SEC301: Introduction to Cyber Security
SECTION 1: Security’s Foundation Every good security practitioner and every good security program begins with the same mantra: learn the fundamentals. SEC301 starts by instilling familiarity with core security terms and principles. By the time you leave the classroom after the first section, you will fully understand the Principle of Least Privilege and Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability (CIA), and you’ll see why those principles drive all security discussions. You will be conversant in the fundamentals of risk management, security policy, and authentication/ authorization/accountability.
SECTION 2: Computer Functions and Networking This course section begins with an explanation of how computers handle numbers using decimal, binary, and hexadecimal numbering systems. It also provides an understanding of how computers encode letters using the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). We then spend the remainder of the section on networking. All attacks or exploits have one thing in common: they take something that exists for perfectly valid reasons and misuse it in malicious ways. Always! So as security practitioners, to grasp what is invalid we must first understand what is valid – that is, how things like networks are supposed to work. Only once we have that understanding can we hope to understand the mechanics of malicious misuse of those networks – and only with that knowledge can we understand how security devices such as firewalls seek to thwart those attacks. The networking discussion begins with a non-technical explanation of how data move across a network. From there we move to fundamental terminology dealing with network types and standards. You’ll learn about common network hardware such as switches and routers, and terms like “protocol” and “encapsulation.” We’ll give a very basic introduction to network addressing and port numbers and then work our way up the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) protocol stack, introducing more detail only as we proceed to the next layer. In other words, we explain networking starting in non-technical terms and gradually progress to more technical detail as students are ready to take the next step. By the end of our discussions, you’ll have a fundamental grasp of any number of critical technical networking acronyms that you’ve often heard but never quite understood, including TCP/IP, IP, TCP, UDP, MAC, ARP, NAT, ICMP, and DNS.
SECTION 3: An Introduction to Cryptography Cryptography is one of the most complex issues faced by security practitioners. It is not a topic you can explain in passing, so we will spend some time on it. Not to worry, we won’t take you through the math behind cryptography. Instead, we learn basic crypto terminology and processes. What is steganography? What is substitution and transposition? What is a “work factor” in cryptography and why does it matter? What do we mean by symmetric and asymmetric key cryptography and “cryptographic hash,” and why do you need to know? How are those concepts used together in the real world to create cryptographic systems?
SECTION 4: Cybersecurity Technologies – Part 1 Our fourth section in the classroom begins our exploration of cybersecurity technologies. We begin with wireless network security (WiFi and Bluetooth), and mobile device security (i.e., cell phones). We follow that with a brief look at some common attacks. We then move into a discussion of malware and anti-malware technologies. We end the section with an examination of several data protection protocols used for email encryption, secure remote access, secure web access, secure file transfer, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) technologies.
SECTION 5: Cybersecurity Technologies – Part 2 The final section of our SEC301 journey continues the discussion of cybersecurity technologies. The section begins by looking at several security technologies, including compartmentalization, firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS), sniffers, content filters, etc. We then take a good look at browser and web security, and the difficulties of securing the web environment. For example, students will understand why and how their browser connects to anywhere from 5 to 100 different Internet locations each time they load a single web page. We end the section with a look at system security to include hardening operating systems, patching, virtual machines, cloud computing, and backup.