|The Network Security Test Lab: A Step-by-Step Guide|
|summary||Good reference to use to build out home test lab for information security|
The book is written for the reader on the budget. In the introduction, Gregg writes how one can easily find inexpensive networking equipment at budget prices on eBay. While brand new hardware devices can cost in the thousands; one can find Cisco Catalyst switches, and Nokia IP and Check Point firewalls for under $50. Combined with his emphasis on open source software and tools, this is a most practical reference for those looking to increase their security skills without breaking the bank.
The Network Security Test Lab is meant for the reader with a strong technical background looking to gain experience with network security and related security tools. Other similar books will often waste paper and the reader's time by devoting the first 50 to 100 pages with unwanted introductory text. This book hits the ground running and by page 100, the reader is already analyzing network packets with Wireshark.
As to Wireshark, the book references often. The books online site includes 6 pcap files that can be downloaded and used by the tool in order to analyze various attacks.
The book provides a good balance of coverage between Windows and Linux, and details the use of the many tools for each operating system. Each chapter ends with a series of exercises which can be used to help the reader put the information covered into practice. Those looking to gain experience on a wide variety of tools will enjoy the book. It covers a wide-range of tools and utilities.
The Network Security Test Lab is in the same genre as books such as Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions. The difference is that Hacking Exposed focuses more on the tools, while this book shows the reader how to build a lab to mimic a real world environment. In addition, this book focuses a bit more on using a holistic approach to creating a secure network, as opposed to just hacking in.
In the effort to make the test lab as inexpensive to build as possible, the book places on emphasis on using virtualization. The book focuses on using the VMware Player; a free virtualization software toolkit for Linux and Windows.
The book is a straightforward read for the serious reader. Those willing to put in the effort and the time, to learn through the various tools will find The Network Security Test Lab: A Step-by-Step Guide a great resource in which to build and develop their information security skills.
Reviewed by Ben Rothke.
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