Posts Tagged ‘Security’

First step is complete

I haven’t written much lately, have had my nose in either a book or my computer studying to take the two test that will earn me my CCNA in Cybersecurity.  It has been very hard.  I started the adventure back on April 1 and have studied every single day since then.  I has been hard, fun, challenging, exciting, and miserable all together.  I knew next to nothing going into this about security, and I now know a bit more.  I have gone deeper into the Windows OS, worked long hours in Linux, used some awesome OpenSource tools and will now sit for my first of two tests tomorrow morning.

I am nervous, but feel moderately prepared.  I have heard from others that this test is the easier of the two, but that is from people who have been working in Networking for a while so I am not sure their opinions are relevant for me.

I promised myself a bit over a year ago now that I would dive in and try some new tech skills until something stuck that inspired and amazed me.  I have tried web development and security now and I love them both.  Cybersecurity is probably the best fit of all.  Some development with a bunch of security is exactly what I love.  Do hard things, make a change, believe in yourself. . and wish me luck tomorrow!

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A Crazy Security Kind of Day

Today I had a plan for learning.  I was going to spend a couple of hours this morning (in whatever chunks my regular work projects allowed) on learning Python and a couple this afternoon doing some Web Development learning and building since I am trying to cram both into my brain as quickly and solidly as possible.  HOWEVER, it did not turn out that way.  I had a much more interesting day, and in hopes that I not forget anything that happened, I decided to document it here.  I am afraid all this will prove is that i for sure have a healthy dose of Adult ADD.

I should have known it was going to be a super special interesting day by the wild tangent of a podcast I started with on my drive in.  I have been obsessing this week on the CodeNewbie podcast, listening to episodes in no kind of order other than what sparks my interest at the moment (dangerous, I know).  It was a good episode, but the best takeaway for me was Zen Pencils!  Have you seen this?  You MUST check out this amazing cartoon if you haven’t, for me, it was life changing.

After printing off a few inspiring cartoons to plaster the walls of my cube with, I was able to work through my second round on chapters 13-15 in Learn Python the Hard Way and the next section from my Automating OSINT Python course before I was off to a really interesting webinar on ransomware that was sponsored by a CISCO user group in my area.  I expected the content to be more, techy, I guess, but it was still really interesting.  I finished that and was off to work on some other work tasks.

I am now back at my desk with a break and find myself Googling the speaker from my webinar and find his super cool site The Dark Knight.  I read that and then remember that he talked about some resources that helped him break down what was happening with his clients who hired him to help with ransomware.  That took me over to the SUSE site to read a really cool breakdown of hexdump and how to see the insides of a document. . .see . . . isn’t it kinda cool!

hexdump

And suddenly I am in love with tech again and remember why I got into this “career” in the first place.  Now, if I could just find a tool to keep me focused on learning one thing at a time so I could actually feel like I am moving forward that would be great.

Firewall video and software – Systm and IPCop

I was surfing around looking for tools to help me learn more about networking and TCP/IP packets and I came across Systm.    It is a DIY show for geeks that has a bunch of shows on how to setup “geeky” stuff, like a home NAS and Media Center and yes, Firewall.  So after listening to the show on firewalls I decided that my very next project will be to setup an IPcop firewall system at home for testing and learning.  I understand from the show and by looking online that there are many people out there using it, so I should be able to setup it up and get help and learn a few things as well. 

Now if I can just dig out a complete system from my closet at home I will be all set. . .

Just Finished My First SANS Training Event

I just finished a week of SANS training in beautiful St Louis, MO and am still digesting all of the information.  I also want to hold off a full assessment until after I have actually taken the test for the GIAC certification in October, but I did want to share some general impressions.

I attended a SANS Community event, which is one of their smaller events that usually consist of just a couple of classes in a given city.  I attended the Security 401:  Security Essentials Bootcamp and got exactly what I expected from it.  I am fairly new to IT Management and even newer to IT Security and I found this class to be an excellent beginning source of information.  I have honestly found it hard to know where to start often in getting training and laying some network and security foundations, and this class did just that.  It was a very wide, or top-level view of IT Security.  I found that I learned a great deal, and came away with some tools that I am learning and will eventually use in my environment.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the knowledge level of our instructor.  I have been to many IT training classes where I have felt that the instructor did a quick reading of the material and knew only a bit more than I did on the given topic.  That was not the case with the SANS Instructor we had.  He definitely knew his material backward and forward, and had used it in the field at a consulting level and on the job.

I will know for sure how well the information was presented when I sit for the GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) test in a couple of months, so I will post again at that time.  I will be studying for this for the next couple of months by going over the printed material that was handed out at the bootcamp in addition to going over the on-demand class material and taking the practice tests.

I’m Going to Community SANS!

I am going for training finally.  I have only been in my current position for a year and a half now slugging my way through, figuring everything out on my own for the most part before finally getting approved for training.  To say that I am excited really is an understatement.

I did think that my first training would be Microsoft Certification training of some sort, but it turns out it will be SANS Institute training, and I am sooooo jazzed about it.

I will be attending the SEC401: SANS Security Essentials Bootcamp Style, which looks pretty intense, but does cover a bunch of topics that I have been trying to study and work on for the past year and a half.  I am going to be a facilitator at this event, which is really exciting and is honestly the only way my small company can afford to send me.  I will help the instructor and the people at SANS for a reduced tuition price.