SANS – SEC401 Security Essentials Day – 2

Security 401.2 – Defense In Depth

img_defense-in-depthSome students coming out of day one might be relieved to find that day two is nothing like day one. Day two starts off with talking about risk and policy.

“Layers 8 & 9 of the OSI model”

The first module talks about what the risks and threats are as well as understanding how upper management thinks – jokingly the layers 8 & 9 of the OSI model. Then we move onto security policy, precedures, standards and the importance of business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning.

For many this maybe the toughest and longest day to endure due to nature of the topics discussed despite the importance. Frankly it was tough to keep myself engaged. Our instructor helped lesson the pain by introducing a few videos, captions and animated gifs in between to help keep us awake.

“SANS 20 Critical Controls”

One of the key takeaways from this lesson was SANS 20 Critical controls. winter-2012-poster
The essense to securing any organization lies in implementing these 20 key Critical Controls. To my opinion this is the single most important topic that any individual or organization should be learning and implementing as the foundation of security.

Continuing on, the next module talks about access control theory and passwords. I found the passwords section quite important as there’s every explanation to why you should be using long and complex passwords especially in Windows. The next topics speaks about incident handling and the legal aspects. By this time, I was mostly numb and started to doze off as with many others since we were getting close to 5:00pm and there’s one more module plus a lab to go. At this point you are reminded that this is a bootcamp indeed, classes can run till as late as 7:00pm :p.

The last module which I don’t seem to understand why they left to the very end was more technical. It was about information warfare and website security. HTTP/HTML/Sessions and Cookies were mostly what was being talked about. These topics should have required more attention and thinking from students.


The lab on the second day was relevant to the topics discussed in the lesson. Dumpsec was introduced to students for testing Windows security. There was also the first exercise in utilizing the all mighty hacking security tool for dummies, “Cain & Abel”. This tool is actually a quite indispensable tool for recovering Windows passwords if used in an ethical way. The last exercise was using a unix password recovery hacking tool – “John the Ripper”.

Lesson learned: Utilize a strong password!!

If there’s something you should learn from this lab, it’s that you should be using strong and complex passwords as most script kiddies in town have readily access to these tools.

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About the Author

Alfred Tong
Author and owner of this blog. A Networking enthusiast, full time networking and systems Engineer. Generally curious about all things IT. Certifications: GIAC GSEC, CCNP-S, CCNP, CCSP, CCDP, CCNA, RHCE, JNCIA - FWV