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Network Security Principles and Practices (CCIE Professional Development) Hardcover – November 25, 2002
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From the Back Cover
Expert solutions for securing network infrastructures and VPNs
* Build security into the network by defining zones, implementing secure routing protocol designs, and building safe LAN switching environments
* Understand the inner workings of the Cisco PIX Firewall and analyze in-depth Cisco PIX Firewall and Cisco IOS Firewall features and concepts
* Understand what VPNs are and how they are implemented with protocols such as GRE, L2TP, and IPSec
* Gain a packet-level understanding of the IPSec suite of protocols, its associated encryption and hashing functions, and authentication techniques
* Learn how network attacks can be categorized and how the Cisco IDS is designed and can be set upto protect against them
* Control network access by learning how AAA fits into the Cisco security model and by implementing RADIUS and TACACS+ protocols
* Provision service provider security using ACLs, NBAR, and CAR to identify and control attacks
* Identify and resolve common implementation failures by evaluating real-world troubleshooting scenarios
As organizations increase their dependence on networks for core business processes and increase access to remote sites and mobile workers via virtual private networks (VPNs), network security becomes more and more critical. In today's networked era, information is an organization's most valuable resource. Lack of customer, partner, and employee access to e-commerce and data servers can impact both revenue and productivity. Even so, most networks do not have the proper degree of security. Network Security Principles and Practices provides an in-depth understanding of the policies, products, and expertise that brings organization to this extremely complex topic and boosts your confidence in the performance and integrity of your network systems and services. Written by the CCIE engineer who wrote the CCIE Security lab exam and who helped develop the CCIE Security written exam, Network Security Principles and Practices is the first book to help prepare candidates for the CCIE Security exams.
Network Security Principles and Practices is a comprehensive guide to network security threats and the policies and tools developed specifically to combat those threats. Taking a practical, applied approach to building security into networks, the book shows you how to build secure network architectures from the ground up. Security aspects of routing protocols, Layer 2 threats, and switch security features are all analyzed. A comprehensive treatment of VPNs and IPSec is presented in extensive packet-by-packet detail. The book takes a behind-the-scenes look at how the Cisco PIX(r) Firewall actually works, presenting many difficult-to-understand and new Cisco PIX Firewall and Cisco IOS(r) Firewall concepts. The book launches into a discussion of intrusion detection systems (IDS) by analyzing and breaking down modern-day network attacks, describing how an IDS deals with those threats in general, and elaborating on the Cisco implementation of IDS. The book also discusses AAA, RADIUS, and TACACS+ and their usage with some of the newer security implementations such as VPNs and proxy authentication. A complete section devoted to service provider techniques for enhancing customer security and providing support in the event of an attack is also included. Finally, the book concludes with a section dedicated to discussing tried-and-tested troubleshooting tools and techniques that are not only invaluable to candidates working toward their CCIE Security lab exam but also to the security network administrator running the operations of a network on a daily basis.
About the Author
Saadat Malik, CCIE No. 4955, manages the Technical Support Operations for the VPN and Network Security groups at Cisco Systems. As a contributor to the CCIE Security exams, he has developed deep knowledge of the issues important to CCIE Security certification. Saadat has taught computer networking at the graduate level at San Jose State University, and he is a regular speaker on various advanced network security topics at industry events and conferences.
Top customer reviews
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Practically on every page is either a diagram or detailed configuration explaining the subject at hand. In particular, the configuration examples are extremely helpful as the configs, themselves, are appended with detailed notes of their syntax. Chapter 13, IPSec, is probably the best one-chapter discussion on Cisco's implementation of IPSec and VPN I have found anywhere (and I have over 50 CiscoPress books). Another testament to it's superb level of expertise is the few and far between typos or errors that I have found.
One item to note - you will need to block off a few weeks (or months) to fully understand and appreciate the value of this book. I reference this book often, as I find information in this book I cannot find documented or presented the same way in other books.
I give this book 5 pings out of 5:
It really does cover the gamut of network security - fundamentals, network design, devices (routers, switches, firewalls, IDS), access control, VPNs and tunneling at Layer 2, some service provider-specific problems, and troubleshooting. It does not cover host-specific items, like OS or application tradeoffs, the merits of different patching regimes, etc. Frankly, those topics depend too much on why those applications and systems are present. And, as it stands, this is a big enough book, covering plenty of territory, and covering a lot of it in depth.
As one example of the depth you can expect to find here, consider IKE establishing an IPSec SA between two peers. The discussion starts with the relationships among IKE's constituent parts (ISAKMP, SKEME, and Oakley), and how each contributes to the process. Next there is a substantial discussion of the two major steps in establishing an SA between the peers, including the advantages and disadvantages of Main Mode vs. Aggressive Mode during the first step. This is followed by the details of the actual messages exchanged at each point in the whole process, including the packet structures involved. There is also a good discussion of how the Diffie-Hellman Algorithm is used to create the session key without exposing it to anyone except the two peers. Finally, there's a discussion of the use of digital signatures vs. pre-shared keys for authentication, and encrypted nonces. All told, the discussion of this one aspect of VPNs covers 36 pages. When you've finished, you will understand exactly what happens during the creation of an IPSec VPN.
That level of detail is typical of the coverage once you get beyond the first two chapters. Those cover some basics, just to be sure you have those fresh in your mind as you start digging into the details.
I did notice a few minor errors (things like the spelling of the famous hacker's name - it's Kevin Mitnick, not Kevin Metnick), but those were really very few and far between. As an author, I know that there will always be a few items that get by everyone, including the editors and proofreaders. There are far fewer in this book than in any book of comparable size (700+ pages) that I've read in a long, long time.
Because the coverage in this book is so deep as well as broad, don't plan to read it in a few days. You'll find yourself chasing things by checking the RFCs, looking again at the network's design, and so on. But if you are looking into network security, whether it's just to know more or because you're getting certified, this book is a good one to read. If you're working on Cisco's Security CCIE, it's a must read. Either way, I highly recommend it - it's five stars all the way.