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A listing of over 100 blog posts on the Security+exam. Posts are organized into categories such as:

 




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  • Over 40 new multiple-choice questions we've added after publishing the study guide.
  • Over 30 performance-based questions. See a demo here.
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Recent Posts

  • Implementing Spam Security Controls

    Implementing Spam Security Controls

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of some common security controls used to protect against malware.  This includes spam filters on mail gateways. For example, can you answer this question? Q. …
  • Identifying Critical Systems

    Identifying Critical Systems

    Business continuity planning helps an organization predict and plan for potential outages of critical services or functions. The goal is to ensure that critical business operations continue and the organization can survive the outage.  If you’re planning to take the …
  • Basic Forensics Concepts

    Basic Forensics Concepts

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of basic forensics concepts. A forensic evaluation helps the organization collect and analyze data as evidence it can use in the prosecution of a …
  • Identifying Physical Security Access Controls

    Identifying Physical Security Access Controls

    Physical security access controls attempt to control entry and exits, and organizations commonly implement different controls at different boundaries. If you’re planning to take the Security+ SY0-501 exam, you should have a good understanding of the importance of physical security controls. For example, can you …
  • Schmucks Still Scamming and Stealing

    Schmucks Still Scamming and Stealing

    The IRS* called me recently and left a message on my phone. Apparently, they issued a warrant for my arrest and plan to notify the local police to find and arrest me if I don’t pay them an unspecified sum. …
  • Organizational Security Policies

    Organizational Security Policies

    Written security policies are administrative controls that identify a security plan. If you’re planning to take the Security+ SY0-501 exam, you should have good understanding of the importance of policies, plans and procedures related to organizational security. Personnel create plans and procedures to implement security …
  • Understanding Advanced Security Devices

    Understanding Advanced Security Devices

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of advanced security devices used to secure networks. For example, can you answer this practice test question? Q. Of the following choices, what can …
  • Using Security Tools

    Using Security Tools

    Several security tools are available for use by security professionals and attackers alike. If you’re planning to take the Security+ SY0-501 exam, you should have basic understanding of using appropriate software tools to assess the security posture of an organization such as using command …
  • Early Detection Saves Lives

    Early Detection Saves Lives

    Chances are that you know someone that has breast cancer. Even if you and the other person don’t know it. However, in this case ignorance is not bliss. What you and others don’t know can kill. About six months ago, I …
  • 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 …

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

 

Implementing Spam Security Controls

Posted by on January 21 in Security+ | 0 comments

If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of some common security controls used to protect against malware.  This includes spam filters on mail gateways.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. Your organization has been receiving a significant amount of spam with links to malicious web sites. You want to stop the spam. Of the following choices, which provides the BEST solution?

A. Add the domain to a block list.

B. Use a URL filter.

C. Use a MAC filter.

D. Add antivirus software.

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.

Protecting Systems from Malware

Malware is a significant threat for any organization. Administrators commonly implement layered security, or a defense-in-depth plan, to protect against malware.

Here is a list of some common security controls used to protect against malware:

  • Spam filter on mail gateways. Phishing attacks are delivered as malicious spam. Spam filters on mail gateways (email servers) detect and filter spam before it ever gets to users. Some networks route email through another device first to filter out spam. If users never receive a malicious email, there isn’t any chance of them clicking on a malicious link in that email.
  • Anti-malware software on mail gateways. Malicious email often includes malware as attachments. Anti-malware software on the mail server can detect and block it. The software strips potentially malicious attachments off the email, and typically sends a notification to the user explaining what was removed and why.
  • All systems. All workstations and servers have anti-malware software installed. Servers may have additional, specialized anti-malware software installed depending on the applications running on the servers.
  • Boundaries or firewalls. Many networks include detection tools that monitor network traffic through the firewall. For example, unified threat management (UTM) inspects network traffic to reduce the risk of malware entering the network.

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.

Data Execution Prevention

Data execution prevention (DEP) is a security feature that prevents code from executing in memory regions marked as nonexecutable. It helps prevent an application or service from executing code from a nonexecutable memory region. The primary purpose of DEP is to protect a system from malware.

DEP is enforced by both hardware and software. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) implement DEP using the no-execute page-protection (NX) feature. Intel implements DEP using the Execute Disable Bit (XD) feature. Both are enabled in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Within Windows, DEP is enabled in the System Properties – Performance Settings.

If DEP is not enabled in the BIOS or UEFI, but you try to install Windows, you will typically see an error message such as “Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows.” The solution is to enable DEP in BIOS or the UEFI.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

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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Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 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

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

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 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: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

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

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Advanced Malware Tools

Many vendors have begun developing advanced malware tools. These go beyond just examining files to determine if they are malware. As an example, Cisco’s Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) combines multiple technologies to protect a network before an attack, during an attack, and after an attack.

AMP analyzes a network to prevent attacks using threat intelligence and analytics. It collects worldwide threat intelligence from Cisco’s Security Intelligence organization, Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, and Threat Grid intelligence feeds. This information helps it detect and alert on malware similar to any antivirus software.

Implementing Spam Security Controls

During an attack, AMP uses a variety of techniques to detect and block emerging threats before they infiltrate a network, or contain and remediate malware that gets into a network. AMP uses continuous analysis to detect suspicious file and network activity within a network, which helps it detect malware operating within the network.

Security administrators view logs and alerts to analyze and interpret the output from advanced malware tools such as AMP. For example, administrators might see an alert indicating that encrypted data is being sent out of the network. This is a serious red flag and indicates malware is collecting data and sending it to an attacker.

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.

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 - 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.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

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Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Spam Filters

Organizations often implement a multipronged approach to block spam. For example, many UTM systems include spam filters to detect and block spam. The output of the UTM goes to an email server. Email servers also have methods of detecting and blocking spam. The email server sends all email to the users, except for what it detects as spam. User systems also have anti-spam filters, or junk mail options, as a final check.

The challenge with any spam filter is to only filter out spam, and never filter out actual email. For example, a company wouldn’t want a spam filter to filter out an email from a customer trying to buy something. Because of this, most spam filters err on the side of caution, allowing spam through rather than potentially marking valid email as spam. Although the science behind spam filtering continues to improve, criminals have also continued to adapt.

Spam filters typically allow you to identify email addresses as safe, or to be blocked. You can add these as individual addresses or entire domains. For example, if you want to ensure you get email from Homer when he sends email from springfield.com, you can identify homer@ springfield.com as a safe email address. If you want to ensure you get all email from springfield.com, you can designate springfield.com as a safe domain. Similarly, you can block either the single email address homer@springfield.com or the entire domain springfield.com.


 

Q. Your organization has been receiving a significant amount of spam with links to malicious web sites. You want to stop the spam. Of the following choices, which provides the BEST solution?

A. Add the domain to a block list.

B. Use a URL filter.

C. Use a MAC filter.

D. Add antivirus software.

Answer is A. You can block emails from a specific domain sending spam by adding the domain to a block list. While the question doesn’t indicate that the spam is coming from a single domain, this is still the best answer of the given choices.

A URL filter blocks outgoing traffic and can be used to block the links to the malicious web sites in this scenario, but   it doesn’t stop the email.

Routers and switches use MAC filters to restrict access within a network.

Antivirus software does not block spam.

See Chapter 6 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on malware.

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

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