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Risk-based auditing to achieve enterprise security

April 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s a new piece I wrote for SearchSecurity.com on using a risk-based auditing methodology to achieve enterprise security.

Some topics covered include:

  • Why use a risk-based audit
  • How to perform a risk assessment
  • Tips on categorizing assets
  • Classifying assets by criticality and confidentiality levels
  • Calculating risk and risk ranking
  • Developing an audit plan
  • A six-step audit methodology
  • A risk-based audit use case

Give it a read and let me know if you have any questions.

Book Review: Wireshark Network Analysis

April 9, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

 

wireshark_network_analysis_book

Courtesy: Packet-Level.com

I was a little nervous when I started reading this book. Chapter 1 provided an overview of network analysis, but had a lot of “personality.” When I read, “Wait…more data is coming in…and more…and…SCREECH!” I wasn’t too sure if I was going to finish the book. At over 700 pages, I was hoping that each page contained only “meat and potatoes,” without a lot of dry humor and meaningless analogies. Thankfully, a few pages later I began what turned into a great read — full of solid content.

Wireshark Network Analysis goes well beyond Wireshark functionality. Although the first several chapters outline how to best use Wireshark — examining the settings, filters, and other configurations — I think the true value of the book is in the detailed explanations of network traffic analysis. For instance, pg. 304 delves into DNS. This section tells the reader exactly what DNS is used for and provides an analysis of normal and abnormal DNS traffic. It also shows screenshots of the packet, displays and describes its contents. This type of analysis is provided throughout the book and covers all forms of network traffic (including suspect traffic — my personal favorite).

Page 563 resonated with me, as I’m a firm believer in baselining network traffic. In this section, Wireshark Network Analysis details the importance of baselining and the types of traffic to focus on. Like other sections, this section also provides screenshots, showing how to analyze traffic and packet statistics.

There were minimal grammar errors, and it does seem like the case studies were not tech edited by the book editor — many of them contained several grammar mistakes. Although, it does appear that those were submitted by third parties and probably used as-is. Nevertheless, I can provide plenty of other examples as to why Wireshark Network Analysis is a great book. There are plenty of screenshots, review questions with answers on the next page (instead of making the reader turn to the back of the book), and links to tons of packet captures for analyzing on your own. Overall, the book is well-written and, in my opinion, the best network analysis book on the market today.

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