SSCP Advice

People regularly query me for SSCP advice, and advice on different technical topics and certifications. Here’s another query asking about what to take after the Security+ certification. It’s a common theme and this person is asking about the SSCP certification.

Get Certified Get Ahead

Darril, Just wanted to say thank you for your book and online resources with those I was able to earn a 869 on the exam today!Wanted to get your thoughts on the SSCP cert. Is that still a worthy certification to have these days or should go for something else? I do want to go for the CISSP down the road but also pick up CEH and a few others along the way.In addition to your book for the sscp do you recommend any other resources?

Congratulations xxx,

That’s great news and good to hear that the Security+ book and online resources helped you.

Yes, the SSCP is a good cert to pursue after Security+ especially if you plan on getting the CISSP . The CISSP is quite challenging and the SSCP will help you build knowledge that will help you with the CISSP .

I’d suggest you browse the posts on this forum:

If you take the time to draft a clear question and post it there, people typically give you great answers.

Good luck.

Darril

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CASP Now Approved for DoD 8570

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification is a newer certification from CompTIA that is starting to get more attention. It was recently approved as one of the certifications by Department of Defense (DoD) and is listed on the same level as the CISSP certification in some categories.

I have written about the (CASP) certification in the past in these blogs:

Where Does CASP Fit In?

A common question that many people ask is “Where does the CASP fit in when compared to other security certifications?” The following list includes some common security certifications from easiest to most difficult:

There are other certifications but these are some that are commonly pursued by many individuals.

It’s easier to understand how the CASP fits into the DoD certifications if you understand the basics of the certification levels. The following topics explain the DoD IT hierarchy, shows how different certifications fit into different levels.

DoD Approved 8570 Baseline Certifications

As an extension of Appendix 3 to the DoD 8570.01-Manual, several certifications have been approved as Information Assurance (IA) baseline certifications for the IA Workforce. Personnel performing IA functions must obtain one of the certifications required for their position category or specialty and level.

This page provides a listing of the specific certifications required at each level, but here’s a short summary.

DoD Information Technology Hierarchy

The DoD IT hierarchy is divided into three general levels (Level I, Level II, and Level III) and each of the IA levels are related to one of these levels.

Level I

Level I is the basic computing environment and often referred to as a local computing environment. In general, this refers to desktop and laptop computers and hand held computing devices. A computing environment may have one or more servers.

Level II

Level II is the networking environment. It can include an operations network, a logistics network, and a human resources network. Level II networks are connected to Level I computing environments.

Level III

Level III refers to an enclave environment. It consists of two or more networks controlled by enclave security policies and procedures. A Level III enclave environment is connected to one or more Level II network environments.

Information Assurance Technical (IAT)

In general, IAT positions include anyone that require privileged access to a DoD information system Computing, Network, or Enclave environment. For example, anyone requiring administrative access for a system fits into this category.

IAT Level I

IAT Level II
IAT Level III

Information Assurance Management (IAM)

In general, IAM positions include anyone that has responsibility for managing information system security for a DoD Information System Computing, Network, or Enclave environment.

IAM Level I
IAM Level II
IAM Level III

Information Assurance System Architect and Engineer (IASAE)

In general, IASAE positions include anyone that has responsibility for the design, development, implementation, and/or integration of a DoD IA architecture, system, or system component for a DoD Information System Computing, Network, or Enclave environment?

IASAE Level I
IASAE Level II
IASAE Level III
  • CISSP – ISSEP
  • CISSP – ISSAP

Summary

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification is now approved for certain DoD levels. Because of this, you can expect to see this certification to get more recognition and respect going forward. In some cases, this is on the same level as the CISSP certification.

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Risk Management

If you’re planning on taking the Security+SSCP, or CISSP exam you should understand the common risk management methods used by security professionals. As an example, Objective 2.1 “Explain risk related concepts” for the CompTIA Security+ exam lists risk-avoidance, transference, acceptance, mitigation, and deterrence. 

Risk management is the practice of identifying, monitoring, and limiting risks to a manageable level. It doesn’t eliminate risks, but instead identifies methods to limit or mitigate them. The amount of risk that remains after managing risk is residual risk.

The primary goal of risk management is to reduce risk to a level that the organization will accept. Senior management is ultimately responsible for residual risk – the amount of risk that remains after mitigating risk. Management must choose a level of acceptable risk based on their organizational goals. They decide what resources (such as money, hardware, and time) to dedicate to mitigate the risk.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

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Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

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Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

packages that include practice test questions.

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

Practice Question

Consider this question:

Q. Joe is evaluating security controls related to a known vulnerability. This vulnerability has resulted in two events in the past year resulting in losses of $3,000 each. A third-party company says they can eliminate the losses at a cost of $5,000. What should you do?

A. Do nothing and save $5,000

B. Mitigate the risk and save $2,000

C. Transfer the risk and save $1,000

D. Transfer the risk and save $2,000

The answer is below, but if you understand some common terms related to risk management, you can answer the question correctly.

Pass the Security+ exam the first time you take it:
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

Full Security+ Course

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Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Identifying Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Operational Security (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

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Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

Risk Avoidance

An organization can avoid a risk by not providing a service or not participating in a risky activity.

For example, an organization may evaluate an application that requires multiple open ports on the firewall that it considers too risky. It can avoid the risk by not using the application.

Risk Transference

An organization can transfer the risk to another entity. The most common method of risk transference is by purchasing insurance. Another method is by outsourcing the risk, or contracting a third party to manage the risk.

Risk Acceptance

When the cost of a control outweighs the potential losses of a risk, an organization will often accept the risk. For example, spending $100 in hardware locks to secure a $15 mouse doesn’t make sense. Instead, the organization accepts the risk of someone stealing the mouse.

Similarly, even after implementing controls, some risk remains and the organization accepts this residual risk.

Risk Mitigation

When an organization implements controls to reduce the risk, it is referred to as risk mitigation. These controls may reduce the vulnerabilities or weaknesses in a system, or they may reduce the impact of the threat. For example, up-to-date antivirus software mitigates the risks of malware by reducing a system’s vulnerability to malware.

Risk Deterrence

An organization can deter a risk by implementing some security controls. For example, security guards and monitoring cameras can deter losses from different types of risks. A security guard mitigates the risk of tailgating and cameras can mitigate risks associated with theft.

Some security professionals identify the first four methods of risk management but don’t include risk deterrence. Instead, they include deterrence methods within the risk mitigation category. However, the Security+ objectives list these five.

Master Security+ Performance Based Questions Video

Quantitative Risk Management

There are times when you need to calculate costs related to risks using a quantitative risk management method. When using a quantitative method you should understand the following terms:

  • Single loss expectancy (SLE). The SLE is the cost of any single loss.
  • Annualized rate of occurrence (ARO). The ARO indicates how many times the loss is expected to occur annually. 
  • Annualized loss expectancy (ALE). The ALE is the SLE x ARO.

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Need more time? You can easily renew for another 60 days at a significantly reduced price.

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

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Our online Security+ study materials are the perfect complement to the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. They can also be used to help ensure you're ready no matter what study guide you're using.

This exam is expensive.

Make sure you're ready before exam day. 

Here's what you'll get:
  • All of the multiple-choice questions from the best-selling CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. See a demo here. All questions have full explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
  • Over 35 new multiple-choice questions we've added after publishing the study guide.
  • Over 70 performance-based questions. See a demo here.
  • All of the flashcards from the study guide. View them in any Web browser.
  • All of the audio from the study guide. Listen to a sample here.
  • A subnetting mini-tutorial to help you answer key question types in the Security+ exam.
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Practice Question Answer

Q. Joe is evaluating security controls related to a known vulnerability. This vulnerability has resulted in two events in the past year resulting in losses of $3,000 each. A third-party company says they can eliminate the losses at a cost of $5,000. What should you do?

A. Accept the risk and save $1,000

B. Mitigate the risk and save $2,000

C. Transfer the risk and save $1,000

D. Transfer the risk and save $2,000

Answer

C is the correct answer. Outsourcing the risk by contracting a third party is risk transference and if you transfer the risk to a third-party, you can save $1,000.

The ARO is 2.

The SLE is $3,000.

The ALE is $6,000 ($3,000 X 2)

The cost of the control is $5,000.

In this case, you can spend $5,000 to prevent the losses of $6,000 effectively saving $1,000.

Because the cost of the control ($5,000) is less than the expected losses ($6,000), it makes fiscal sense to purchase the control. (An organization will likely evaluate other factors but in general when the cost of the control is less than the losses it’s expected to remove, the control is worth the cost. If the control costs more than the losses it can prevent, it is not worth the cost.)

A is not correct. If you accept the risk, you will still be losing $6,000 annually. Based on the scenario, accepting the risk cannot result in a savings of $1,000. However, if the cost of the control was $7,000 (instead of $5,000), accepting the risk could be interpreted as a savings of $1,000. You could spend $7,000 or do nothing and lose $6,000. Doing nothing (accepting the risk) is $1,000 cheaper.

B is not correct. Mitigating the risk means that you are doing something to reduce it. Outsourcing the risk to a third-party is rarely referred to as mitigating the risk. Also there isn’t any math that results in a savings of $2,000 within this scenario.

D is not correct. Outsourcing to a third-party is risk transference. However, this results in a savings of $1,000 rather than $2,000.

Summary

Ensure you understand the basics of a risk management methods when taking any security-based exam such as the Security+SSCP, or CISSP exams. The primary methods are known as risk avoidance, risk transference, risk acceptance, risk mitigation, and risk deterrence.

 

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Smurf Attacks

If you’re plan to take the Security+, SSCP, or CISSP exam, you should know about many of the attack types such as the smurf attack. As an example, Objective “3.2 Analyze and differentiate among types of attacks” for the CompTIA Security+ exam lists several common types of attacks including the smurf attack.

A smurf attack spoofs the source address of a broadcast ping packet to flood a victim with ping replies. That’s a complex sentence, so it’s worthwhile breaking this down.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

A Ping is Normally Unicast

A ping is normally a unicast message sent from one computer to one computer. It sends ICMP echo requests to one computer, and the receiving computer responds with ICMP echo responses. Figure 1 shows how this works. Computer 1 is sending out a unicast ping to computer 3 and computer 3 responds with ICMP replies.

Ping uses unicast

Figure 1

If you receive the responses you know that the other computer is operational.

Note: Because ICMP is used in many types of attacks, many firewalls block ICMP echo requests. If you don’t receive ping responses back it doesn’t necessarily mean the other computer is not operational. It could be because the ping is being blocked by a firewall.

On Windows systems, ping sends out four ICMP requests and gets back four replies. On some other operating systems, ping continues until stopped. You can add the -t switch to ping on Windows systems causing ping requests to continue until stopped.

Pass the Security+ exam the first time you take it:
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

A Smurf Attack Sends the Ping Out as a Broadcast

Instead of using a unicast message, a smurf attack sends out the ping request as a broadcast. In a broadcast, one computer sends the packet to all other computers in the subnet. These computers then reply to the single computer that sent the broadcast ping as shown in Figure 2. Computer 1 is sending out a broadcast ping to all the computers on the subnet and each one of them are now responding, flooding the computer with ping replies.

Ping using broadcast instead of unicast

Figure 2

If computer 1 is the attacker, the results of Figure 2 aren’t very beneficial. If something isn’t changed, the attacker gets attacked.

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Up-to-date Content

New multiple-choice and performance-based questions added regularly

Pass the first time with quality practice test questions, performance-based questions, flashcards, and audio.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $55.98

Need more time? You can easily renew for another 60 days at a significantly reduced price.

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here

Our online Security+ study materials are the perfect complement to the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. They can also be used to help ensure you're ready no matter what study guide you're using.

This exam is expensive.

Make sure you're ready before exam day. 

Here's what you'll get:
  • All of the multiple-choice questions from the best-selling CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. See a demo here. All questions have full explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
  • Over 35 new multiple-choice questions we've added after publishing the study guide.
  • Over 70 performance-based questions. See a demo here.
  • All of the flashcards from the study guide. View them in any Web browser.
  • All of the audio from the study guide. Listen to a sample here.
  • A subnetting mini-tutorial to help you answer key question types in the Security+ exam.
  • Access to a free discount code for 10% off your Security+ voucher. Save $31.10 off the US retail cost for this voucher.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $55.98

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here


The Smurf Attack Spoofs the Source IP

If the source IP address isn’t changed, the computer sending out the broadcast ping will get flooded with the ICMP replies. Instead, the smurf attack substitutes the source IP with the IP address of the victim, and the victim gets flooded with these ICMP replies. Figure 3 shows how computer 1 can send out the smurf attack using computer 2’s IP address as the source IP address. All the computers on the subnet then flood computer 2 with ICMP replies.

Broadcast ping spoofing the source IP address

Figure 3

Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

packages that include practice test questions.

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

Smurf Attacks Use Amplifying Networks

A smurf amplifier is a computer network used in a smurf attack. This is easily prevented by blocking IP directed broadcasts used by smurf attacks. However, if a router or a firewall isn’t configured to protect the network, it can become part of the attack.

Figure 4 shows how this works. The attacker (computer 1) sends a broadcast ping into the amplifying network with a spoofed source IP address of computer 6. Each computer in the amplifying network receives the broadcast and then responds by flooding the victim (computer 6) with ping replies.

Smurf attack using amplifying network

Figure 4

Not Blue Packets

The rumor that a smurf attack is one where attackers send out little blue packets that report back to Papa Smurf is simply not true.

Smurfs

Summary

Ensure you understand the basics of a smurf attack when taking any security-based exam such as the Security+SSCP, or CISSP exams. A smurf attack spoofs the source address of a broadcast ping packet to flood a victim with ping replies. Smurf attacks are known to use amplifying networks but administrators commonly block this rules on a router or firewall.

Master Security+ Performance Based Questions Video

Read More

Security Specialists (Security+, SSCP, CISSP) Needed

If you’re seeking a security certification such as the Security+, SSCP, CISSP, or even one of the Microsoft certifications, you’ll be glad to hear that your expertise is needed. If you’re seeking one of these certifications, check out this page for some study resources.

The GBS Group is Hiring

Brian Trees at The GBS Group reached out to me last week looking for someone to help him fill a full or part time position in Philadelphia.

The position requires someone with a Security+ certification, and also an MCITP: SA certification.

Here’s a great benefit. The job requires a security clearance and the company is willing to help the right person get it.

Even if I was looking for different work, the commute to Philadelphia from Virginia Beach is little too far. However, this might be a perfect opportunity for someone else.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ” – Seneca

Hakin9 Looking for an Author

The folks at Software Media LLC that publish Hakin9 are looking for someone to write an article on the CISSP certification for an upcoming magazine.

Przemyslaw Pretkiewicz (przemyslaw.pretkiewicz@_no_spam_software.com.pl) asked me if I could take it on but my schedule is too full right now. If you’re interested, you can contact him directly. Just remove _no_spam_ from the email address.

CISSP Rapid Review

I’m making steady progress on the CISSP Rapid Review book. This book provides you with late-stage checks and reviews to see if you’re ready for the exam. You can start with a full study guide like the CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional Study Guide to master the concepts and then when you’re close, use the CISSP Rapid Review book to review your readiness.

Security+ Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide continues to help people take and pass the Security+ certification the first time they take it. Jarrett Marquis wrote a review on Amazon (identified as useful by 35 Amazon readers) saying it is “All You Need to Pass”. He wrote “The plan is pretty simple, buy this book, read it, do the practice questions, pass the test.”

Summary

Even if you don’t see an immediate job opportunity related to the certifications you’re seeking, they often show up. Security certification like the Security+, SSCP, and CISSP, are in high demand and all indications are that the demand will continue to increase.

Read More

Certificate, Certificate Revocation List, and Certificate Authority

If you’re preparing for the Security+ SY0-401 exam, you should have a basic understanding of a certificate, a certificate revocation list (CRL) and a certificate authority (CA). A reader recently sent me a query on these. I answered him directly but expanded my answer here to provide a little more detail.

Certificate

A certificate is a digital document that includes a public key and information on the owner of the certificate. As an example, this is a certificate for a user named Darril Gibson at GetCertifiedGetAhead.

Darril Gibson certificate

In the figure, the public key is selected so you can see that the public key is embedded within the certificate. The public key is used with a matching private key for asymmetric encryption. Entities (such as users or servers) share their public key by giving out copies of their certificate. The serial number is also included and uniquely identifies the certificate.

If you want to read more about how asymmetric encryption works, check out this article. It shows how asymmetric encryption is used to privately share a symmetric key in HTTPS with SSL and TLS: Understanding the HTTPS Process for Security+. Another article that ties in multiple cryptography topics for the exam is Security+ Cryptography topics.

If you’re running Windows 7, you can use these steps to view a certificate:

  1. Click Start, and enter MMC in the Search Programs and Files text box.
  2. Press Enter to open a blank Microsoft Management Console (MMC). If you’re prompted by UAC, click Yes.
  3. Select File, Add/Remove Snap-in.
  4. Select Certificates and click Add.
  5. Ensure My User Account is selected and click Finish. Click OK.
  6. Expand Certificates – Current User. Expand Personal and click Certificates. If you have any certificates issued to you, you’ll see them here. If you don’t have any, you can encrypt a file using NTFSs Encrypting File System (EFS) and an EFS certificate will be created for you.
  7. Expand Trusted Root Certification Authorities and select Certificates.
  8. Double-click any certificate to open it. Click the Details tab and you’ll see something similar to the previous figure.

Learn by listening 
Key points from the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide
Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio from the “Remember This” blocks
Over three hours and 20 minutes of questions and answers on audio.


Certificate Purposes

Certificates have multiple purposes including encryption, authentication, digital signatures, email encryption, code signing, and more. The following figure shows the properties of certificate. This certificate is enabled for all purposes but many times, you’ll have a certificate for only specific purposes. If you followed the previous steps, you can click the Edit Properties button to view the properties of that certificate.

Certificate Properties


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Up-to-date Content

New multiple-choice and performance-based questions added regularly

Pass the first time with quality practice test questions, performance-based questions, flashcards, and audio.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $55.98

Need more time? You can easily renew for another 60 days at a significantly reduced price.

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here

Our online Security+ study materials are the perfect complement to the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. They can also be used to help ensure you're ready no matter what study guide you're using.

This exam is expensive.

Make sure you're ready before exam day. 

Here's what you'll get:
  • All of the multiple-choice questions from the best-selling CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. See a demo here. All questions have full explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
  • Over 35 new multiple-choice questions we've added after publishing the study guide.
  • Over 70 performance-based questions. See a demo here.
  • All of the flashcards from the study guide. View them in any Web browser.
  • All of the audio from the study guide. Listen to a sample here.
  • A subnetting mini-tutorial to help you answer key question types in the Security+ exam.
  • Access to a free discount code for 10% off your Security+ voucher. Save $31.10 off the US retail cost for this voucher.

Buy The Full Access Study Package Today

60 Days Access For Only $55.98

All materials are available online shortly after making your payment.

Get the Security+ Full Access Study Package Here


Certificate Authority

A certificate authority or certification authority (CA) issues, manages, validates, and revokes certificates. The process of issuing a certificate is very specific and requires authentication before the certificate is issued. CAs can be public or private (external to a company or only used internally). For example, Verisign is a large public CA. It issues certificates to entities for authentication and encryption on the Internet.

A Trusted Root Certification Authorities store includes the root certificates from many different public CAs. Any certificates issued by a CA with a certificate in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store are automatically trusted.

If you go to a web site that is using a certificate issued by a certification authority named Gibson’s Cheap Certificates (which doesn’t have a certificate in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store), the web browser will give a warning saying this certificate is not trusted.

Certification Revocation List

When an entity receives a certificate from somewhere else, it checks with the CA to verify the certificate is valid. For example, when your web browser receives a certificate from a web site, it checks with the CA to verify the certificate is valid. One way this is done is with a certificate revocation list (CRL).

A CRL is a certificate that includes a list of serial numbers of all the certificates that have been revoked. When an entity receives a copy of the CRL, it checks the serial number of its certificate against the CRL. If the serial number is on the CRL, it should not be used.

A Security+ Practice Test Question

This brings me to the query by the reader. He came across a practice test question similar to this:

An administrator has just been fired for making an unauthorized change to the network after being warned not to do so. Of the following choices, what would you update to block this administrator’s access?

A. TLS
B. CA
C. PKI
D. CRL

Do you know the answer? Ideally, you should be able to look at any question and know why the correct answer is correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. When studying for a certification exam, ensure that your source includes full explanations if you want to fully understand the concepts.

Answer below.


Pass the Security+ SY0-401 exam the first time you take it
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide


 

Answer

D is correct. It is the only one that can be updated. Employees can be issued certificates from a private certification authority for authentication (such as with a smart card) and when the employee leaves the smart card should not be used anymore. By revoking the certificate, it ensures the smart card cannot be used. In other words, the serial number of the employee’s certificate is added to the certification revocation list (CRL) and if anyone tries to use this certificate to authenticate, the CRL will verify the certificate has been revoked.

A is incorrect. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is an encryption protocol used to encrypt traffic such as HTTP. You cannot update TLS.

B is incorrect. The certificate authority (CA) is the entity that issues and manages certificates. In a sense you are updating the CA when you are updating the CRL but this is not the best answer.

C is incorrect. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) refers to all the technologies used to request, create, manage, store, distribute, and revoke digital certificates. The infrastructure is not updated.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

packages that include practice test questions.

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

Summary

A certificate is used for many purposes including authentication and encryption. A certificate authority manages certificates through their lifetime and when a certificate should no longer be used, it is revoked. CAs publish a certificate revocation list which lists the serial numbers of all revoked certificates.

 

Read More
CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

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