Practice, Refine, and Reinforce Course Objectives
SANS Labs provide an immersive, hands-on experience that reinforces learning objectives and critical course skills.
Created by world-class SANS authors and based on their real-world experiences in the field, SANS labs allow you to analyze data from real compromises. Through real-life scenarios and engaging challenges, students can practice, refine, and reinforce critical job skills.
Explore the Four Key Components of SANS Labs
1. Relevant Tools
- Students must use proper cyber security and analysis tools to complete a lab. In many cases, multiple devices and multiple steps are needed.
- Each student is armed with a virtual machine (VM) or tools that do not require complex installation.
- Many VM environments are set up so that you can use the same tools when back in your environments on similar complex scenarios you might encounter daily.
2. Real-World Scenarios
- Authors design labs based on current and real-world challenges they encounter daily in their jobs, investing months creating complex, believable, and realistic scenarios using existing threat actors.
- SANS interactive ranges and threat-based attack data are built from the ground up, mimicking organizations and entities that come under attack weekly.
- These environments are so believable that SANS instructors are often asked how we received permission to use "real" attack data to teach students in class.
3. Self-Correcting Instructions
- The labs include self-correcting instructions with a step-by-step online workbook to walk students through complex labs.
- If you get stuck, an intricate hint and learning system with embedded videos is built to explain each step thoroughly.
- If needed, the student can unhide the exact command to input or utilize the tool to complete the step.
4. Engaging Competition
- SANS labs use both capture-the-flag and other in-class competitions.
- One of the best ways to learn is to make reviewing key learning objectives competitive and a game, with a digital scoreboard for tracking progress, gamifying the learning objectives, and encouraging leveling up.
- Many students can compete for skills-based prizes and end-of-class challenge coins — coveted awards around the entire information security community.