|End-to-End Network Security: Defense-in-Depth|
|summary||Excellent and comprehensive look at how to secure a Cisco infrastructure|
The books 12 chapters provide a broad look at the various ways in which to secure a network. Aside from a minor mistake in chapter 1 where the author confuses encryptions standards and encryption algorithms (but then again, many people make the same mistake), the book provides a clear and to the point approach to the topic at hand. After reading the book, one will have a large amount of the information needed to secure their Cisco-based network.
While it is not in the title, the book is completely centered on Cisco hardware, software, and Cisco IOS. It is a Cisco Press title written by a Cisco employee, as you would expect, it has a heavy Cisco slant. For those that do not work in a Cisco environment, the information in the book will likely be far too Cisco centric for their needs. A review of the index shows that the book provides a near A-Z overview of information security. One of the only missing letters is 'J', but then again, that would require writing about Juniper.
Chapter 1 starts off with a detailed overview of the fundamentals of network security technologies. Chapter 2 details the various security frameworks and methodologies around securing network devices. The six-step methodology that the author writes of is comprised of preparation, identification, classification, traceback, reaction and postmortem.
The author mistakenly writes that manual analysis of complex firewall policies is almost impossible because it is very time-consuming. The truth is that the time-consuming aspect does not make it impossible. It can be done, but the author is correct that the use of automated tools makes such analysis much quicker and easier.
Chapters 5 and 6 provide an excellent overview of reacting to information security incidents. The chapters cover all of the necessary details, from laws, log finals, postmortem and more.
Chapter 9 provides and extensive overview of the various elements of IPT security. It includes various ways to protect the many parts of a Cisco IPT infrastructure. In this chapter and the others, the author does a very good job of detailing the various configurations steps necessary to secure a Cisco device, both at the graphical level and also at the ISO command line level.
Chapter 12 concludes the book with 3 case studies of using defense in depth a small, medium and large enterprise networks. Different size networks have different requirements and constraints and are not secured in the same manner.
Overall, End-to-End Network Security: Defense-in-Depth is an excellent and comprehensive book on how to secure a Cisco infrastructure. It details the many threats such an environment will face, and lists countermeasures to mitigate each of those threats. Anyone involved in securing Cisco-based networks will find this book to be quite helpful in their effort to secure their network.
Ben Rothke is a security consultant with BT INS and the author of Computer Security: 20 Things Every Employee Should Know.
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