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Recent Posts

  • Secure Staging Deployment Concepts

    Secure Staging Deployment Concepts

    Another concept within secure systems design is secure staging and deployment concepts. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should be able to explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts. These include sandboxing, controlling the …
  • DER and CER Certificates

    DER and CER Certificates

    What is the difference between DER and CER encoded certificates?  CompTIA added these into the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, so if you plan to take it, you should have a good understanding of these encoding types. The primary differences are: Canonical …
  • Advanced Attacks and Countermeasures

    Advanced Attacks and Countermeasures

    Attackers lurk almost everywhere. If you have computer systems, you can’t escape them. However, you can be proactive in identifying the different types of attacks and take steps to prevent them, or at least prevent their effectiveness. If you’re planning …
  • 7 Steps to Security+ (SY0-501) Certification

    7 Steps to Security+ (SY0-501) Certification

    The CompTIA Security+ certification is a popular certification within the IT field. One IT hiring manager told me that if a résumé doesn’t include the Security+ certification, or a higher-level security certification, he simply sets it aside. He won’t even talk to …
  • Security+ and Subtle Phrases

    Security+ and Subtle Phrases

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you may run across questions with subtle word choices. For example, a question could have one answer correct. However, a subtle change in a phrase in a question would make …
  • Firmware/Hardware Security

    Firmware/Hardware Security

    If you’re planning to take the Security+SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of implementing secure systems design. This includes firmware/hardware security,  operating systems, and peripherals. For example, can you answer this question? Q. What functions does an HSM include? A. Reduces …
  • Using Command-Line Tools

    Using Command-Line Tools

    Command-line tools can be invaluable when troubleshooting or analyzing systems. If you know how to use them, they can make many tasks easier.  More, if you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding …
  • Memory Management Techniques

    Memory Management Techniques

    Many application attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities in a system’s memory. Because of this, it’s important for developers to use secure memory management techniques within their code.  If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a …
  • Free Cyber Security Tips

    Free Cyber Security Tips

    Did you know that you can get free cyber security tips and alerts from US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team)? These pop into my inbox regularly, and many are very informative. Here are a few, copied and pasted from …
  • Symmetric Encryption Concepts

    Symmetric Encryption Concepts

    Symmetric encryption is a type of encryption that uses a single key to encrypt and decrypt data. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of cryptography concepts such as cipher types and cipher modes. …
  • Understanding Secure Coding Concepts

    Understanding Secure Coding Concepts

    Secure coding concepts are important for application developers to understand. Additionally, IT security managers who manage development projects should understand these concepts, even if they aren’t writing the code. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have …
  • A Tale of Two Test Takers

    A Tale of Two Test Takers

    It was the best of test taking days. It was the worst of test taking days. It was the age of critical thinking. It was the age of memorization. It was a time of celebration and elation. It was a …
  • Managing Accounts Principles

    Managing Accounts Principles

    When an account is active, access control methods are used to control what the user can do. Additionally, administrators use access controls to control when and where users can log on.  If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ …
  • Russian Hacking Exposed

    Russian Hacking Exposed

    Russian hacking was exposed in a detailed indictment of 12 Russians by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). While reading through it I was intrigued at how the indictment laid out methods that the Russians used in clear and simple …
  • Using Defense-In-Depth Strategy

    Using Defense-In-Depth Strategy

    It’s common to implement several controls using a defense-in-depth strategy. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of frameworks, best practices, and secure configuration guides. This includes implementing defense-in-depth/layered security to protect …

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Secure Staging Deployment Concepts

Posted by on October 16 in Security+ | 0 comments

Another concept within secure systems design is secure staging and deployment concepts. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should be able to explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts. These include sandboxing, controlling the environment, using secure baselines, and performing integrity measurements.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. A software vendor recently developed a patch for one of its applications. Before releasing the patch to customers, the vendor needs to test it in different environments. Which of the following solutions provides the BEST method to test the patch in different environments?

A. Baseline image

B. BYOD

C. Sandbox

D. Change management

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

Sandboxing with VMs

Sandboxing is the use of an isolated area on a system and it is often used for testing.

Administrators and security professionals also use sandboxing to test various security controls before deploying them to a live production network. Virtualization provides a high level of flexibility when testing security controls because the environments are easy to re-create. For example, they can test the effectiveness of antivirus software to detect malware released within a sandbox. If the antivirus software doesn’t detect the malware and the malware causes problems, it is easy to revert the system to a previous state. Also, the isolation within the sandbox prevents the malware from spreading.

Similarly, virtualized sandboxes are useful for testing patches. For example, software vendors typically develop software updates and patches, but they need to test them in various environments before releasing them. They could create VMs for multiple operating systems. When they’re ready to test, they turn on one of the VMs, take a snapshot, and then apply and test the patch. If the patch causes a problem, they can easily revert the VM.

Secure Staging Deployment Concepts

Sandboxing with Chroot

Another method of sandboxing is with the Linux-based chroot command. It is used to change the root directory for an application, effectively isolating it. Normally, the root of Linux  is designated as / and all other directories can be accessed from here. Users often have their own home directories within the /home directory. For example, Lisa’s root directory on a Linux system might be /home/lisa. Regular users won’t have access to the root directory, but only to files within their directory. In contrast, a root user (or administrator) has root access and can access all files and folders on the drive.

Imagine Lisa is a root user and wants to test an application within an isolated area. She could create a directory named testing in her environment. It would be /home/lisa/testing. She would copy her application files and copy any other required directories such as the /bin and /lib directories into the sandbox directory. She would then use chroot to create the isolated sandbox in the testing directory. This sandbox is often referred to as a chroot jail.

At this point, any commands she enters can only access files within the /home/lisa/testing directory. Additionally, her application can only access files with the same path. If the application is malicious or buggy, it cannot access any system files.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

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Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

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  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

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Secure Staging Environment

A secure staging environment includes multiple environments, and typically includes different systems used for each stage. As an example, imagine a software development team  is creating an application that will be used to sell products via the Internet. The different environments are:

  • Development. Software developers use a development environment to create the application. This typically includes version control and change management controls to track the application development.
  • Test. Testers put the application through its paces and attempt to discover any bugs or errors. The testing environment typically doesn’t simulate a full production environment, but instead includes enough hardware and software to test software modules.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

  • Staging. The staging environment simulates the production environment and is used for late stage testing. It provides a complete but independent copy of the production environment.
  • Production. The production environment is the final product. It includes everything needed to support the application and allow customers and others to use it. In this example, it would include the live web server, possibly a back-end database server, and Internet access.

Remember this

Sandboxing is the use of an isolated area and it is often used for testing. You can create a sandbox with a virtual machine (VM) and on Linux systems with the chroot command. A secure deployment environment includes development, testing, staging, and production elements.

Secure systems design includes secure staging and deployment.


Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 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.
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  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 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.

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 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


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Q. A software vendor recently developed a patch for one of its applications. Before releasing the patch to customers, the vendor needs to test it in different environments. Which of the following solutions provides the BEST method to test the patch in different environments?

A. Baseline image

B. BYOD

C. Sandbox

D. Change management

Answer is C. A sandbox provides a simple method of testing patches and would be used with snapshots so that the virtual machine (VM) can easily be reverted to the original state.

A baseline image is a starting point of a single environment.

Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to allowing employee-owned mobile devices in a network, and is not related to this question.

Change management practices ensure changes are not applied until they are approved and documented.

See Chapter 5 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on implementing secure systems.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

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