SEC511: Continuous Monitoring and Security Operations

A session at SANS Houston 2016

SEC511: Continuous Monitoring and Security Operations. We continue to underestimate the tenacity of our adversaries! Organizations are investing a significant amount of time and financial and human resources trying to combat cyber threats and prevent cyber attacks, but despite this tremendous effort organizations are still getting compromised. The traditional perimeter-focused, prevention-dominant approach to security architecture has failed to prevent intrusions. No network is impenetrable, a reality that business executives and security professionals alike have to accept. Prevention is crucial, and we can't lose sight of it as the primary goal. However, a new proactive approach to security is needed to enhance the capabilities of organizations to detect threats that will inevitably slip through their defenses. The underlying challenge for organizations victimized by an attack is timely incident detection. Industry data suggest that most security breaches typically go undiscovered for an average of seven months. Attackers simply have to find one way into most organizations, because they know that the lack of visibility and internal security controls will then allow them to methodically carry out their mission and achieve their goals. The Defensible Security Architecture, Network Security Monitoring (NSM)/Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM)/ Continuous Security Monitoring (CSM), taught in this course will best position your organization or Security Operations Center (SOC) to analyze threats and detect anomalies that could indicate cybercriminal behavior. The payoff for this new proactive approach would be early detection of an intrusion, or successfully thwarting the efforts of attackers altogether. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed guidelines described in NIST SP 800-137 for Continuous Monitoring (CM), and Day five (5) will greatly increase your understanding and enhance your skills in implementing Continuous Monitoring utilizing NIST framework. SANS is uniquely qualified to offer this course. Course authors Eric Conrad (GSE #13) and Seth Misenar (GSE #28) hold the distinguished GIAC Security Expert Certification (GSE). Both are experienced, real-world, practitioners who apply the concepts and techniques they teach in this course on a daily basis. SEC511 will take you on quite a journey. We start by exploring traditional security architecture to assess its current state and the attacks against it. Next, we discuss and discover modern security design that represents a new proactive approach to such architecture that can be easily understood and defended. We then transition to how to actually build the network and endpoint security, and then carefully navigate our way through automation, NSM/CDM/CSM. For timely detection of potential intrusions, the network and systems must be proactively and continuously monitored for any changes in the security posture that might increase the likelihood that attackers will succeed. Your SEC511 journey will conclude with one last hill to climb! The final day (Day 6) features a capture-the-flag competition that challenges you to apply the skills and techniques learned in the course to detect and defend the modern security architecture that has been designed. Course authors Eric Conrad and Seth Misenar have designed the capture-the-flag competition to be fun, engaging, comprehensive, and challenging. You will not be disappointed! With your training journey now complete and your skills enhanced and honed, it is time to go back to work and deliver on the SANS promise that you will be able to apply what you learn in this course the day you return to the office.

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Jonathan Ham

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Date Mon 9th May 2016

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