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 you use to divert malicious attacks on your network away from valuable data to worthless, fabricated data?

A. IPS

B. Proxy server

C. Web application firewall

D. Honeypot

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.

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.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

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

SSL/TLS Accelerators

SSL/TLS accelerators refer to hardware devices focused on handling Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic. TLS is the designated replacement for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), but many people are familiar with SSL terminology so you’ll continue to see it, even if the only protocol it’s using is TLS.

TLS provides encryption for many different protocols, including Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS uses a certificate and asymmetric encryption. The process of establishing the HTTPS session, negotiating the best security supported by both the client and the server, sharing encryption keys, and encrypting session data all take a lot of time and resources. By off-loading this to another hardware device, it frees up the primary computer’s resources, such as CPU power and RAM.

When using an SSL accelerator, it’s best to place it as close as possible to related devices. For example, if you’re using an SSL accelerator to off-load HTTPS sessions for a web server, place the SSL accelerator close to the web server.

Understanding Advanced Security Devices

SSL Decryptors

Some organizations use SSL decryptors to combat many threats. For example, attackers are often using encryption to prevent inspection methods from detecting malware coming into a network.

As an example, imagine Homer innocently goes to a malicious web site. The web site establishes a secure HTTPS connection, and then downloads malware to Homer’s computer. Because the site is using HTTPS, the malware is encrypted while in transit. Even if an organization had the best content inspection methods and malware detection software, it wouldn’t detect the malware while it’s encrypted.

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.

An SSL decryptor solves this problem. You would place it in the DMZ, and redirect all traffic to and from the Internet through it. Unencrypted data goes through the device without any modification. However, any attempts to establish an encrypted session prompt the SSL decryptor to create a separate SSL (or TLS) session.

When Homer innocently goes to a malicious web site, the traffic goes though the SSL decryptor. The SSL decryptor establishes an HTTPS session between it and Homer’s computer. It also establishes an HTTPS session between it and the web site. All data-in-transit is encrypted. However, the SSL decryptor can view the unencrypted data and inspect it.

SSL decryptors are often used with a NIPS. The NIPS is inline but malicious traffic can get through if it’s encrypted. The SSL decryptor allows the NIPS to inspect unencrypted traffic and prevent attacks.

Honeypots

A honeypot is a sweet-looking server—at least it’s intended to look sweet to the attacker, similar to how honey looks sweet to a bear. It’s a server that is left open or appears to have been sloppily locked down, allowing an attacker relatively easy access. The intent is for the server to look like an easy target so that the attacker spends his time in the honeypot instead of in a live network. In short, the honeypot diverts the attacker away from the live network.

As an example, a honeypot could be a web server designed to look like a live web server. It would have bogus data such as files and folders containing fabricated credit card transaction data. If an organization suspects it has a problem with a malicious insider, it can create an internal honeypot with bogus information on proprietary projects.

Honeypots typically have minimal protection that an attacker can easily bypass. If administrators don’t use any security, the honeypot might look suspicious to experienced attackers and they might simply avoid it.

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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


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.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Security personnel often use honeypots as a tool to gather intelligence on the attacker. Attackers are constantly modifying their methods to take advantage of different types of attacks. Some sophisticated attackers discover vulnerabilities before a patch is released (also known as a zero-day exploit, or zero-day vulnerability). In some cases, security professionals observe attackers launching zero-day vulnerability attacks against a honeypot.

Honeypots never hold any data that is valuable to the organization. The data may appear to be valuable to an attacker, but its disclosure is harmless. Honeypots have two primary goals:

  • Divert attackers from the live network. If an attacker is spending time in the honeypot, he is not attacking live resources.
  • Allow observation of an attacker. While an attacker is in the honeypot, security professionals can observe the attack and learn from the attacker’s methodologies. Honeypots can also help security professionals learn about zero-day exploits, or previously unknown attacks.

 

Q. Of the following choices, what can you use to divert malicious attacks on your network away from valuable data to worthless, fabricated data?

A. IPS

B. Proxy server

C. Web application firewall

D. Honeypot

Answer is D. A honeypot can divert malicious attacks to a harmless area of your network, such as away from production servers holding valid data.

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) can block attacks, but it doesn’t divert them.

A proxy server can filter and cache content from web pages, but it doesn’t divert attacks.

See Chapter 4 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on advanced security devices.

Read More

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 line tools.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. You suspect that an attacker has been sending specially crafted TCP packets to a server trying to exploit a vulnerability. You decide to capture TCP packets being sent to this server for later analysis and you want to use a command-line tool to do so. Which of the following tools will BEST meet your need?

A. Wiredump

B. Tcpdump

C. Netcat

D. Nmap

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.

Some tools are useful when performing vulnerability scans and penetration tests. Three tools discussed in this post are tcpdump, Nmap, and Netcat.

Using Security Tools

Tcpdump

Tcpdump is a command-line packet analyzer (or protocol analyzer). It allows you to capture packets like you can with Wireshark. The difference is that Wireshark is a Windows-based tool and tcpdump is executed from the command line. Many administrators use tcpdump to capture the packets and later use Wireshark to analyze the packet capture.

Kali Linux includes tcpdump, but you won’t find it on Windows systems. As with most Linux command-line tools, tcpdump is case sensitive. You need to enter tcpdump in all lowercase. Additionally, the switches must be entered with the proper case. For example, -c (lowercase c) represents count and indicates the capture should stop after receiving the specified number of packets. However, -C (uppercase C) represents file size and indicates the maximum size (in millions of bytes) of a packet capture. When the file reaches this size, tcpdump closes it and starts storing packets in a new file.

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.

Nmap

Nmap is a network scanner. The graphical side of Nmap is Zenmap.

It includes many capabilities, including identifying all the active hosts and their IP addresses in a network, the protocols and services running on each of these hosts, and the operating system of the host. When running the command, you include the scan type(s), optional options, and target specifications. As an example, consider the following command:

nmap -T4 -A -v 192.168.0.0/24

Notice that it has three switches, -T4, -A, and -v:

  • T4. T4 refers to the speed of the scan. Valid switches are T0 through T5 with T0 being the slowest and T5 being the fastest. Faster scans are likely to be detected, while slower scans may not be detected.
  • A. The -A switch indicates the scan should include OS detection, version detection, script scanning, and traceroute.
  • -v. The -v switch indicates the verbosity You can get more data output by using -vv or -vvv.

Netcat

Administrators often use Netcat for remotely accessing Linux systems. It doesn’t include native encryption so it’s common to use SSH to secure the session. Also, Netcat can easily be used for banner grabbing. The following is a sample command used for banner grabbing:

echo “” | nc -vv -n -w1 72.52.206.134 80

It uses the netcat command (nc) along with some switches: -vv for a verbose output, -n to not resolve host names, -w1 to wait no more than 1 second for a reply. The command connects to port 80 of the system with an IP address of 72.52.206.134. The echo “” sends a blank command to the server and the pipe symbol ( | ) tells Netcat to send the command after establishing the connection.

Some other uses of Netcat include:

  • Transferring files. One of the online labs for Chapter 3 shows how to create a chat session between two Once this session is open, you can use the connection to copy files between the systems.
  • Port scanner. You can use Netcat to run a port scan against a single IP address. It allows you to specify the range of ports, such as 10 through 1024 and randomize the ports scanned to evade detection. It also supports waiting longer periods of time between port checks, again, to evade detection.

Remember this

Tcpdump is a command-line protocol analyzer. It can create packet captures that can then be viewed in Wireshark. Nmap is a sophisticated network scanner that runs from the command line. Netcat can be used to remotely administer systems and also gather information on remote systems.


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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


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.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Q. You suspect that an attacker has been sending specially crafted TCP packets to a server trying to exploit a vulnerability. You decide to capture TCP packets being sent to this server for later analysis and you want to use a command-line tool to do so. Which of the following tools will BEST meet your need?

A. Wiredump

B. Tcpdump

C. Netcat

D. Nmap

Answer is B. The tcpdump command-line tool is the best choice of the given answers. It is a command- line packet analyzer (or protocol analyzer) and its primary purpose is to capture packets.

Wiredump isn’t a valid tool name. Wireshark (not included as an answer choice) is a graphic-based packet analyzer that can be started from the command line, but tcpdump includes more command-line options than Wireshark.

Netcat is useful for remotely accessing systems and can be used for banner grabbing, but it doesn’t capture packets.

Nmap analyzes packets during a scan. It can also use Npcap, the Nmap Project’s packet sniffing library, but Nmap isn’t the best choice to capture packets.

See Chapter 8 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on using security tools.

Read More

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 knew someone that had breast cancer – Nimfa, my wife of 26 years. However, neither she nor I knew she had it.

Some time later a “routine” mammogram discovered an abnormality and a doctor ordered a biopsy. The biopsy was negative indicating no problem, but the experienced breast cancer doctor refused to believe it. He ordered another one and this one came back positive. Nimfa was now diagnosed with breast cancer.

Gratefully, the lump wasn’t large, the cancer type isn’t overly aggressive, and we have overall great healthcare.

Here’s something that women typically know, but men rarely do. A “routine” mammogram isn’t always routine for the women experiencing it. My wife has told me about how some techs roughly pull, tug, press, and compress the breasts to get them into the right position. It’s as if the tech forgets that there is a person attached to the breasts.

Of course, all the techs weren’t so rough, but because of some bad experiences, Nimfa was less than enthusiastic about going through this annually. However her healthcare team gave her regular reminders and she followed their advice.

Some medical organizations such as the Mayo Clinic recommend annual mammograms for women over 40, but there are other recommendations.

Surgery and Sentinel Nodes

Nimfa chose a lumpectomy to remove the lump. Based on the severity and other factors, some women choose a mastectomy to remove their entire breast.

During the surgery, the doctor removed the lump and surrounding tissues. He also removed two sentinel lymph nodes for testing.

I think of the sentinel nodes as guards on the body’s primary highway leaving the breast and going to the rest of the body. If cancer spreads beyond the lump it must first pass through these guards and testing will show that these guards (the sentinel nodes) have been attacked. This helps doctors determine the best follow-on treatment.

Unfortunately, a technician in the lab destroyed these sentinel nodes instead of putting them through the testing process.

Oncotype DX Test

Medical technologies continue to advance by leaps and bounds. The Oncotype DX test can be done on the removed breast tissue and is appropriate in some situations. Nimfa’s surgeon ordered it for her.

It analyzes 21 genes and comes back with a score indicating the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence. This score helps doctors determine if chemotherapy would be beneficial, assuming that other standard therapies are followed.

Some scores make it easy to choose chemotherapy or skip it. For example, a score of 10 indicates the breast cancer is not likely to recur in the next 10 years (and chemotherapy isn’t necessarily warranted). In contrast, a score of 50 indicates a high risk of recurrence in the next 10 years if chemotherapy isn’t pursued. Scores between 18 and 31 indicate an intermediate risk and the choice isn’t so clear.

Nimfa’s score was 26.

Chemotherapy and Med Port

Her doctors quoted a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in July 2018 that provides a better guideline.  Specifically, it indicated that women with a score of 26 and above were more likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

After more tests and getting more information, Nimfa decided to pursue chemotherapy.

To prepare, she underwent surgery to install a Bard PowerPort device. This is a small device about the size of a thumb. It has an attached catheter that the surgeon threads though a blood vessel into a larger vein. This can be used for repeated injections, without repeated needle sticks into arm or leg veins.

The Road Ahead

Nimfa starts chemotherapy on October 31 and will be receiving periodic treatments followed by recovery periods up until about January 2. We’ve received a lot of information on what might occur, but it includes some unknowns. My intention is simply to be with her as much as she desires.

This will be followed by daily radiation therapy for several weeks and then a pill for hormone therapy for the next five years.

Quick Facts

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and here are some quick facts I saw on a poster at the hospital.

  • Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women.
  • Every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Every 13 minutes a woman will die from breast cancer.
  • 85% of breast cancer develop in women with no family history
  • Early detection can make the disease easier to treat.

Early Detection Saves Lives

The bottom line is that because this was detected in my wife early, her life is not in danger.

Admittedly, this has caused some stress for me (and her). However, I feel much better about it at this point and wanted to share a simple message with others.

Early detection saves lives.

Unfortunately, because mammograms aren’t always comfortable experiences, some women choose to avoid them. If you have loved ones in your life that are due to get this test, you might like to encourage them to get it.Early Detection Saves Lives

 

Read More

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 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

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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


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.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

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.

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.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

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

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.

Read More

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 Encoding Rules (CER) files are stored as ASCII files
  • Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) files are stored as binary files

However, it is important to understand that the extension doesn’t necessarily tell you what encoding rules were implemented to create the certificate file. In other words, an extension of .cer doesn’t necessarily indicate that the file is using Canonical Encoding Rules (CER).

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.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

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

What is Base-64 Encoding?

CER certificate files are stored using a base-64 encoded X.509 certificate format. However, instead of referring to them as CER files, they are often just referred to as a base-64 encoded X.509 files.

Base-64 encoding uses the base64 formatting rules to convert the binary data into readable ASCII characters.

DER and CER Certificate Labs

If you have a Windows system, try these labs.

Export a DER Certificate

1) Click the Windows Start button.

2) Type “certmgr” without the quotes.

3) Select Manage Computer Certificates.

4) Open Trusted Root Certification Authorities and select Certificates.

5) Right click over one of the certificates and select All Tasks -> Export as shown in the following graphic.

6) Click Next.

7) Select the option of creating a DER encoded binary X.509 (.CER) file and click Next.

8) Click Browse… and browse to a location where you can find the file later. Name the file something like SampleDER and click Save.
Note that Windows automatically saves this as a .cer file.

9) Click Next.

10) Click Finish to finish the export. Click OK.

11. Leave certmgr open.

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.

Export a CER Certificate

) Right click over the certificate you did in the “Export a DER Certificate lab and select All Tasks -> Export as shown in the following graphic.

6) Click Next.

7) Select the option of creating a Base-64 encoded binary X.509 (.CER) file and click Next.

8) Click Browse… and browse to the same location where you created the SampleDER file. Name the file something like SampleCER and click Save.

Note that Windows automatically saves this as a .cer file.

9) Click Next.

10) Click Finish to finish the export. Click OK.

Open the Files with Notepad

1) Browse to the location where you saved the files using File Explorer. Note that they look the same in File Explorer.

The following graphic shows them with File name extensions enabled. If your system doesn’t have this enabled, you won’t see the .cer extension.

If you open the files with Notepad, you can see that they have completely different formats.

2) Right-click over SampleCER.cer file and select Open With and select Notepad (if it is available). If Notepad is not available, select Choose another app, select More apps, and then scroll down to select Notepad. You’ll see something like the following graphic.

Note that CER files are ASCII files and have readable ASCII characters. They typically start with —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–, end with —–END CERTIFICATE—–, and have readable ASCII characters in the middle. Admittedly the ASCII characters aren’t readable words and paragraphs, but they are readable.

3) Right-click over SampleDER.cer file and select Open With and select Notepad. You’ll see something like the following graphic.

Note that DER files are binary files and have few (if any) ASCII characters.

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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


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.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Why Do We Have Both Formats?

In some scenarios, you’re unable to copy binary data and retain integrity of the data. However, you can reliably copy and paste ASCII data.

Additionally, utilities such as certutil allow you to convert a binary DER file to an ASCII CER file using the encode switch. Alternately, you can convert an ASCII CER file to a binary DER file using the decode switch.

Memory Trick

If you’re having trouble remembering which one is ASCII and which one is binary, you’re not alone. I ultimately came up with a simple memory trick to help me.

Each of these starts with the unique letters of A, B, C, and D. A is ASCII, B is binary, C is CER, and D is DER.

  • A matches with C. ASCII matches with CER.
  • B matches with D. Binary matches with DER.

Once I finally got these straight in my head, this memory trick helped me keep it straight.

Read More

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 to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of common and advanced types of attacks launched against systems and networks.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. An attacker recently attacked a web server hosted by your company. After investigation, security professionals determined that the attacker used a previously unknown application exploit. Which of the following BEST identifies this attack?

A. Buffer overflow

B. Zero-day attack

C. Man-in-the-browser

D. Session hijacking

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.

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.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

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

Domain Hijacking

In a domain hijacking attack, an attacker changes the registration of a domain name without permission from the owner. Attackers often do so with social engineering techniques to gain unauthorized access to the domain owner’s email account.

As an example, imagine that Homer sets up a domain named homersimpson.com. He uses his Gmail account as the email address when he registers it, though he rarely checks his Gmail account anymore.

Attackers watch his Facebook page and notice that he often adds simple comments like “Doh!” Later, they try to log on to his Gmail account with a brute force attempt. They try the password of Doh!Doh! and get in. They then go to the domain name registrar, and use the Forgot Password feature. It sends a link to Homer’s Gmail account to reset the password. After resetting the password at the domain name registrar site, the attackers change the domain ownership. They also delete all the emails tracking what they did. Later, Homer notices his web site is completely changed and he no longer has access to it.

Man-in-the-Browser

A man-in-the-browser is a type of proxy Trojan horse that infects vulnerable web browsers. Successful man-in-the-browser attacks can capture browser session data. This includes keyloggers to capture keystrokes, along with all data sent to and from the web browser.

As an example, Zeus is a Trojan horse that has used man-in-the-browser techniques after infecting systems. Zeus includes keystroke logging and form grabbing. Once the attackers collect logon information for a user’s bank, they use it to log on and transfer money to offshore accounts.

Advanced Attacks

Driver Manipulation

Operating systems use drivers to interact with hardware devices or software components. For example, when you print a page using Microsoft Word, Word accesses the appropriate print driver via the Windows operating system. Similarly, if you access encrypted data on your system, the operating system typically accesses a software driver to decrypt the data so that you can view it.

Occasionally, an application needs to support an older driver. For example, Windows 10 needed to be compatible with drivers used in Windows 8, but all the drivers weren’t compatible at first. Shimming provides the solution that makes it appear that the older drivers are compatible.

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.

A driver shim is additional code that can be run instead of the original driver. When an application attempts to call an older driver, the operating system intercepts the call and redirects it to run the shim code instead. Refactoring code is the process of rewriting the internal processing of the code, without changing its external behavior. It is usually done to correct problems related to software design.

Developers have a choice when a driver is no longer compatible. They can write a shim to provide compatibility or they can completely rewrite the driver to refactor the relevant code. If the code is clunky, it’s appropriate to rewrite the driver.

Attackers with strong programming skills can use their knowledge to manipulate drivers by either creating shims, or by rewriting the internal code. If the attackers can fool the operating system into using a manipulated driver, they can cause it to run malicious code contained within the manipulated driver.

Zero-Day Attacks

A zero-day vulnerability is a weakness or bug that is unknown to trusted sources, such as operating system and antivirus vendors. A zero-day attack exploits an undocumented vulnerability. Many times, the vendor isn’t aware of the issue. At some point, the vendor learns of the vulnerability and begins to write and test a patch to eliminate it. However, until the vendor releases the patch, the vulnerability is still a zero-day vulnerability.

In most cases, a zero-day vulnerability is a new threat. However, there have been zero-day vulnerabilities that have existed for years.

Both attackers and security experts are constantly looking for new threats, such as zero-day vulnerabilities. Attackers want to learn about them so that they can exploit them. Most security experts want to know about them so that they can help ensure that vendors patch them before causing damage to users.

Remember this

Zero-day exploits are undocumented and unknown to the public. The vendor might know about it, but has not yet released a patch to address it.


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

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


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.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Q. An attacker recently attacked a web server hosted by your company. After investigation, security professionals determined that the attacker used a previously unknown application exploit. Which of the following BEST identifies this attack?

A. Buffer overflow

B. Zero-day attack

C. Man-in-the-browser

D. Session hijacking

Answer is B. A zero-day attack takes advantage of an undocumented exploit or an exploit that is unknown to the public.

A buffer overflow attack sends unexpected data to a system to access system memory or cause it to crash. Although some buffer overflow attacks are unknown, others are known. If the server isn’t kept up to date with patches, it can be attacked with a known buffer overflow attack.

A man-in-the-browser attack is a type of proxy Trojan horse that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in web browsers, not web servers.

Session hijacking takes over a user’s session and isn’t related to an attack on a server.

See Chapter 7 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on advanced attacks.

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

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide.  This excerpt includes the introduction and Chapter 1. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Certified Get Ahead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Copyright © 2015 Get Certified Get Ahead. All Rights Reserved.