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CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Cert Guide, Academic Edition

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CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Cert Guide, Academic Edition


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  • Case studies and hands-on video exercises in each chapter, to help students practice what they've learned
  • Three full practice tests based on the real Security + exam - with new video explanations of all answers
  • Exclusive "Do I Know This Already?" quizzes, memory tables, study strategies, tips, cautions, key terms, troubleshooting scenarios, last-minute review tearsheet, and more


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 8" x 10"
  • Pages: 528
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5363-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5363-2

Learn, prepare, and practice for CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 exam success with this CompTIA Authorized Cert Guide, Academic Edition from Pearson IT Certification, a leader in IT Certification learning and a CompTIA Authorized Platinum Partner. The DVD features three complete practice exams, complete video solutions to 31 hands-on labs, plus 31 interactive flash-based simulations that include drag-and-drop and matching to reinforce the learning.

  • Master CompTIA’s Security+ SY0-401 exam topics
  • Assess your knowledge with chapter-ending quizzes
  • Reinforce your knowledge of key concepts with chapter review activities
  • Practice with realistic exam questions on the DVD
  • Includes complete video solutions to 31 hands-on labs
  • Plus 31 interactive simulations on key exam topics
  • Work through 270 Flash Cards in Q&A and glossary term format
  • Includes free access to the Premium Edition eBook

CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Authorized Cert Guide, Academic Edition includes video solutions to the hands-on labs, practice tests, and interactive simulations that let the reader learn by doing. Best-selling author and expert instructor David L. Prowse shares preparation hints and test-taking tips, helping you identify areas of weakness and improve both your conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills. Material is presented in a concise manner, focusing on increasing your understanding and retention of exam topics.

The book presents you with an organized test preparation routine through the use of proven series elements and techniques. Exam topic lists make referencing easy. Chapter review activities help you drill on key concepts you must know thoroughly. Review questions help you assess your knowledge, and a final preparation chapter guides you through tools and resources to help you craft your approach to passing the exam.

The companion Academic Edition DVD contains the powerful Pearson IT Certification Practice Test engine, with three complete practice exams and hundreds of exam-realistic questions and free access to the Premium Edition eBook. The assessment engine offers you a wealth of customization options and reporting features, laying out a complete assessment of your knowledge to help you focus your study where it is needed most. Work through 270 Flash Cards in Q&A and glossary term format to help reinforce your knowledge of key concepts and facts. The Academic Edition DVD also includes complete video solutions to 31 hands-on labs in the book and 31 interactive simulations on key exam topics to reinforce the learning by doing. Learning activities such as test password strength, match the type of Malware with its definition, find the security issues in the network map, and disallow a user access to the network on Saturday and Sunday.

Interactive Simulations:

  • 2-1: Identifying Malware Types
  • 2-2: Securing the BIOS
  • 2-4: Filtering E-mails
  • 3-3: Stopping Services in the Command Prompt
  • 4-1: Securing Web Browsers
  • 5-1: Creating a DMZ
  • 5-3: Defending against the Web Shell
  • 6-1a: Understanding Port Numbers, Part A
  • 6-1b: Understanding Port Numbers, Part B
  • 6-1c: Understanding Port Numbers, Part C
  • 6-2a: Identifying Network Attacks, Part A
  • 6-2b: Identifying Network Attacks, Part B
  • 6-2c: Identifying Network Attacks, Part C
  • 6-2d: Identifying Network Attacks, Part D
  • 7-1: Configuring a Firewall's Ruleset
  • 8-4: Planning Network Security
  • 9-1: Choosing Physical Security Methods
  • 9-2: Selecting the Correct Authentication Technology
  • 9-3: Understanding 802.1X
  • 10-1: Password Strength
  • 10-2: Configuring Logon Hours
  • 10-3: Understanding Access Control Models
  • 11-1a: Risk Assessment, Part A
  • 11-1b: Risk Assessment, Part B
  • 11-1c: Vulnerability Management Process
  • 12-1: Capturing and Analyzing Packets
  • 12-2: Deciphering Log Files
  • 13-1: Understanding Symmetric and Asymmetric Algorithms
  • 15-1: Configuring RAID
  • 16-1a: Identifying Social Engineering Attacks, Part A
  • 16-1b: Identifying Social Engineering Attacks, Part B

Hands-On Labs Video Solutions:

  • 2-1: Using Free Malware Scanning Programs
  • 2-2: Securing the BIOS
  • 2-3: Securing Mobile Devices
  • 3-1: Discerning and Updating Service Pack Level
  • 3-2: Securing a Virtual Machine
  • 3-3: Working with Services in Windows and Linux
  • 4-1: Securing Web Browsers
  • 4-2: Whitelisting and Blacklisting Applications with a Windows Server Policy
  • 5-2: Subnetting a Network
  • 6-1: Scanning Ports
  • 7-2: Configuring Packet Filtering and NAT
  • 7-3: Configuring an Inbound Filter
  • 8-1: Securing a Wireless Device
  • 8-2: Enabling MAC Filtering
  • 8-3: Wardriving and the Cure
  • 9-3: Understanding 802.1X
  • 9-4: Setting Up a Secure VPN
  • 10-1: Configuring Complex Passwords
  • 10-2: Configuring Password Policies and User Accounts Restrictions
  • 10-4: Configuring User and Group Permissions
  • 11-2: Mapping and Scanning the Network
  • 11-3: Defending Against Password Cracking
  • 12-1: Capturing and Analyzing Packets
  • 12-2: Deciphering Log Files
  • 12-3: Auditing Files
  • 13-1: Understanding Symmetric and Asymmetric Algorithms
  • 13-2: Disabling the LM Hash
  • 14-1: Understanding PKI
  • 14-2: Making an SSH Connection
  • 15-1: Configuring RAID
  • 17-1: Analyzing Test Questions

Well-regarded for its level of detail, assessment features, and challenging review questions and exercises, this CompTIA authorized study guide helps you master the concepts and techniques that will allow you to succeed on the exam the first time.

The CompTIA authorized study guide helps you master all the topics on the Security+ exam, including

  • Core computer system security
  • OS hardening and virtualization
  • Application security
  • Network design elements and threats
  • Perimeter security
  • Network media and devices security
  • Physical security and authentication models
  • Access control
  • Vulnerability and risk assessment
  • Monitoring and auditing
  • Cryptography, including PKI
  • Redundancy and disaster recovery
  • Policies and procedures


Author's Site

Please visit the author's site at davidlprowse.com

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction xxi

Chapter 1 Introduction to Security 2

Foundation Topics 3

Security 101 3

The CIA of Computer Security 3

The Basics of Information Security 5

Think Like a Hacker 6

Chapter Review Activities 8

Review Key Topics 8

Define Key Terms 8

Review Questions 8

Chapter 2 Computer Systems Security 12

Foundation Topics 13

Computer Systems Security Threats 13

Malicious Software 13

Viruses 13

Worms 14

Trojan Horses 14

Ransomware 15

Spyware 15

Rootkits 16

Spam 16

Summary of Malware Threats 17

Ways to Deliver Malicious Software 17

Via Software, Messaging, and Media 18

Botnets and Zombies 18

Active Interception 19

Privilege Escalation 19

Backdoors 19

Logic Bombs 19

Preventing and Troubleshooting Malware 20

Preventing and Troubleshooting Viruses 20

Preventing and Troubleshooting Worms and Trojans 23

Preventing and Troubleshooting Spyware 24

Preventing and Troubleshooting Rootkits 25

Preventing and Troubleshooting Spam 26

You Can't Save Every Computer from Malware! 28

Summary of Malware Prevention Techniques 28

Implementing Security Applications 28

Personal Software Firewalls 29

Host-Based Intrusion Detection Systems 30

Pop-Up Blockers 32

Data Loss Prevention Systems 33

Securing Computer Hardware, Peripherals, and Mobile Devices 33

Securing the BIOS 34

Securing Storage Devices 35

Removable Storage 35

Network Attached Storage 35

Whole Disk Encryption 35

Hardware Security Modules 37

Securing Mobile Devices 37

Malware 38

Botnet Activity 38

SIM Cloning 38

Wireless Attacks 38

Theft 39

Application Security 40

BYOD Concerns 41

Chapter Review Activities 45

Chapter Summary 45

Review Key Topics 45

Define Key Terms 46

Review Questions 46

Case Studies for Chapter 2 53

Case Study 2-1: Using Free Malware Scanning Programs 53

Case Study 2-2: Securing the BIOS 54

Case Study 2-3: Securing Mobile Devices 54

Case Study 2-4: Filtering and Screening E-mail 54

Chapter 3 OS Hardening and Virtualization 56

Foundation Topics 57

Hardening Operating Systems 57

Removing Unnecessary Applications and Services 57

Service Packs 63

Windows Update, Patches, and Hotfixes 65

Patches and Hotfixes 66

Patch Management 67

Group Policies, Security Templates, and Configuration Baselines 68

Hardening File Systems and Hard Drives 71

Virtualization Technology 74

Types of Virtualization and Their Purposes 74

Hypervisor 75

Securing Virtual Machines 76

Chapter Review Activities 78

Chapter Summary 78

Review Key Topics 79

Define Key Terms 79

Review Questions 79

Case Studies for Chapter 3 83

Case Study 3-1: Discerning and Updating the Service Pack Level 83

Case Study 3-2: Securing a Virtual Machine 83

Case Study 3-3: Stopping Services in the Command-Line 84

Chapter 4 Application Security 86

Foundation Topics 87

Securing the Browser 87

General Browser Security Procedures 88

Implement Policies 88

Train Your Users 90

Use a Proxy and Content Filter 91

Secure Against Malicious Code 92

Securing Internet Explorer 92

Securing Firefox 97

Securing Other Browsers 100

Securing Other Applications 102

Secure Programming 105

Systems Development Life Cycle 105

Programming Testing Methods 107

Programming Vulnerabilities and Attacks 108

Backdoors 109

Buffer Overflows 109

Arbitrary Code Execution/Remote Code Execution 110

XSS and XSRF 110

More Code Injection Examples 111

Directory Traversal 112

Zero Day Attack 112

Chapter Review Activities 114

Chapter Summary 114

Review Key Topics 115

Define Key Terms 115

Review Questions 115

Case Studies for Chapter 4 120

Case Study 4-1: Securing Web Browsers 120

Case Study 4-2: Whitelisting and Blacklisting Applications in a Windows Server Policy 120

Chapter 5 Network Design Elements 122

Foundation Topics 123

Network Design 123

The OSI Model 123

Network Devices 124

Hub 124

Switch 125

Router 126

Network Address Translation, and Private Versus Public IP 127

Network Zones and Interconnections 129

LAN Versus WAN 129

Internet 129

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) 129

Intranets and Extranets 130

Network Access Control (NAC) 131

Subnetting 132

Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) 133

Telephony Devices 134

Modems 134

PBX Equipment 135

VoIP 135

Cloud Security and Server Defense 136

Cloud Computing 136

Cloud Security 137

Server Defense 139

File Servers 140

Network Controllers 140

E-mail Servers 140

Web Servers 141

FTP Server 142

Chapter Review Activities 144

Chapter Summary 144

Review Key Topics 145

Define Key Terms 145

Review Questions 145

Case Studies for Chapter 5 149

Case Study 5-1: Creating a DMZ 149

Case Study 5-2: Subnetting a Network 149

Case Study 5-3: Defending against the Web Shell 150

Chapter 6 Networking Protocols and Threats 152

Foundation Topics 153

Ports and Protocols 153

Ports Ranges, Inbound Versus Outbound, and Common Ports 153

Protocols That Can Cause Anxiety on the Exam 160

Malicious Attacks 160

DoS 160

DDoS 162

Sinkholes and Blackholes 163

Spoofing 163

Session Hijacking 164

Replay 165

Null Sessions 165

Transitive Access and Client-Side Attacks 166

DNS Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks 167

ARP Poisoning 168

Summary of Network Attacks 168

Chapter Review Activities 172

Chapter Summary 172

Review Key Topics 173

Define Key Terms 173

Review Questions 173

Case Studies for Chapter 6 178

Case Study 6-1: Scanning Ports 178

Case Study 6-2: Identifying Network Attacks 178

Chapter 7 Network Perimeter Security 180

Foundation Topics 181

Firewalls and Network Security 181

Firewalls 181

Proxy Servers 186

Honeypots and Honeynets 188

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) 189

NIDS Versus NIPS 189

NIDS 189

NIPS 190

Summary of NIDS Versus NIPS 192

The Protocol Analyzer's Role in NIDS and NIPS 192

Unified Threat Management 192

Chapter Review Activities 194

Chapter Summary 194

Review Key Topics 194

Define Key Terms 195

Review Questions 195

Case Studies for Chapter 7 199

Case Study 7-1: Configuring a Firewall's Rule Set 199

Case Study 7-2: Configuring Packet Filtering and NAT 200

Case Study 7-3: Configuring an Inbound Filter 200

Chapter 8 Securing Network Media and Devices 202

Foundation Topics 203

Securing Wired Networks and Devices 203

Network Device Vulnerabilities 203

Default Accounts 203

Weak Passwords 204

Privilege Escalation 204

Back Doors 205

Network Attacks 205

Other Network Device Considerations 206

Cable Media Vulnerabilities 206

Interference 206

Crosstalk 207

Data Emanation 208

Tapping into Data and Conversations 208

Securing Wireless Networks 209

Wireless Access Point Vulnerabilities 210

The Administration Interface 210

SSID Broadcast 210

Rogue Access Points 210

Evil Twin 211

Weak Encryption 211

Wi-Fi Protected Setup 212

VPN over Open Wireless 213

Wireless Access Point Security Strategies 213

Wireless Transmission Vulnerabilities 215

Bluetooth Vulnerabilities 216

Bluejacking 217

Bluesnarfing 217

Chapter Review Activities 219

Chapter Summary 219

Review Key Topics 220

Define Key Terms 221

Review Questions 221

Case Studies for Chapter 8 224

Case Study 8-1: Securing a Wireless Device 224

Case Study 8-2: Enabling MAC Filtering 225

Case Study 8-3: War-driving...and the Cure 225

Case Study 8-4: Planning Network Security 225

Chapter 9 Physical Security and Authentication Models 228

Foundation Topics 229

Physical Security 229

General Building and Server Room Security 229

Door Access 230

Biometric Readers 232

Authentication Models and Components 233

Authentication Models 233

Localized Authentication Technologies 234

802.1X and EAP 235

LDAP 237

Kerberos and Mutual Authentication 238

Remote Desktop Services 239

Remote Authentication Technologies 240

Remote Access Service 240

Virtual Private Networks 241


Chapter Review Activities 246

Chapter Summary 246

Review Key Topics 246

Define Key Terms 247

Review Questions 247

Case Studies for Chapter 9 253

Case Study 9-1: Choosing Physical Security Methods 253

Case Study 9-2: Selecting the Correct Authentication Technology 254

Case Study 9-3: Understanding 802.1X 255

Case Study 9-4: Setting Up a Secure VPN 255

Chapter 10 Access Control Methods and Models 256

Foundation Topics 257

Access Control Models Defined 257

Discretionary Access Control 257

Mandatory Access Control 258

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) 259

Access Control Wise Practices 260

Rights, Permissions, and Policies 262

Users, Groups, and Permissions 262

Permission Inheritance and Propagation 266

Moving and Copying Folders and Files 266

Usernames and Passwords 267

Policies 269

User Account Control (UAC) 272

Chapter Review Activities 273

Chapter Summary 273

Review Key Topics 273

Define Key Terms 274

Review Questions 274

Case Studies for Chapter 10 279

Case Study 10-1: Configuring Complex Passwords 279

Case Study 10-2: Configuring Password Policies and User Account Restrictions 280

Case Study 10-3: Understanding Access Control Models 280

Case Study 10-4: Configuring User and Group Permissions 280

Chapter 11 Vulnerability and Risk Assessment 282

Foundation Topics 283

Conducting Risk Assessments 283

Qualitative Risk Assessment 284

Quantitative Risk Assessment 284

Security Analysis Methodologies 286

Security Controls 287

Vulnerability Management 288

Penetration Testing 289

OVAL 290

Assessing Vulnerability with Security Tools 291

Network Mapping 291

Vulnerability Scanning 293

Network Sniffing 296

Password Analysis 297

Chapter Review Activities 300


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