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Showing posts from 2019

Practice Exams Now Available on Simpliv

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Dear Readers,

Your love and support are what drives me to move forward and find new ways to make this blog more engaging for you. As a constant endeavor to help you with the preparation of the certifications such as SSCP, CISSP, CompTIA Security +, CCSP, etc. I have now collaborated with Simpliv. 
For those who are unaware, Simpliv is a global online learning marketplace similar to  Udemy. Simpliv believes that learning has no boundaries. It brings learning to any person who wants to learn, whether it is management, technology, life sciences or any other subject of interest. A belief which I share with Simpliv that lead me to choose them for launching my courses on this platform too.
Currently, only 1 course on SSCP is live now on the platform. However, around 7-8 courses will be launching in a few weeks time. [ This post will be updated with links of new courses].
Sharing the link for the course.
https://www.simpliv.com/itcertification/systems-security-certified-practitioner-practice-…

Network Segmentation and Segregation

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The Recipe is simple. Setup a network. Add a bit of internet to the mix. To improve the taste, add firewalls, IDS, IPS, and some monitoring programs. It's time to divide the network so that it can be served as per the requirements of the guests. Segment one part while segregating the other. Viola… The dish is ready to be served.

Well, the dish cannot be served unless and until we learn the differences between network segmentation and segregation. I find them confusing and maybe you would do it. If you do, let’s finish this confusion once and for all through this blog post.

I would like to approach this through layman terms rather than confusing myself with all sorts of fancy terms and technologies. If you look at a hotel on a whole, it’s a big building. Now no one person would like to book the entire building completely. So in order to maximize the revenue, the hotel person segments or in a way divides this complete hotel into various smaller portions called rooms. These rooms ar…

CyberSecurity @ Airports

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Paul is flying on an airplane from Bangkok to Hawaii. While the air hostess serves him a glass of champagne, Paul enjoys the calmness of the clouds around him. His flight is about to land in another 20 minutes. The pilot is communicating with the air traffic controller at the Hawaii airport. However, he is not able to connect to him. The traffic controllers are not responding back to him. Meanwhile, frantic calls are underway with the President and other top ministers. The decision is YES. Yes to pay to the hacker whose ransomware has crippled the entire system and thousands of lives are at stake.

If you feel that is fiction, it can be, but what is the guarantee that this cannot be a real scenario. In today’s age, everything is possible. We saw hospitals hacked in the UK through ransomware, metro rails displaying ransomware riddled messages, what’s stopping the airports or other critical infrastructure being hacked?
The Threat Quantum Airports have always been highly targeted by mali…

These Three Technologies hold the Power to Transform Cyber Security

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A credit card sized computer remains hidden in a laboratory connected to its network for a period of 10 months. During these 10 months, the attacker was able to enter into the systems and applications that were not approved for access. The system administrators did not check as to what devices were connected on the network. The attacker then took advantage of the weaknesses in the laboratory’s network to remain undetected for 10 months, stealing 23 files in the process. Two of these files contained information on International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which controls the transfer of military and space-related technology, related to the Mars Science Laboratory Mission.

If you are wondering if this is from a fiction novel or a TV series, you are wrong. This is the attack which has happened at NASA. Yes, you read it right. The world’s most advanced space lab was hacked due to an unauthorized Raspberry Pi computer connected to the JPL servers.

Welcome to the brave new world where hack…

Happy 2nd Birthday , It's time to Celebrate!!

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Time passes so quickly that it's hard to believe for me that another year has gone by and this blog is now celebrating its 2nd birthday. This journey started two years ago after the completion of my CISSP certification.

The year has been full of love and support from all the readers across the globe. This year saw around 90+ posts written on various topics involving security. The focus was however in explaining various topics of CISSP and SSCP in the simplest manner possible. Cybersecurity awareness series, blockchain, DevSecOps, etc. were also focussed upon.

There were some months where I slowed down, but what pushed me forward was the love and support from multiple readers across the world. The best thing for a blogger is when he receives a mail from one of the readers who says "Thank you for writing. Your blog has helped me a lot". There are many readers who helped me correct some of the anomalies in the free practice question section while some gave their valuable f…

The Endorsement Process - CISSP, SSCP & other (ISC)2 certifications

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Heartiest congratulations to you, if you have provisionally passed the CISSP, SSCP or any other (ISC)2 certification. After spending weeks or even months preparing for one of the most difficult exams, you have that very sheet of paper in your hand which says:
Dear XXX, 
Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have provisionally passed the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) examination. By passing this examination, you have completed the first of two steps toward earning your CISSP credential!
Notice that it is mentioned that you have provisionally passed the exam. Although the most challenging task is over, there is one more hurdle before you get the CISSP certificate in your hand. What is it? Well, this post is all about that.
The next step as is mentioned in the emailer/letter is that you need to get yourself endorsed and submit the requisite details. I have tried to create a step by step guide here to help you out. If you have recently gone t…

What is DevSecOps? Defined , Explained & Explored

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If you are even remotely associated with the security or the software development world, you would have heard the term - DevSecOps or just DevOps. If not, you are surely living under a rock!! DevOps is one of the hottest trends in the software development world now. In this article, we will, however, focus on DevSecOps. Is it an extension of DevOps? We will learn and explore the details in this blog post. Grab yourself some popcorn and get ready to understand what DevSecOps is all about.

Understanding and appreciating DevSecOps is like reaching a summit. You cannot reach the top until you start from the bottom and learn all about slowly and steadily. This post involves certain terms which are commonly used in software development. In case you feel unsure about the meaning of a particular term, just Google it.

The software has become an integral part of our lives. From power grids to smartphones, all aspects of our lives revolve around software. But how do you develop software? Well, …

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Firewall

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Having learned about the various kinds of the firewall, we must understand the various do's and don’ts of a firewall. This is not an exhaustive checklist. However, this is more from a guideline perspective as different environments demand a different set of strategies.
The default action of any firewall should be to implicitly deny any packets not explicitly allowed. This means that if no rule states that the packet can be accepted, that packet should be denied, no questions asked - Default DENY. If you are not on the guest list, you can’t meet the president.Any packet entering the network that has a source address of an internal host should be denied. If you receive a letter from an outsider, how can the FROM address be your own address? There is no reason a packet coming from the Internet should have an internal source network address, so the firewall should deny it.No traffic should be allowed to leave a network that does not have an internal source address. If there is no inter…

It’s the Middleman – Proxy Firewall

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How many of you have applied proxy for one of your friends during the attendance call in the class? If I assume, it’s a yes from everyone, you will have no difficulty in understanding this one. Proxy is someone who is acting on your behalf and acting as the middleman. We take a more detailed example in some time to clearly understand this.

A proxy firewall stands between a trusted and untrusted network and makes the connection, each way, on behalf of the source. When you as a user, will send a request to, say connect, www.facebook.com, the request will go through the proxy firewall to check what request has been made. The proxy firewall will stop your connection, initiate a new connection on your behalf and wait for the incoming traffic. Surely, it finds that you have requested for a website which is quite known for leaking personal data, it stops the traffic and sends you a message that this website cannot be connected to. This is unlike the packet filtering firewall. Where a packet…

Which State are you in? I’m Stateful.

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In continuation with our series on understanding the firewalls, the next type is the stateful firewall. This one remembers and keeps track of what packets went where until each particular connection is closed.

To understand this one, we need to take an example. If you watch a little bit of crime drama, you will find that in most cases the neighbor knows everything. He is spying day and night on you and others in the neighborhood. He knows that the man on the left side of the road deals in weed and goes out of the house in the night, the construction guy who takes long breaks inside the garage, the milkman who smiles and pours extra milk looking at the handsome guy that lives next door and so on.
Most of the well-known protocols have a sequence of connecting. For eg – If you consider the TCP protocol which is a connection-oriented protocol, it goes through three steps before a connection is established. This is commonly known as the 3-way handshake. If my system wants to communicate wi…

This One is all about Packets

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In the earlier blog post on the basics of the firewall, we learned what exactly is a firewall and what does it do? It’s time to learn about the various types of firewalls and how do they function. I will dedicate one post each to the types of the firewall, thereafter jumping to the various kinds of firewall architecture.
Packet Filtering Firewall
The packet filtering firewall is the most basic of all the firewall types. Taking a cue from the earlier discussed analogy of postman, this type filters the information packets based on rudimentary parameters such as source and destination address, port numbers, traffic direction. A postman also looks at your letter and filters or segregates them on the basis of pin codes, destination address, etc.
Packet filtering is a firewall technology that makes access decisions based upon network-level protocol header values. The device that is carrying out packet filtering processes is configured with ACLs, which dictate the type of traffic that is al…

The Curious Case of Firewalls

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If you are hearing about the term firewall for the first time, and consider it as a wall on fire, you are at the right place. Because that is the overall idea behind this!!!
Firewall is one of the most used terms in the field of information security. A lot of people think that deploying this wall of fire will solve all of their problems. Is that so? What is it that a firewall does? Does it come in all shapes and forms? What is actually a firewall? Can I use a virtual firewall?  And many more… All your queries will be solved in this multi-part series on the firewalls.
A firewall is used to restrict access to one network from another network. You can think of it as a fence which you implement to keep those pestering pedestrians at bay. The firewall can also help you segregate one network within the overall network from another network. It’s like a door which helps to separate various rooms. For example, if the security administrator wants to make sure employees cannot access the HR net…