time, including the next generation of threats. In order to be successful in defending an environment, organizations need to understand what really works in cybersecurity. What has worked ... and will always work ... is taking a risk-based approach to cyber defense. Before your organization spends a dollar of its IT budget or allocates any resources or time to anything in the name of cybersecurity, three questions must be answered:
- What is the risk?
- Is it the highest priority risk?
- What is the most cost-effective way to reduce the risk?
All in all, however, organizations are going to be targeted AND broken into. Today, more than ever before, TIMELY detection and TIMELY response is critical. Once an adversary is inside the environment, damage will occur. In the near future, the key question in information security will become, "How quickly can we detect, respond, and remediate an adversary?" As counterintuitive as it may seem, it needs to be stated that you CANNOT secure what you don't know you have. Security is all about making sure you focus on the right areas of defense (especially as applied to the uniqueness of YOUR organization). In SEC401 you will learn the language and underlying workings of computer and information security, and how best to apply it to your unique needs. You will gain the essential and effective security knowledge you will need if you are given the responsibility to secure systems and/or organizations. This course meets both of the key promises SANS makes to our students: (1) You will learn up-to-the-minute skills that you can put into practice immediately upon returning to work; and (2) You will be taught by the best security professionals in the industry.
You Will Be Able To
- Apply what you learn directly to your job when you go back to work
- Design and build a network architecture using VLANs, NAC, and 802.1x based on advanced persistent threat indicators of compromise
- Run Windows command line tools to analyze a system looking for high-risk items
- Utilize Linux command line tools and basic scripting to automate the running of programs to perform continuous monitoring of systems
- Create an effective policy that can be enforced within an organization and design a checklist to validate security and create metrics to tie into training and awareness
- Identify visible weaknesses of a system using various tools and, once vulnerabilities are discovered, configure the system to be more secure
- Build a network visibility map that can be used for hardening of a network - validating the attack surface and determining the best methodology to reduce the attack surface through hardening and patching
- Sniff network communication protocols to determine the content of network communication (including unprotected access credentials), using tools such as tcpdump and Wireshark.
SEC401 is an interactive hands-on training course. The following is only a few of the lab activities that students will carry out:
- Set up a virtual lab environment
- Carry out tcpdump network analysis
- Use Wireshark to decode network traffic
- Crack passwords
- Use hashing to preserve digital evidence
- Analyze networks with hping3 and Nmap
- Use steganography tools
- Secure and audit a Windows system against a template
SEC401.1: Network Security Essentials
Mon Sep 13th, 2021
A key way that attackers gain access to a company's resources is through a network connected to the internet. Organizations try to prevent as many attacks as possible. Unfortunately, not all attacks will be prevented, and as such, they must be detected it in a timely manner. Therefore, it is critical to be able to understand the goals of building a defensible network architecture. It is critically important to understand the architecture of the system, types of network designs, relational communication flows, and how to protect against attacks using devices such as routers and switches. These essentials and more will be covered during the first section of this course in order to provide a firm foundation for the remaining sections of this training.
In any organization large or small, all data are not created equal. Some data are routine and incidental while other data can be very sensitive, and loss of those data can cause irreparable harm to an organization. It is essential to understand attacks, the vulnerability behind those attacks, and how to prioritize the information and steps to secure the systems. To achieve this, you need to gain familiarity with the communication protocols of modern networks. Adversaries need our networks just as much as we do. Adversaries live off the land, mercilessly pivoting from system to system, on our network, until they can achieve the long-term goal for which they came. Being able to apply the concepts of 'knowing' our network, and how network operations are performed, will allow us to baseline 'normal'. Knowing normal allows 'abnormal' (the adversary) to stand out.
Cloud computing becomes an obvious topic of discussion in relation to our modern networks - public and private networks alike. A conversation on defensible networking would not be complete without an in-depth discussion of what cloud is, and more importantly, the important security considerations that must be taken into account.
By the end of this section, you will understand Defensible Network Architecture, Protocols and Packet Analysis, Network Device Security, Virtualization and Cloud, and Wireless Network Security.
Last, but certainly not least, all of the above wouldn't be as useful without applying the knowledge in our extensive hands-on lab-based environment. Each day of SEC401 is built on a foundation of how to apply key topics and concepts in real-world application.
By the end of Day 1, the adversary's game will be up. Adversaries need to use OUR network to achieve THEIR goals. By understanding how our networks function (relative to our unique needs), the adversary's activity will be revealed. Discovery of the adversary is only a small part of the overall battle; the remainder of SEC401 will show you how not only to defend, but better prevent (and remediate) the adversary.
SEC401.1: Outline: Network Security Essentials
Module 1: SEC401 - An Introduction
SEC401 is unique in its coverage of more than 30 topical areas of information security. In this introductory module we review the structure of the course, the logistics of the class schedule in concert with 'bootcamp' hours, and the overall thematic view of the course topics.
Module 2: Defensible Network Architecture
In order to properly secure and defend a network, you must first have a clear and strong understanding of both the logical and physical components of network architecture. Above and beyond an understanding of network architecture, however, properly securing and defending a network will further require an understanding of how the adversary abuses the information systems of our network to achieve their goals.
Module 3: Protocols and Packet Analysis
A solid understanding of the interworking of networks enables you to more effectively recognize, analyze, and respond to the latest (perhaps unpublished) attacks. This module introduces the core areas of computer networks and protocols.
Network Protocols Overview
Layer 3 Protocols
Layer 4 Protocols
Module 4: Network Device Security
In order to implement proper network security, you have to understand the various components of modern networks. In this module, we will look at the core components of network infrastructure, how they work, and the methods needed to leverage them for modern cyber defense. Unfortunately everything on the network, including the network itself, is a target for the adversary. Our conversation on network device security would be incomplete without discussing how to properly secure our networking infrastructure itself.
Module 5: Virtualization and Cloud
In this module, we will examine what virtualization is, the security benefits and risks of a virtualized environment, and the differences in virtualization architecture. Because cloud computing is architected on virtualization, the module concludes with an extensive discussion of what cloud is (public and private cloud), how it works, the services made available by public cloud, and related security concepts.
Module 6: Securing Wireless Networks
In this module, we will explain the differences between the various types of wireless communication technologies available today, the insecurities present in those communications, and approaches to mitigation to reduce the risk of those insecurities to a more acceptable level of risk.
SEC401.2: Defense-in-DepthTue Sep 14th, 2021
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
To secure an enterprise network, you must understand the general principles of network security. On Day 2, we look at the "big picture" threats to our systems and how to defend against them. We will learn that protections need to be layered leveraging a principle called defense-in-depth, and then explain the principles that will serve us well in protecting our systems.
The section starts with information assurance foundations. We look at security threats and how they have impacted confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The most commonly discussed aspect of defense-in-depth is predicated on access controls. As such, with a solid foundation on the aspects of information assurance in place, we move onto the aspects of identity and access management. Even though, for more than 30 years, passwords (the most commonly used form of authentication for access control) were to be deprecated and moved away from, we still struggle today with the compromises that result from credential theft. What we can do for modern authentication is the focus of our discussion on authentication and password security. Toward the end of the book we shift our focus to modern security controls that will work in the presence of the modern adversary. We do so by leveraging the Center for Internet Security (CIS) controls to help prioritize our risk reduction activities and gather metrics as we construct our security roadmap. While realizing that our networks are the foundation for both our (and the adversaries) activities, we might be naturally curious as to what else we can do from an overall environmental focus on how best to secure our data. This naturally leads to a discussion on Data Loss Prevention techniques. Last, but certainly not least, a discussion of defense-in-depth would not be complete without a discussion of, perhaps, the most important aspect of any security program - Security Plans and Risk Management. Cyber security is really just a different form of risk management. A modern-day defender will not be a capable defender without understanding the constitution of risk, how information security risk must tie back to organizational risk, and the methods used to appropriately address gaps in risk.
SEC401.2: Outline: Defense-in-Depth
Module 7: Defense-in-Depth
In this module, we look at threats to our systems and take a "big picture" look at how to defend against them. We will learn that protections need to be layered, a principle called defense-in-depth, and explain some principles that will serve you well in protecting your systems.
Strategies for Defense-in-Depth
Core Security Strategies
Module 8: Identity and Access Management
This module discusses the principles of identity management and access control. Access control models vary in their approaches to security. We will explore their underlying principles, strengths, and weaknesses. The module includes a brief discussion on authentication and authorization protocols and control.
Identity Access Management
Module 9: Authentication and Password Security
A discussion of identity and access management naturally leads to a conversation on authentication and password security. We will spend time discussing the various types of authentication: Something you know, something you have, some place you are, and something you are. We will also spend considerable time discussing the most common (and problematic) example of the "something you know" authentication type: the password. We will spend time delving into password files, storage, and protection.
Password Cracking Tools
Module 10: Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls
In implementing security, it is important to have a framework with proper metrics. As is often said, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. The CIS controls were created to help organizations prioritize the most critical risks they face. In addition to a framework, the CIS controls also provide details to help organizations put together an effective plan for implementation of the controls they need.
Module 11: Data Loss Prevention
Loss or leakage?
In essence, data loss will be any condition that results in data being corrupted, deleted, or made unreadable in any way by a user and/or software (application). A data breach is, in most cases, a security incident that can be intentional or unintentional. Security incidents can lead to (among other things) unintentional information disclosure, data leakage, information leakage and data spill. In this module we cover exactly what constitutes data loss or leakage, the various ways to properly categorize different types of data loss and leakage, and the methodologies that can be leveraged to implement an appropriate data loss prevention capability.
Loss or Leakage
Redundancy (On-Premise and Cloud)
Related Regulatory Requirements
Data Loss Prevention Tools
Defending Against Data Exfiltration
Module 12: Security Plans and Risk Management
In this module, we discuss the key elements of managing and governing risk within an organization. A key part of managing and governing risk is the formation of security plans built on a solid understanding of the "security risk' of the organization. We will learn how to identify a risk, quantify and assess the probability of the risk, and leverage the classification of an asset to determine impact.
How Do I Identify a Risk?
Risk Treatment Actions
SEC401.3: Vulnerability Management and ResponseWed Sep 15th, 2021
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
On Day 3, our focus shifts to the various areas of our environment where vulnerabilities manifest. We will begin with an overall discussion of exactly what constitutes a vulnerability, and how to best implement a proper vulnerability assessment program. Penetration testing is often discussed in concert with vulnerability assessment, even though vulnerability assessment and penetration testing are quite distinct from each other.
In concluding our discussion of vulnerability assessments, we next move on to a proper and distinct discussion on what penetration testing is, and how best to leverage its benefits. Because vulnerabilities represent weaknesses that allow adversaries to manifest, a discussion of vulnerabilities would be incomplete without a serious discussion of modern attack methodologies based on real-world examples of real-world compromise. Of all the potential areas for vulnerabilities to manifest in our environment, web applications represent, perhaps, one of the most substantial areas of potential vulnerability and consequential risk. The extensive nature of the vulnerabilities that can manifest with ease from web applications dictate that we focus the attention of an entire module on web application security concepts. While it is true that vulnerabilities allow adversaries to manifest (perhaps with great ease), it is impossible for adversaries to remain entirely hidden - post-compromise. By leveraging the logging capacity of our hardware and software, we can more easily detect the adversary in a reduced period of time. How we achieve such a capacity is the subject of our penultimate module: Security Operations and Log Management. Last, and not least, we will need to have a plan of action for a proper response to the compromise of our environment. The methodology of an appropriate incident response is the subject of our final module of Day 3.
SEC401.3: Outline: Vulnerability Management and Response
Module 13: Vulnerability Assessments
This module covers the tools, technology, and techniques used for reconnaissance (including gathering information, mapping networks, scanning for vulnerabilities, and applying mapping and scanning technology).
Module 14: Penetration Testing
The role of penetration testing is well-understood by the majority of organizations and gave birth to newer testing techniques such as Red Teaming, Adversary Emulation, and Purple Teaming. Each have their own unique approaches and benefits. Often, penetration testing is limited in scope to where the testers are not truly able to emulate and mimic the behavior of adversaries. This is where activities such as Red Teaming and Adversary Emulation come into play. A methodical and meticulous approach must be taken regarding penetration testing in order to provide the biggest business value to your organization.
Module 15: Attacks and Malicious Software
In this module we will take a look at the Marriott breach (a breach that compromised millions of people globally), as well as ransomware attacks that continue to cripple hundreds of thousands of systems across different industries. We'll describe these attacks in detail, discussing not only the conditions that made them possible, but also some strategies that can be used to help manage the risks associated with such attacks.
Module 16: Web Application Security
In this module, we look at some of the most important things to know on designing and deploying secure web applications. We start with an explanation of the basics of web communications. We then move on to cover HTTP, HTTPS, HTML, cookies, authentication, and maintaining state. We conclude by looking at how to identify and fix vulnerabilities in web applications.
Web Application Basics
Developing Secure Web Apps
Web Application Monitoring
Monolithic Architecture and Security Controls
Module 17: Security Operations and Log Management
In this module, we cover the essential components of logging, how to properly manage logging, and the considerations that must be understood in order to use the power of logging to its full potential.
Module 18: Digital Forensics and Incident Response
In this module, we explore the fundamentals of incident handling and why it is important to our organization. We outline a multi-step process to help create our own incident-handling procedures. The module also covers how to leverage digital forensics methodologies to ensure our processes are repeatable and verifiable.
Introduction to Digital Forensics
Incident Handling Fundamentals
Multi-Step Process for Handling an Incident
Incident Response: Threat Hunting
SEC401.4: Data Security TechnologiesThu Sep 16th, 2021
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
There is no silver bullet when it comes to security. However, there is one technology that would help solve a lot of security issues - although few companies deploy it correctly. This technology is cryptography. Concealing the meaning of a message can prevent unauthorized parties from reading sensitive information. During the first half of Day 4 we'll look at various aspects of cryptographic concepts and how they can be used in securing an organization's assets. A related discipline called steganography, or information hiding, is also covered. During the second half of the day, we shift our focus to the various types of prevention technologies that can be used to stop an adversary from gaining access to our organization (firewalls, intrusion prevention systems) and the various types of detection technologies that can detect the presence of an adversary on our networks (intrusion detection systems). These preventative and detective techniques can be deployed from a network and/or endpoint perspective; the similarities and differences in the application of these techniques will be explored.
SEC401.4: Outline: Data Security Technologies
Module 19: Cryptography
Cryptography can provide the functional capabilities needed to achieve confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation purposes. There are three general types of cryptographic systems: Symmetric, Asymmetric, and Hashing. These systems are usually distinguished from one another by the number of keys employed, and the security goals they achieve. This module discusses these different types of cryptographic systems and how each type is used to provide a specific security function. The module also introduces steganography, a means of hiding data in a carrier medium. Steganography can be used for a variety of reasons but is most often is used to conceal the fact that sensitive information is being sent or stored.
General Types of Cryptosystems
Module 20: Cryptography Algorithms and Deployment
In this module, we'll acquire a high-level understanding of the mathematical concepts that contribute to modern cryptography and a basic understanding of commonly used symmetric, asymmetric, and hashing algorithms. We'll also identify common attacks used to subvert cryptographic defenses.
Module 21: Applying Cryptography
In this module, we'll discuss solutions for achieving our primary goals for using cryptography: protection of data in transit and protection of data at rest. We conclude with an important discussion on the management of public keys (and their related certificates) in terms of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
Data in Transit
Data at Rest
Module 22: Network Security Devices
This module will look at the three main categories of network security devices: Firewalls, Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS), and Network Intrusion Prevention Systems (NIPS). Together, they provide a complement of prevention and detection capabilities.
Module 23: Endpoint Security
In this module, we will examine some of the key components, strategies, and solutions for implementing security from an endpoint perspective. This includes general approaches to endpoint security, strategies for baselining activity, and solutions like Host-based IDS (HIDS) and Host-based IPS (HIPS).
SEC401.5: Windows SecurityFri Sep 17th, 2021
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Remember when Windows was simple? Windows XP desktops in a little workgroup...what could be easier? A lot has changed over time. Now, we have Windows tablets, Azure, Active Directory, PowerShell, Microsoft 365 (Office 365), Hyper-V, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and so on. Microsoft is battling Google, Apple, Amazon, and other cloud giants for cloud supremacy. The trick is to do cloud securely, of course.
Windows is the most widely used and targeted operating system on the planet. At the same time, the complexities of Active Directory, Public Key Infrastructure, BitLocker, AppLocker, and User Account Control represent both challenges and opportunities. Day 5 will help you quickly master the world of Windows security while showing you the tools that can simplify and automate your work. You will complete the section with a solid grounding in Windows security by looking at automation, auditing, and forensics.
SEC401.5: Outline: Windows Security
Module 24: Windows Security Infrastructure
This module discusses the infrastructure that supports Windows security. This is a big picture overview of the Windows security model. It provides the background concepts necessary to understand everything else that follows.
Module 25: Windows as a Service
This module discusses techniques for managing updates to Windows.
Module 26: Windows Access Controls
This module focuses on understanding how permissions are applied in the Windows NT File System (NTFS), Shared Folders, Registry Keys, Active Directory, and Privileges. BitLocker Drive Encryption is discussed as another form of access control (for encrypted information), and as a tool to help maintain the integrity of the boot-up process if you have a Trusted Platform Module.
Module 27: Enforcing Security Policy
This module discusses one of the best tools for automating security configuration changes, SECEDIT.EXE, the command-line version of Microsoft's Security Configuration and Analysis snap-in. We'll look at some of the most important changes to make through the use of this tool, such as password policy, lockout policy, and null user session restrictions. We'll also briefly discuss Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and the many security configuration changes that they can help to enforce throughout the domain.
Module 28: Network Services and Cloud Computing
It is important that we properly secure a system before we connect it to a network. Applying the latest updates isn't good enough: We want a machine that has been hardened specifically in anticipation of vulnerabilities that have not yet been discovered.
Module 29: Automation, Auditing, and Forensics
Automation, auditing, and forensics go together because, if we can't automate our work, the auditing and forensics work doesn't get done at all (or is done only sporadically), or we can't make it scale beyond the small number of machines that we can physically touch. Thankfully, modern Windows systems come with a very powerful automation capability: PowerShell. We will learn what PowerShell is and how to leverage it in our pursuit of deployment consistency, detection of change, remediation of systems, and even threat hunting!
SEC401.6: Linux, Mac and Smartphone SecuritySat Sep 18th, 2021
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
While organizations do not have as many Linux systems, the Linux systems that they do have are often some of the most critical systems that need to be protected. Day 6 provides guidance to improve the security of any Linux system. The day combines practical "how to" instructions with background information for Linux beginners, as well as security advice and best practices for administrators with various levels of expertise. With the idea of Linux being a 'free' operating system, it isn't a surprise that many advanced security concepts are first developed for Linux. Containers is one example of such. Containers provide powerful and flexible concepts for cloud computing deployments. Containers, while not specifically designed for information security purposes, are built on elements of minimization and that is something we can leverage in an overall information security methodology (as a part of defense-in-depth). Containers, what they do and do not represent for information security, and the best practice for their management will be fully discussed. A discussion of Linux and UNIX concepts would not be complete without a discussion of the macOS (which is based on UNIX). Apple's venerable macOS provides extensive opportunity for hardware and software security but is often misunderstood from what can and cannot be achieved. Because the majority of our modern-day mobile operating systems have a Linux and/or UNIX background, we end our Day 6 with a discussion on mobile device security.
SEC401.6: Outline: Linux, Mac and Smartphone Security
Module 30: Linux Fundamentals
This module discusses the foundational items that are needed to understand how to configure and secure a Linux system.
Operating System Comparison
Linux Operating System
Linux Security Permissions
Linux User Accounts
Pluggable Authentication Modules
Module 31: Linux Security Enhancements and Infrastructure
This module discusses security-enhancement utilities that provide additional security and lockdown capabilities for modern Linux systems. As discussed earlier in the course, taking advantage of logging capabilities is an incredibly important aspect of our modern cyber defense. Linux's support for the well-known Syslog logging standard (and its related features) will discussed. As Syslog continues to age it may end up being unable to provide the logging features that modern-day cyber defense might demand. As such, additional logging enhancements - from syslog-ng to auditd - will be explored.
Operating System Enhancements
Firewalls: Network and Endpoint
Module 32: Containerized Security
The importance of segmentation and isolation techniques cannot be understated. Isolation techniques can help to mitigate the initial damage caused by an adversary giving us more time for detection. In this module we discuss the various types of isolation techniques: Chroot, virtualization, and containers. Containers are a relatively new concept (as applied to information security perspectives). There can be a lot of misunderstanding as to what security benefits are truly afforded by the use of containers, and the potential security issues that might manifest within containers themselves. Containers, what they are, deployment best practice, and how to secure them will be explored.
Module 33: macOS Security
This module focuses on an overview of the security features which are built into macOS systems. Although macOS is a relatively secure system and has different security features, it can also be flawed just like any other software.
macOS Security Features
macOS Vulnerabilities and Malware
Module 34: Mobile Device Security
This module starts with a quick comparison of the Android and iOS mobile operating systems and what makes them so different. The module concludes with a brief discussion of the security features of both systems.
Android vs. iOS
Apple iOS Security
Mobile Problems and Opportunities
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Unlocking, Rooting, and Jailbreaking
Mitigating Mobile Malware
Who Should Attend
Anyone who works in security, is interested in security, or has to understand security should take this course, including:
- Security professionals who want to fill the gaps in their understanding of technical information security
- Managers who want to understand information security beyond simple terminology and concepts
- Operations personnel who do not have security as their primary job function but need an understanding of security to be effective
- IT engineers and supervisors who need to know how to build a defensible network against attacks
- Administrators responsible for building and maintaining systems that are being targeted by attackers
- Forensic analysts, penetration testers, and auditors who need a solid foundation of security principles so they can be as effective as possible at their jobs
- Anyone new to information security with some background in information systems and networking
"SEC401 should be a prerequisite for anyone involved in the security space. This course has contextualized my work on security strategy with more technical details of security features at the device and network levels, as well as in web and remote environments." - Aaron Ach, Good Harbor Security Risk Management
SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud covers all of the core areas of security and assumes a basic understanding of technology, networks, and security. For those who are new to the field and have no background knowledge, SEC301: Introduction to Cyber Security would be the recommended starting point.
While SEC301 is not a prerequisite for SEC401, it will provide the introductory knowledge to help maximize the experience with SEC401.
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.
SEC401: Security Essentials: Network, Endpoint, and Cloud consists of course instruction and integrated hands-on sessions. The labs reinforce the skills covered in class and enable students to use the knowledge and tools learned throughout the course in an instructor-led environment. Students will have the opportunity to install and configure a virtual lab environment and will utilize the tools and techniques that have been presented. During the course students will receive a USB with two virtual machines; it is critical that you have a properly configured system prior to class.
IMPORTANT: Host Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.15.x or later, or Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below. You must also have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM or higher for the virtual machines to function properly. Verify that under BIOS, Virtualization Support is ENABLED. Note: Apple computers with the M1 processor (Apple Silicon) are NOT supported for use in class. Apple does not support x86-based virtual machines under their Rosetta 2 capability for translation to their new Apple M1 processor. Apple computers that come with Intel processors are not affected by this issue and are still supported for in-class use.
Your CPU and OS MUST be 64-bit so that our 64-bit guest virtual machines will run on your laptop, and so you can access at least 8 GB of memory. This article provides instructions on how to determine if you have both a 64-bit CPU and OS.
Mandatory Laptop Requirements / Checklist
64-bit capable laptop running a 64-bit OS (Windows 10 x64 is recommended) configured as follows:
- 8 GB physical memory (minimum: this requires you to be running a 64-bit OS)
- 50 GB of available disk space (minimum)
- An available/active USB Type-A port (or both a USB Type-C port and a USB Type-A to USB Type-C adapter)
- In BIOS (UEFI), Virtualization Support must be ENABLED
- Windows Credential Guard must be DISABLED (if running Windows as your host OS)
Download and install the latest version of either VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.X+, VMware Player 15.5.X+ or Fusion 11.5+ on your system prior to the start of the class.
If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, you can download a free 30-day trial copy from the VMware website.
You must have administrator access to the host OS and to all security software installed.
You must have the ability to reboot the laptop and login (i.e., you must have valid credentials for any drive encryption or other security software installed)
Your laptop should NOT contain any personal or company data.
Your course media will now be delivered via download. The media files for class can be large, some in the 40 - 50 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 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. Additionally, certain classes are using an electronic workbook in addition to the PDFs. The number of classes using eWorkbooks will grow quickly. In this new environment, we have found that a second monitor and/or a tablet device can be useful by keeping the class materials visible while the instructor is presenting or while you are working on lab exercises.
If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.