Hands-On Interactive Labs and Range Environments Help Students Develop Necessary Skills
Hand typing on a keyboard

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.

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NICE Roles Directly Mapped to SANS Labs

Explore the Four Key Components of SANS Labs

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

What SANS Students Are Saying...

The course material is backed up with very well-crafted labs that give you an opportunity to actually use and interact with the tools and techniques covered in the course.
Michael Rizzo
- Palo Alto Networks
The labs from all SANS courses are always top notch. I have taken SANS training since 2007 and it has always maintained the highest level/standards, without question the best training content on the planet.
Nicolas Stevens
What is great about the labs is that they are broken down so that they’re easy to follow, and they build upon the previous labs, which enforces things we learned/utilized in previous labs.
Joseph Morales
Learning via labs allows me to grasp the idea of how to manage different challenges without disengaging from the material. The short and challenging labs provided exercises that I can build on to apply in my environment.
Carlos Pino
The best part of each day is the labs, providing the chance to get hands-on with the tools and utilize skills learned throughout the day.
Aaron Strozier
The lab exercises are very well selected to give us exposure to powerful tools, while respecting different skill levels and preventing the overall class from getting too bogged down.
Travis Ward
The labs are giving me a chance to see the course content first hand and interact with it. It's doing a good job of letting me play with it and really seeing how the tools and methodologies work.
Ryan Moeller
- Eureka Strategic Consulting
The labs were very hands-on, and being able to manually go through these exercises gives me confidence that I can do these things in the future.
Crystal Cleaveland
- American Registry for Internet Numbers
The hands-on labs provided within the virtual environment allowed me to experience what it is like to use the tools and commands on the type of systems I would have within our network environment.
Michelle Bammel