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Book details of 'Network Security Fundamentals (Cisco Press Fundamentals Series)'

Cover of Network Security Fundamentals (Cisco Press Fundamentals Series)
TitleNetwork Security Fundamentals (Cisco Press Fundamentals Series)
Author(s)Gert DeLaet
PublishedSeptember 2004
PublisherCisco Press
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Network Security Fundamentals (Cisco Press Fundamentals Series)':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The introduction states that the intended audience is comprised of two groups: system administrators who are new to network security concepts, and managers who need guidance for product purchase and strategy decisions. Part one is an introduction. Chapter one is supposed to be an overview of network security. It is a very short piece full of idiosyncratic definitions, isolated bits of security information, and with a set of extremely simplistic "reading check" type questions at the end. A few network security vulnerabilities (and, oddly, a discussion of buffer overflows) make up chapter two. Various security tools are listed in chapter three. Part two should be about the diverse building blocks that go into making up a protective system or architecture, but it really isn't. Chapter four is a very spotty overview of cryptography, failing to address some significant concepts. A very limited explanation of security policy and its creation is in chapter five. (The sample policy provided, even within its limited scope, is rather thin.) Secure design, in chapter six, is possibly even worse: vague opinings and a sales pitch for the Cisco SAFE blueprint document. Part five addresses specific security tools. Chapter seven looks at Web security by presenting certain security related settings for Windows systems and browsers. Router access configurations and the Cisco CBAC (Content-Based Access Control) content inspection and intrusion detection system (IDS) is outlined in chapter eight. Apparently more intent on selling Cisco products than educating readers, chapter nine does provide the basic information about different types of firewalls, but in a disorganized and confusing manner. Much the same approach is taken with IDSs in chapter ten. Chapter eleven describes two centralized remote authentication systems (RADIUS, Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service; and TACACS+, Terminal Access Controller Access Control System plus), but mostly in terms of packet types rather than functions. Virtual Private Network technologies are described in a disjointed manner in chapter twelve. A few aspects of public key infrastructure are presented in chapter thirteen, along with a great many screen shots of Windows dialogue boxes. The security, or insecurity, of wireless LANs is briefly reviewed in chapter fourteen. Chapter fifteen lists some auditing technologies. Those who are not familiar with security would probably feel more so after reading this book, although some of the material is of questionable accuracy and even more debatable clarity. Managers might be a bit more aware of some of the issues involved in protection strategy and product choice, although at the risk of making some errors. On balance, this work is probably serviceable as a quick guide. The more accurate works of which I am aware are more demanding of the reader, and there are some "instant introductions" to network security that are considerably worse. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005

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Book description:

An introduction to the key tools and technologies used to secure network access * Examine common security vulnerabilities and the defenses used to protect network resources * Learn about cryptography, including modern-day techniques like 3DES, RSA, hashing, and the use of certificates * Learn how to design, adopt, and enforce security policies * Evaluate the nuances of secure network design * Secure HTTP traffic by hardening operating systems, servers, and browsers * Protect routers through administrative access policies and services * Understand what firewalls do and how to implement them to maximum effect * Inspect and monitor network activity with IDS * Utilize VPNs for secure remote access * Learn about PKI technologies * Examine secure wireless design techniques * Use logging and auditing tools, such as syslog, SNMP, RMON, and SAA, to manage network traffic Companies have long been struggling with threats from the hacking community. Keeping pace with the rapid evolution of security technology and the growing complexity of threats is a challenge even in the best of times. The increased focus on security has sent IT managers and engineers scrambling to acquire the proper expertise to implement complex, multilayered solutions. Network Security Fundamentals introduces the topic of network security in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive manner. This book is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the various components of a network security architecture and to demonstrate how each component can be implemented to achieve best results. The book uses straightforward language to introduce topics and to show the features, mechanics, and functionality of various network security devices. A series of case studies helps illuminate concepts and shows how you can apply the concepts to solve real-world problems. Divided into four parts, Network Security Fundamentals takes you on a tour of all the essential technologies and modern defenses at your disposal to help you maintain network uptime and data integrity. Part I covers the basics, introducing terms and concepts and laying the foundation of a solid security structure. The discussion focuses on weaknesses and vulnerabilities along with an overview of the traditional defenses used to thwart attacks. Part II examines two components of security-cryptography and security policies. Part III looks at the various security components. Separate chapters cover web security, router security, firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), remote access security, virtual private networks (VPN), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), wireless security, and logging and auditing. Each chapter in this section is a self-contained tutorial, allowing you to skip to those topics of greatest interest or primary concern. Part IV includes several reference appendixes, including the Cisco SAFE Blueprint, NSA guidelines, and SANS policies. Whether you are looking for an introduction to network security principles and practices or a security configuration reference, this book provides you with the invaluable insight you need to protect valuable company resources.

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